Aviation and Military Museum to be expanded in Louisiana

The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe, Louisiana, is the focus of some serious improvement work.

Not only has it just completed a $175,000 building devoted to aircraft restoration (which has taken two years, and was announced on August 22 in The News-Star) but it has a new project up its sleeve.

That is, a $5.25m project to construct a hangar in the museum. The hangar will hold historic aircraft used by Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault's Flying Tigers.

Chennault was a fierce advocate of pursuit or fight-interceptor aircraft during the 1930s and commanded the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942 which was popularly known as the Flying Tigers.

The hangar will be a two-storey, 22,100-square-foot building to the east of the main museum. It will include a library, a 100-seat cinema, and four display areas dedicated to the Flying Tigers, hump pilots who flew transports over dangerous mountains, the 14th Air Force and Chinese memorabilia tied to the nation's assistance to the Flying Tigers in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Smaller planes will be suspended from the metal frames of the ceiling.

The museum has been lobbying for a long time to get funding for the expansion, but support has now built to a point at which they can be confident it will come together.


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