The PBY Memorial Foundation is taking on the biggest challenge in our history. Like most challenges, it also presents great opportunities. We have been working for more than a year on plans to move off of the Seaplane Base at NAS Whidbey Island when our Simard Hall lease expires on 30 April 2014. After pursuing many alternatives, we chose a property in downtown Oak Harbor, WA to become the new PBY – NAVAL AIR MUSEUM.
With 4500 square feet on Pioneer Way, the main street into downtown Oak Harbor, the potential for this new location is very exciting. First, and most important, being off base the museum will be accessible to a much wider public audience. We will also be able to display many more artifacts from our collection and in a better setting.
This move is also a major financial stepping stone toward our long range goal to build a hangar style museum for “GiGi”, as we affectionately call our PBY-5A. We can charge admission, solicit donations and run a robust “Ship’s Store” gift shop. On the Seaplane base these activities were either prohibited or very restricted.
Our immediate challenge is the expense of moving, completing tenant improvements and creating new displays. And, we will have some very interesting new displays. Most unique will be a Night Vision Goggle Room. Here we will display the history of this technology. Visitors will don the goggles, and experience the same introduction to NVGs that young Naval Aviators go through during their training. Our flight simulator room will be updated and there will be many other interactive and informative exhibits.
To meet this challenge we ask for your support in raising $80,000 to create a first rate museum experience. Your contribution can help maximize this opportunity for growth by enabling the PBYMF to create the PBY-NAVAL AIR MUSEUM. Please join us on a journey toward excellence by using this link to donate. You can also watch for our Crowd Funding campaign on Indiegogo.