Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum Fundraising to Repaint P-2 Neptune

Funds required for airframe repaint and ongoing maintenance of veteran sub hunter

[Photo via Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum]
[Photo via Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum]

By Noah Stegman Rechtin

Following the completion of a project to renovate the entrance to its building, the Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum (BNAM) in Brunswick, Maine, United States has begun another effort. The museum, located in the former base chapel at Naval Air Station Brunswick, has taken on the task of refurbishing a Lockheed P-2 Neptune that has been on display since 1970.

[Photo via Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum]
The museum held a wash party for the P-2 in the fall of last year, with many enthusiastic volunteers participating. [Photo via Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum]

The BNAM was founded in 2009 to preserve the history of Naval Air Station Brunswick. The base, which was established in 1943, served as the home of P-2 and Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft for the majority of its existence. When it closed in 2011, the facility was handed over to the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which split it into three parts. The first, Brunswick Executive Airport, comprises the runways, tower, and aviation-related businesses and makes up approximately 23 percent of the former base. The second, Brunswick Landing consists of 28 percent of the land and will be turned into a business park. The third portion, 49 percent, will remain undeveloped open space.

In 2015 the BNAM purchased the former base chapel and began preparing it to serve as an exhibit space. Since then it has taken on several projects, including repainting a P-3 as a memorial to the crew of a similar aircraft killed in an accident in 1978.

According to Aerial Visuals the aircraft on display is a Lockheed SP-2E Neptune, BuNo 128392, which served with Patrol Squadron 10, US Navy from 1956 to 1965. While the P-2 is located on an easement owned by the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which is technically the organization responsible for it and thus not at direct risk from redevelopment, it needs restoration. Having been subject to the elements for many years, their effects on the airframe are starting to show. After initially holding a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to move it a half-mile down the road to its building, the museum has scaled back its efforts to simply clean and repaint the aircraft.

So far $30,000 of the required $60,000 has been raised and the remaining difference has been pledged by a donor. However, the museum still requires funds to maintain the aircraft, and – should fundraising successes continue – it may revisit plans to move the aircraft in the future. For more information on the Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum visit their website here. To contribute to the museum’s fundraising efforts visit their GoFundMe page.

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