Helldiver Regains Her Wings

Aircorps Art Dec 2019

_C8A7155 - Richard Mallory Allnutt photo - NASM Udvar-Hazy - Chantilly, VA - March 23, 2014

The National Air & Space Museum is hard at work preparing their rare Curtiss SB2C Helldiver for display. The restoration team re-attached the freshly painted wings this past Sunday in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration hangar at NASM’s Udvar-Hazy Center. The vertical stabilizer was due to arrive at the museum on Wednesday for reassembly. The team hope to roll her into position in the main display hall before the weekend, although it may take a couple more days as there are always small details which take longer than expected.

_C8A7197 - Richard Mallory Allnutt photo - NASM Udvar-Hazy - Chantilly, VA - March 23, 2014

_C8A7175 - Richard Mallory Allnutt photo - NASM Udvar-Hazy - Chantilly, VA - March 23, 2014



  1. It’s the first time ever that i see your News and i liked very mutch,as i see it as many intresting subjects for a guy like me that loves Planes and the World of Flying. I served in the POAF in Portugal and overseas ,in Africa.
    I do not know the rules to be part of your ” Family “, can i join the group ?. Regards. LL

  2. I am one of two pilots that flies the last remaining airworthy Helldiver out of over 7000 built.
    It is an honor and a privilege and for those that have an interest in flying in here please reference our website: http://www.sb2chelldiver.com.
    The NASM has done a fantastic job in preserving winged history and the CAF has kept history on wing.

  3. I believe that the NASM restores to “airworthy” condition, but as a matter of policy, they never fly the planes. For that reason, very rare aircraft and to an extent, these national treasures are protected from inadvertent crashes.

    The CAF and numerous other organizations own/operate/fly many vintage aircraft, some quite rare, others not so rare. There is something to be said for having both bases covered, some flyable ones, and some preserved for many years in air conditioned comfort.

    It is truly sad to see those machines left out in the weather though, to slowly rust/corrode/weather away, home to birds, other critters, and never even painted. “Gate Guards” are where many of these machines sit, on US Military installations, slowly returning to mother earth.

    Museums are expensive to build, set – up, and operate, so much of our history was thus allowed to deteriorate, this continues to this day. The US Air Force Museum, was a good example, numerous planes left out in the weather for 3-4 decades. Fortunately many have now found new homes inside, out of the elements, and are better preserved.

    As a young child, I visited the US Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB, OH, The place in the late 1960’s had many aircraft sadly in need of help, many one of a kinds! Today some of those same aircraft have been better preserved and many have been restored, but like the NASM, will never fly again.

    • This was the last Helldiver my Dad flew in. We were there for the rolling out ceremony.

      The aircraft was completely disassembled, cleaned and put back together. The Curator said it is not airworthy.

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  1. Helldiver Unveilded at the National Air and Space Museum

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