Nuclear Museum Refurbishing Cold War Aircraft for Display

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, in Albuquerque, N.M., is raising funds to refurbish two Cold War-era aircraft, an F-105D Thunderchief and an A-7 Corsair II. The projects are part of Operation Preservation, the museum’s effort to “repaint and refurbish the iconic aircraft” within a “nine-acre outdoor exhibit area,” according to the project’s fundraising site. Already included in the exhibit are a refurbished B-52B Stratofortress, a B-29 Superfortress, and an F-16 Fighting Falcon. The museum is seeking to raise $45,000 total for “cosmetic restoration of the fuselage and wings” on the F-105D and A-7, using premium automotive paint that will meet Air Force standards and last 15-20 years in the harsh desert climate. The F-105D Thunderchief, serial number 61-0107, was built in 1962 by Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, N.Y., and eventually deployed to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing in Germany to support the NATO nuclear mission there. It was retired in 1981. The A-7 Corsair II, Bureau Number 154-407, was built by Ling-Temco-Vought Aerospace Corporation in 1968. As a Navy carrier fighter-bomber, it saw several deployments to Vietnam, during which it amassed 3,338 flight hours and 731 carrier launchings and landings. It joined the museum’s collection in 1992. The museum hopes to complete restoration of the two aircraft by August 2017.