National Museum of the Marine Corps

In October 2005, under contract with Design and Production, Lorton VA, we performed a series of inspections and load tests on the aircraft that are now hanging in the National Museum of the Marine Corps. These tests needed to be performed before the aircraft were lifted into place in the museum. In each case the aircraft was lifted and rigged to the display position. When the display attitude was approved that aircraft was set down and additional weight was added. The plane was then lifted again and inspected by Century Aviation personnel and Pacific Engineering and Design, PLLC, mechanical engineers, to assess the ability of the aircraft to cope with the increased load. When each aircraft was approved it was lowered and the next aircraft was checked. In all, we performed load tests on and assisted with the final rigging strategies for 11 aircraft.  These aircraft were:

Marine Corps aircraft and actual (load tested) weights

Curtiss JN-4 Jenny 1650#
AV-8 Harrier 6800#
Baka Bomb 1600#
F4F Wildcat 5400#
DeHavilland DH-4 2000#
F9F Panther 6850#
TBM Avenger 9800#
FG-2 Corsair 8800#
Sikorsky HO3 4400#
A-4 Skyhawk 8300#
F4-U4 Corsair 9800#

These weights are the actual empty weights that we determined during the test. In all cases the rigging weight was subtracted.

In 2009, we conducted these same tests for the Curtiss Pusher A-2 and the Thomas Morse S-4 “Scout” which were part of the next phase of the Museum. These tests also included designing the rigging for the building and the airplanes.