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What's Happening in Archives: Model Airplane Conservation

Dec 27, 2017

Let's face it, some things aren't built to last. Not everything can be a 747! Objects break and deteriorate over time and it is our job to slow that process but sometimes we get by with a little help from our friends. Enter Kate Singley, objects conservator. 

Kate has helped us here at the Delta Flight Museum over the years with the conservation of many artifacts. As defined by Merriam and Webster, conservation is a careful preservation and protection of something and Kate has provided just that with the most recent projects we had for her. 

Both projects involve model airplanes and the first was to repair and preserve an engine on a Western Boeing 720B model. The inside engine on the model had been damaged and cracked and was loose along the underside of the wing. Kate was able to use a high performance silicone to fill and repair the engine, and use weight and a clamp to hold it in place. The silicone dries clear, remains flexible and non-sagging, and stable up to 400º F. So we've got that going for us, which is nice. Below you can see a before, during and after photos of the conservation process. 



The next task involved a keen eye for paint. One of our Super Sonic Transport(SST) model airplanes had lost some of its paint. In order to restore it to its former glory, Kate tested different inks in order to find one that would not only match the color and texture of the original but remain sustainable over time. Below you see her ink test and before-and-after photos of the SST nose.


Here at the Delta Flight Museum we are charged with the responsibility to preserve and protect the history of Delta and its family of airlines. Sometimes that goes beyond our own storage and expertise. With the help of our friend Kate Singley we have been able to keep both these models well preserved for the future. Thank you, Kate!

Austin Coleman

Archives Assistant


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  1. jeanine potter | Dec 31, 2017

    Thanks Kate for the time you give Deltas Flight museum with the repair of the models airplane's

     you have preserve, job well done.

  2. Pete Sansom | Dec 30, 2017

    Nicely done.  These models will look great in the new exhibit coming this year.


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