October 28, 2013 – The Hixson Museum of Flight located in Chattanoooga, Tennessee, is in the process of retrieving a very rare military aircraft that helped shape modern fighter jets and bombers that we have protecting our country today.
This aircraft, the Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer was technologically advanced aircraft designed during the late portion of WWII and used the innovations of technology acquired during combat in WWII. Though this aircraft never saw widespread production it did provide the knowledge used to create such iconic aircraft as the Douglas A1D Skyraider and many other aircraft that have served our country in the past.
A team of dedicated volunteers has traveled to Horseheads, New York, where the BTD-1 Destroyer has been located for many years. It is there that the Chattanooga based team will start to dismantle the aircraft and prepare it for its long journey to its new home, the Hixson Museum of Flight where it will caringly and expertly be restored for museum display and be an asset to the Chattanooga community.
What sets this aircraft apart from its many military counterparts is that the BTD-1 is a one of kind aircraft and is the only surviving model of its type left in existence. The goal is to preserve and present this aircraft as an asset to our community, already rich in history, an asset that other communities sadly will not have.
The Hixson Museum of Flight would like to provide the Chattanooga community with an opportunity to participate in this adventure. They are looking for more volunteers who would like to engage in the restoration of the BTD-1 and help make this aircraft available to Chattanooga so we may all enjoy this rare historical jewel.
The BTD-1 currently resides at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Museum of flight. Sadly due to budget restrictions the Wings of Eagles no longer has the funds to house the BTD-1 and has had to place the aircraft outside where it is starting to decay.
The volunteers from the Hixson Museum of Flight will be making many trips to New York over the next month’s documenting every part and transporting the aircraft. This is a long term project that will require years of dedication and thousands of hours to restore this aircraft.