Museum Accomplishments: Saving History
The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum's mission is public education through the conservation and display of Maryland's aerospace history and contributions. A registered nonprofit corporation for more than fifteen years, the Museum maintains exhibit galleries, display aircraft, archives, and offices at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Maryland. The Museum also occupies off-airport storage facilities.
For almost 15 years, the Museum has collected, preserved, and displayed important facets of Marylandís aviation history. In addition to its aircraft, the growing collection includes original artwork, models, artifacts, memorabilia, documents, design & manufacturing drawings, approximately 200,000 original negatives, and thousands of original reels of film.
Museum archives and staff are a reference source for a variety of international users, including corporations, other museums, historians, authors, researchers, documentary film-makers, aircraft builders and restorers, and the media. The Museumís historians have written several well received books on Martin and its aircraft, and well as on Maryland-wide history. The Wings Channel made extensive use of the Museumís film library for use in programs on the B-26 Marauder, B-57 Canberra, and a comprehensive six-segment series on the history of seaplanes. The Museum has supplied film segments to broadcast media and independent producers. Our still image collection has been a primary source for at least a dozen outside publications including: Ginter Books monographs on the JRM Mars, P4M Mercator and AM-1 Mauler; Gary Killionís, The Martinliners; Steve Paceís epic history on the B-29 for Crowood Press; several works on the B-26 Marauder, and numerous monthly aviation periodicals. Even full-scale aircraft have benefited from our archive with the recent completion by Century Aviation of an outstanding replica MB-2 Martin bomber for the U. S. Air Force Museum.
Thousands of visitors tour the facility yearly, and Museum docents are available to guide individuals and groups of all ages through the exhibits and display aircraft. While Museum visitors literally come from around the world, the exhibits and programs primarily serve the regional public: scout groups, Civil Air Patrol cadets, veteran's organizations, senior citizen groups, aviation and history enthusiasts, and thousands of area schoolchildren. The Museum has been a sponsor or participant in a variety of regional events, including air shows, the 50th anniversary of victory in World War II, the golden anniversary of wartime Middle River, and Baltimore County's Waterfront Festival.
In addition to hosting visitors, the Museum offers an outstanding monthly speaker program for the public at the Lockheed Martin auditorium adjacent to the airport. Talks are given by prominent experts on topics ranging from aviation history to future space developments and exploration. Both Museum visits and tours, and the speaker program are offered to the public at no charge.
Each of the thirteen historic aircraft that stand on the Museum's flight line has a story. Examples include:
Several years ago, the Museum expanded the scope of its collection to encompass all of Marylandís aviation and space history. This broader focus includes all Maryland manufacturers and a variety of space activities, such as NASAís Goddard Space Flight Center, responsible for the Hubble Space Telescope and other programs. With the Maryland Aviation Room construction recently completed, the Museum, while still small, has enlarged its exhibit area and is developing new exhibits for rotating display. Future programs call for the acquisition of additional aircraft and artifacts significant to Marylandís aerospace history as well as a new, larger facility.
- Two Martin RB-57A's were rescued from an overgrown field of weeds at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
- A Martin 4-O-4 airliner was claimed from the backlot of a California airfield and flown back to its Maryland home.
- An F-105 flown in Viet Nam by a local executive was repainted in its old colors.