Darlene McLendon, president and CEO of the Museum of Aviation Foundation, joins the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to discuss the rich history of aviation and the museum’s exhibits. McLendon joins hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick for the Around Atlanta segment.
In 1987, McLendon served as a radar approach controller with the Federal Aviation Administration. After working in the Chamber of Commerce Industry for nine years, McLendon fell in love with community development and assumed leadership of the Museum of Aviation Foundation two years ago. The museum is attached to the field museum program of the United States Air Force Heritage program.
Located south of the main entrance to the Robins Air Force Base, the 50-acre campus is the second-largest air force museum in the United States. Pre-pandemic, the museum was the fourth most visited military museum in the country and in 2019, saw over 600,000 visitors.
Free for visitors to explore, the museum features four main hangars across indoor and outdoor exhibits that tell the story and heritage of the United States Air Force. Upon entering the property, an impressive B-1 bomber greets guests as well as the Eagle Building, which houses an F-15 that museumgoers can explore up close! A favorite among young visitors, the Eagle Building also houses an exhibit dedicated to General Robert Scott, a local war hero from Macon, and his legendary P-40 plane.
McLendon shared, “Everyone loves seeing that plane and what it means!”
The POW-MIA Monument Memorial, housed in the Nugteren Hangar, honors those lost in service of our country while vividly exploring the Vietnam War, a traumatic and sensitive time in United States history.
The Century of Flight Hangar is one of the biggest draws of the museum which showcases the SR-71, a plane that holds the world speed record as well as the Global Hall exhibit which tells the story of unmanned aviation and surveillance. On the second floor of the hangar, visitors have access to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, an exhibit honoring Georgia’s leaders and their effect on the world of aviation.
“It’s extremely interesting to see all of the honorees that have been inducted to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame,” said McLendon. “I always encourage people to visit that portion to see these leaders in our state.”
The Scott Hangar, in honor of General Scott, showcases a walk-through exhibit honoring the story of World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, the 507th Airborne and the most impressive addition, a B-17 currently in the process of restoration.
Along with exhibits that explore the history of aviation, the museum offers educational programs for young visitors to enjoy. The museum’s education platform, the STEM Academy, encourages young minds across the country to explore futures in STEM careers. The academy offers virtual tours, programs as well as summer camps for students of all ages.
For more information about the Museum of Aviation Foundation, tune in to the full interview below and visit www.MuseumOfAviation.org.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. The Museum of Aviation Foundation and New American Funding are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (November/2021)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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