5 reasons the new Memphis Belle exhibit is one of the most impressive at the Air Force Museum


The new and highly-anticipated Memphis Belle exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force has opened, and now it is one of the most unique at the museum.

Here are five things that make it special to visit:

1. The historic plane itself

The exhibit includes the aircraft suspended above the floor of the museum. This allows visitors full access to walk under the big bomber and see into the ball turret and bomb bay. Curator Jeff Duford said this was an idea from the restoration specialists who fabricated the steel pedestals that hold the aircraft up.

PHOTOS: Crowd welcomes the iconic Memphis Belle to its NEW exhibit at the Air Force Museum

The Memphis Belle exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is now open! What a beautiful dislplay. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

2. The (claustrophobia-causing) gun turret

A gun turret display is located near the tail of the aircraft that shows the inner workings of the ball turret and top turret positions. The display reflects just how small the ball turret is. 

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3. The full history

An extensive display about the history of the Memphis Belle and the heavy bombardment campaign in Europe wraps around the aircraft and is nicely designed to tell the story in words, photos and graphics. 

PHOTOS: 13 years and 55,000 hours of work: restored Memphis Belle

4. Artifacts from original crew members

Artifacts from the original crew members are included with a dedicated portrait and quote display from each member. 

5. Inspiring lighting and display

While not unique to the museum’s displays, the Memphis Belle is accented with theatrical lighting which really makes the bomber jump out of the far corner of the World War II Gallery. The bomb bay is lit with LED strip lights that fully illuminate its inner workings.


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