Grant check presentation at the airfield, 2017.

Heritage Fund Highlight: Historic Aircraft Restored to Original Appearance

11/11/2017
By Jessica Feldt

The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum in Baltimore County recently utilized a Heritage Fund grant and over 600 volunteer hours to repaint a Martin RB-57A Canberra airplane to it’s original 1950s color scheme as part of it’s airfield fleet.

The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum is an all-volunteer museum located at Martin State Airport in Middle River. The airport is named for Glenn L. Martin, founder of the eponymous aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company that later merged in various forms and is now part of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin continues to operate across the street from the airport. The Glenn L. Martin Company moved to Middle River in 1928, leading to the creation of the airport and several surrounding communities that still bear aviation-inspired names.

A UNIQUE MUSEUM PIECE

This particular aircraft, a Martin RB-57A Canberra, was originally manufactured by the Glenn L. Martin Company and delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 1954 and was sent to Germany in the fall of 1955 to join the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. It returned to the United States in 1958 and ended service in 1972. The Museum acquired the plane in 1992, returning it to the place it was created!

Historic image of the Martin RB-57A Canberra.

In the 1990s, the Canberra underwent an extensive restoration process to recover the plane from the damage the plane suffered while serving as a target for munitions tests and a practice plane for battle damage repair training. At the time of the grant application to Preservation Maryland last year, the plane was in need of a paint job and more. This fresh coat of paint protects the artifact from extensive sun and weathering on the airfield, and provides the organization time to continue to research the aircraft and plan for additional restoration work.

The dedicated volunteers of the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum put in nearly 600 hours of labor into this project. Their labor of love and respect brings the RB-57A back to it’s original sleek black color.

Visit the Martin Aviation Museum

Hertiage Fund Information

Jessica Feldt · Preservation Initiatives Manager

Jessica Feldt manages our proactive preservation and grant-giving programs and is here to help you move your project on the path towards preservation.

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