Tuesday, July 05, 2016
The Big "E" lives!
I first saw the original model of the starship Enterprise in the Air & Space Museum decades ago. I don't remember exactly when but it would have been the mid nineteen-eighties. The ship used to hang in the entrance to one of the exhibit halls near the east end of the Museum. It hung above your head as you entered, as if soaring over, but you couldn't get very near to see the details.
Then, years later, in the mid 1990s after displaying it in Air & Space's incredibly successful Star Trek exhibit, they renovated the model (I actually know the modeler who did the renovation) and re-exhibited it in the Museum gift shop. It wasn't a very noble place for a grand lady, but you could get pretty close and see a lot of the details.
A couple of years ago, they decided to renovate it again, restoring it to its original glory, getting all the colors right, replacing the badly inaccurate deflector dish, and even putting in some LED lights to simulate the way it was originally lit. Last week the Big E was unveiled in the newly remodeled main exhibit hall, a much more appropriate venue. This afternoon I paid her a visit.
She looks glorious. Unfortunately, for some reason the spinning nacelle lights, the new feature I was most looking forward to, weren't turned on. I guess I'll just have to go visit again.