The following comments and photos were kindly sent to us by Anne McCombs, Museum Specialist, Restoration:
Restoration of M-18 Number One by the NASM
For the latest news, see the bottom of this page
24 August 2001: Here is a progress report on the restoration of N3199K at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
N3199K, serial number 201, was the Mooney's original M-18. It has gone through several major changes in its lifetime, starting off as Serial No. 1, powered by the Crosley engine. Later it was converted to a Lycoming engine and finally a Continental, thus requiring the serial number to be changed to 201. It was donated to the NASM in 1981 by Johan Kala.
Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility
Artifacts are restored and prepared for museum display at the Garber facility in Suitland, MD. Many of the museum's collections are stored here and some areas are open to the public for guided tours. Tours and location information are provided.
The Udvar-Hazy Center is a new, larger restoration and storage facility scheduled to open in 2003. The public will be able to view more of the collection than ever before and also have the opportunity to see artifacts during restoration. Read the planning documents and view the latest facility design.
The First "Mooney" Mooney
An article by Ace Bowman from the September 1977 issue of PRIVATE PILOT.
26 December 2001:
Dear Mr. Rutherford,
We've just about finished up our work on N3199K, the first Mooney Mite, and thought you might like a few pictures of the (mostly) completed project. The only thing we have to finish up as of this writing are the magnetos, and then it will be ready for the day when it moves to the Hazy Center at Dulles to be hung on display.
A couple of things you might notice in the pictures are some odd protrusions from the top surfaces of the cowling and horizontal stabilizer-- these are the hanging points -- and the post - September - 11 small American flag which we temporarily inserted in the OAT probe (not intended to be part of the final display configuration). Incidentally, we have the original, unmodified upper cowling, but fabricated a replacement so that we could cut holes in it for the hanging points without damaging the original.
All of us on the restoration team would like to again thank you and the members of the Mooney Mite community who have been so generous with your words of advice and experience when we needed help. Hope you can all come out and see N3199K and the rest of the collection when the Hazy Center opens in a couple of years. Thanks again.
Museum Specialist, Restoration
National Air and Space Museum
03 February, 2005 - Another update on N3199K from Anne McCombs:
"The Mooney Mite is scheduled to be hung in 2006. The timing is driven by
the order in which objects can be hung from the trusses (the big arches), which
is in turn driven by crane access. We've been hanging objects starting with the
trusses that are closest to the walkway that crosses the hangar in roughly the
center. This is the walkway that provides the view of Enola Gay's cockpit, and
which more or less divides the civil aviation area from the military aviation
area. The first truss south of the walkway is already "filled", and we expect to
hang airplanes from the second truss during 2005. The design shows the Mite
hanging from the third truss south, positioned at the west side of the hangar.
This would place it approximately over the Boeing 307, and
adjacent to the viewing mezzanine. You can probably picture the operation from
what I've said; in essence we're backing the crane from the center toward the
south door, hanging airplanes as we go.
"The Mite is all finished and looks great, with hanging points installed, so everyone seems quite confident that it will go on display. However, I have to throw in the usual qualifications regarding timing, as other tasks may arise which would delay us for some unforeseen reason. This is all very recent information, so you sent your inquiry at the right time."
11 April, 2006:
"At last I have some news for you regarding NASM's Mooney Mite. It was delivered to the Udvar-Hazy Center last night (Monday, April 10 - Tuesday April 11), and is now on public display. I just spoke to one of the escort drivers, who drove one of the vehicles protecting the wide load, and he said the move went off very well. The airplane is presently on the floor, "in the south end near the King Air" (again, according to the escort driver). It's supposed to get hung some time this summer -- current estimates are in June, but the timing is subject to change depending on what else arises. We thought you'd like to be among the first to know. We want to again thank you for the help of you and all the Mite owners who offered advice and information during the restoration. Hope you can get out to the D.C. area and see N3199K sometime."
4 April, 2007:
Thanks to Monroe Spake for sending in this photo from Airliners.net.