Fred Bell, Palm Springs Airport

A Museum That Strives to Emphasize the Importance of Living History

This is the second part of our Zoom talk between Fred Bell (Vice Chairman of the Palm Springs Air Museum) and Steve Maloney (creator of the Take Me Home Huey project).

 

Have you ever thought of creating art out of a helicopter? The Bell Iroquois helicopter, Model 205, UH-1H is 57 feet long, and 14 feet high, with its rotor diameter of 48 feet. No chance trying to fit that aircraft into an art studio. Artist Steve Maloney knew that he needed to find a space for the restored UH-1H Huey helicopter that he was planning to use for creating his Take Me Home Huey sculpture.

Fred Bell had his hands full with construction for a new Vietnam hangar at the time, though he immediately offered the artist some outdoor space. Living part of the year in Palm Springs, Steve was very familiar with the strong winds and the amount of dust that could cause issues while working on an art piece. He had to come up with a plan to protect his creation while he was taking his time to work on it.

He discovered two military style tents on eBay and had some help to put it all together. Watch the great time lapse in the video to see how that looked like. With the established pop-up tent studio at the Air Museum Steve Maloney could get to work. Being surrounded by historical aircrafts, airport sounds and mountain views was very inspirational, but most importantly Steve found that visitors stopping by in particular veterans, where a great resource to get feedback on his progressing artwork. It was the perfect location.

The museum emphasizes the importance of history and the art of displaying historical artifacts in an engaging way. With over 300 veteran volunteers from different eras and conflicts the museum manages to keep history alive through personal stories about the aircraft on display. Fred shares some special stories about visitors from the military fraternity. Watch the film to find out how Fred found the newest edition for the museum at groom lake, the restricted area 51.