Writers draw their inspiration from a lot of different places, but I’ve found that many, especially sci-fi and fantasy writers, draw from history when they are thinking about stories to write. History class was always one of my favorite classes to attend in high school because learning about all of the different things that happened in the past gave me ideas about how to develop histories in my own worlds. I think that there are more practical reasons to study history, but my interest in it was always for narrative or world building purposes. For that reason I think that preserving our past is an important endeavor.
Currently the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania is holding a Kickstarter to help fund the restoration of a P-61 Black Widow fighter jet from World War II. There were 750 of these planes made during World War II. It was the first “night fighter” created by the US Air Force, and its use of radar allowed it to operate at night, allowing more strategic movements by the Air Force during the war. To throw in a fun trivia fact, the final kill credit for the war was picked up by a P-61 pilot. Following the war the plane was decommissioned, and there are only four left today, and all of them are used as display pieces.
The plane that the museum is working on was found in New Guinea where it crash landed during a mission. If successful, their restoration will lead to the only P-61 still in existence that is capable of flight. This will allow people, especially pilots, to have continue to have insight into what flying planes from that era were like, and what it might’ve been like to fly combat missions during World War II.
If this project has piqued your interest, you should check out the Museum’s Kickstarter campaign and put in a donation. There is less than a week left until the campaign ends, so don’t wait around for too long!