- Associated Press - Thursday, November 20, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A more than 80-year-old monoplane popular with children at the McLean County Museum of History will soon be getting a new home.

The historic, single-seat 1932 Tilbury Flash was disassembled this week and prepared for storage. The plane is being displaced because the portion of the museum it occupied is being transformed into a new Route 66-themed visitor center. It will eventually be moved for display at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington.

Aviation enthusiast Don O’Neall was tasked with readying the plane for the move. He told The (Bloomington) Pantagraph (https://bit.ly/1uWl7Ua ) although it’s sad the plane is leaving the museum, it will be shared with an entirely new audience at the airport.

“Kids love this plane,” O’Neall said. “But the great thing is that a lot of people are still going to be able to see this at its new location and our goal is to promote aviation and a whole new generation of children will be able to look at a great piece of our local history.”

The tiny but fast airplane is painted bright orange and blue. It once recorded speeds of 115 mph, setting a world speed record for the smallest class of plane. It even flew in and won aircraft racing competitions.



The plane was built by Owen Tilbury and Cecil Fundy and flown by Art Carnahan.

“We’re going to miss it,” said museum curator Susan Hartzold. “It is one of the more popular exhibits, especially for the kids. We are sad to see it go. But we also understand that it is going to be seen by a lot more people and so we can live with that.”

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Information from: The Pantagraph, https://www.pantagraph.com

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