Yankee-Air-MuseumAccording to an article in the Detroit News, the Yankee Air Museum is set to update its name to reflect its new position. The museum, now in its fourth decade, has accomplished some major goals lately, most notably with the acquisition of a significant chunk of the old Ford bomber plant at Willow Run in Yipsilanti, Michigan. The massive B-24 Liberator final assembly hangar is set to become the museum’s new home as it moves forward, and staff have decided they need to modify their name, in part to reflect this next step in organization’s life. The move is certainly not a popular one with everyone connected with the group, but rebranding is often a necessary awkwardness with the growth of any significant entity. The museum is moving away from its origins, which focused mostly on the aircraft, and seems to want a broader role in order to strengthen its appeal beyond solely aviation-minded people. Many aviation museums have been employing this strategy of late, as they try to compete for public interest and relevance amongst an ever-more-crowded variety of entertainment options. The museum will try to refocus on education; bringing in the historical context of the aircraft within the collection, and how they tell the stories of the men and women who built, maintained and flew them. The current vogue in aviation museums, and it’s a relevant one, is to try and work in mathematics, science and technology teachings into their displays, making them more popular for school group visits. Ensuring younger visitors come in larger numbers is vital for building a future audience at any museum, and having a strong educational element will benefit the Yankee Air Museum’s future, as with any donations-based organization. As galling as it may be to some, changing the museum’s name to more thoughtfully reflect its mission has never been more important, but coming up with one which has the same level of brand identity will not be an easy task. A couple of dozen possibilities are currently under consideration, and the museum will announce their choice in the next few weeks. It is highly unlikely that the new name, what ever it is, will contain the word “Yankee” though, as the museum’s executive director, Kevin Walsh, feels it carries no information about what the organization actually does. But have no fear, the YAM’s B-17 “Yankee Lady”, B-25 “Yankee Warrior” and C-47 “Yankee Doodle Dandy” will keep their names and nose art…. that is unless someone comes along with a very large check. Some things will never change. WarbirdsNews will be here to bring you the details.

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