SM AIRPORT — Officials with the Museum of Flying on Friday unveiled sketches for what is to be a mural entitled “Fly Douglas” that pays tribute to the aircraft company that once called Santa Monica home.
The mural will feature images of the DC aircraft series, from the first DC-1 aircraft to the final DC-10, which were produced at the Santa Monica Airport by the Douglas Aircraft Company. The company was founded by Donald Wills Douglas in Santa Monica in 1921.
“There’s a great deal of history of Douglas in Santa Monica,” Museum Managing Director Daniel Ryan said. “They changed the world of aircraft aviation, and this is a great way to tell the story of Douglas aircraft.”
The mural will be painted by noted aviation artist, author and historian Mike Machat, who met Ryan through the Airforce Association, Santa Monica Chapter, when he was visiting the museum for a tour during construction.
When the museum was completed it was finished with drywall, giving it plenty of wall space to take advantage of, Ryan said. After Ryan mentioned all this free space, Machat proposed the mural.
The mural is being funded by a $25,000 grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California through the Douglas White Oaks Trust.
The project will also give visitors a more interactive experience, with Machat working on the mural and providing a short presentation on the history of the Douglas Aircraft Company twice daily. The project will take approximately four months to complete.
“This is a great way to assist in telling the Douglas Aircraft Company story and should make for a great visitor experience,” Ryan said.
The Museum of Flying recently reopened in a new facility after closing in 2002, but was originally founded in 1974 as the Douglas Museum and Library.