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New aircraft on the 'prowl' at Patuxent River Air Museum

Lexington Park, MD- There’s a new addition to the flight line at The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum—the EA-6B Prowler.

The aircraft has been flying for almost 50 years before being retired by the U.S. Navy. The Prowler is scheduled to continue flying in the Marine Corps until 2019. The U.S. Navy has replaced the Prowler with the EA-18G Growler.

The Prowler was delivered to the museum by VX-23 back in October. On Friday, Dec. 1 the museum hosted a Prowler party to celebrate the new addition to the static aircraft display.

“This aircraft we have here at the museum was a fleet aircraft and was utilized by the Navy and Marines before coming to Pax to be used as a test asset. This was actually the last Prowler flown on base,” explained Dan Bramos, Communications director.

When the Navy strikes an aircraft from inventory, a museum can request to add that aircraft to their display. The official Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola gets first dibs but after that the Navy will take requests from other museums. “This one is technically on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps because it was a Marine Corps aircraft,” Bramos said. The term “loan” is for paperwork purposes. The Prowler will be a permanent display at the Pax Museum.

The catered Prowler Party wasn’t just to celebrate the new aircraft but it also provided guests with a preview of the recently completed renovations to building B—which is now known as the Technology Hall. Bramos said, “The systems that are housed inside of the aircraft, like radar, ejection seats and engines, are on the display in the Technology Hall.” The building also features an entire section dedicated to Unmanned Arial Systems—or UAS.

Building C, the Collection Management facility, also underwent a major renovation recently. “That’s a huge part of what we’ve done that no one will see.” Bramos explained. The back part of the building is a temperature and humidity controlled area for books, films and photographs. “We’ll finally have them archived and preserved property.” Bramos said. The front part of the building will be for storage and exhibit preparation.

During the Prowler Party, Northrop Grumman made a check presentation to the museum for $25,000. “Northrop Grumman pledged to donation $100,000 over four years,” Bramos noted.

The money donated will help to fund several new projects at the museum, including a new Discovery Zone for children.

If you would like to check out the new Prowler, today is the day. The museum is hosting “Meet the Airplane” today, Dec. 2 and admission is free. There will be special demonstrations, activities for the kids and a question and answer panel consisting of current and former EA-6B aircrew and engineers.

Meet the Airplane is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is located outside of Gate One at 22156 Three Notch Road in Lexington Park.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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