The Chung Cheng Aviation Museum is to officially close at the end of this month to make way for the construction of Terminal Three of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said yesterday.
Previously, the Civil Aeronautics Administration had planned to close the museum in September last year.
Opened in 1981 on the grounds of the Taoyuan airport, the museum was built by Boeing Co and has proven popular as a field-trip destination for elementary and junior-high school students.
TIAC said 18 retired aircraft and model airplanes shown in the museum will be relocated in the second half of this year to a former naval base near the Taoyuan airport, on which the new aviation museum is to be built.
Archives and other display items in the museum are to be temporarily stored in the company’s warehouse.
Based on the company’s construction plan, the new aviation museum building is to be constructed on a property of six hectares, with a total floor space of 8264m2.
Meanwhile, the facilities in the base used by the air force’s Black Cat Squadron are also to be remodeled and become part of the museum’s exhibition, the company said.
Formed in 1961, the squadron carried out reconnaissance flights in U2 surveillance planes to gather intelligence on the military build-up in China and on the Sino-Soviet border.
The squadron stopped its reconnaissance tasks shortly after then-US president Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972 and it was disbanded in 1974.
Between 1961 and 1974, five U2 aircraft were shot down by Chinese air defense, with three pilots killed and two captured.
In addition, six pilots were killed in training missions and one died while performing a mission off the east coast of China.