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World's First Stainless Steel Airplane On Exhibit For About 80 Years Being Disassembled This Week

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's been seen by countless of passerby along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for about 80 years. Now, the stainless steel iconic object outside the Franklin Institute is being disassembled this week.

(credit: John McDevitt)

After a toast, the go-ahead was given to operator of a giant crane to lift the iconic Budd BB1 Pioneer aircraft off of its exhibit base and onto the front lawn of the Franklin Institute, where it will be disassembled before being hauled off for restoration.

Larry Dubinski, the president and CEO of the science museum, says, "The Budd plane is the world's first stainless steel airplane entirely designed and fabricated right here in Philadelphia by the Edward G. Budd. It was test flown in summer of 1932 proving that an all welded steel airplane was indeed possible."

After logging 1,700 flight time hours, the Budd company presented the plane to the Franklin institute in 1935.

The Budd was renovated once before in 1969. This renovation is expected to take about a year.

(credit: John McDevitt)
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