The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. unveiled a special limited exhibition today in honor of April Fools’ Day that was sure to delight comic book fans and lovers of a good joke alike: Wonder Woman‘s famous invisible jet.
The iconic aircraft that DC Comics’ legendary Amazonian superhero used for transportation was displayed in the museum’s Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall; in order to make enough room, both SpaceShip One and Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” had to be temporarily relocated. Museum staff also had to take certain steps to ensure the exhibit was a resounding success.
You can see a video about the display below.
Beth Wilson, a specialist in the museum’s Education Division, said:
â€œThe trick for the National Air and Space Museum was to display the plane in its jet formation. The plane has only been displayed publicly in the propeller configuration. The new design was made possible by the planeâ€™s shape-shifting properties. Although The Museum of Flight staff was concerned about this formation change, they worked with our conservation staff so that the shift was safe and temporary.”
Here’s a shot of the jet being hung in its proper formation by the Smithsonian’s dedicated staff. Photo courtesy of Marty Kelsey:
It was noted that the invisible jet was on loan from Seattle’s Museum of Flight, which has possessed it since April 2013 â€œwith help from Lieutenant Diana Prince”, as well as the Friends of the Princess Diana of Themyscira Society. The exhibit has long been a favored project for museum curator Bob van der Linden, who commented, “â€œThereâ€™s nothing that would make my daughter happier than to bring Wonder Womanâ€™s invisible plane back to Washington, DC, if only for a very short time.”
The Smithsonian went the whole nine yards in promoting the exhibit, creating the video below and an article posting on their official website:
The plane was originally housed in an undisclosed location near Washington, DC from about 1941 to the early 1970s. In 1975, the plane was moved to another location in Southern California where it stayed until 1979. After 1979, the jet went missing. It was through the careful work of The Museum of Flight staff and former Army nurse Lieutenant Diana Prince that the plane was finally discovered on a quiet estate in Potomac, Maryland in 2012. After the discovery, The Museum of Flight moved the plane to Seattle where it went on display in April of 2013.
The jet is well ahead of its time. It used stealth technologies in the 1950s long before the Lockheed YF-12A and the SR-71 Blackbird were introduced. The engines on this plane allowed Wonder Woman to travel through space. Keep in mind that NASAâ€™s North American X-15 took the United States to the edge of space in the 1960s, but it was Amazonian technology that had Wonder Woman traveling into deep space in the 1950s.
The invisible jet would only be on display on April 1, 2015, and since the museum is probably closed now those of us who missed out on this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition can kick each other between the back pockets as we bemoan the golden opportunity so callously taken for granted. Nice going, slackers.