The Town Center Community Alliance (Alliance), nonprofit partner of the Town Center Community Improvement District (CID), has completed the installation of a restored and refurbished 1964 Beechcraft A-23 Musketeer airplane at Aviation Park. Several partners contributed to making this project a reality. The plane was donated to the Alliance by Hawthorne Aviation, then restored by DLK Aviation Incorporated. Engineering, design, and installation was provided by DeNyse; other partners include Fly LBI, Priority Jet, and Brahma Marketing.
Tracy Rathbone Styf, executive director of the Town Center CID, states, “The plane installation has been a project more than two years in the making and is the first phase of our S.T.E.M. educational exhibit. Seeing the plane in the air makes us even more eager to complete the remaining exhibits at Aviation Park and further share the rich history of aviation throughout Cobb County.”
The custom tail number for the plane is “N20RYY” which is consistent with industry standards for naming similar planes. The prefix, “N”, stands for its country of origin which, in this case, is the United States of America. Typically followed by numbers, the number “20” was selected to commemorate the year of installation. Lastly, the final letters, “RYY”, reflect the three-letter airport code for Cobb County International Airport.
Aviation Park was opened in 2017 and is located adjacent to Cobb County International Airport’s runway and alongside the Noonday Creek Trail. The three-acre park was a collective enterprise between the Alliance, the Town Center CID and Cobb County to convert under-utilized vacant property into a themed environment for all ages to enjoy. The park includes a spacious open greenspace for viewing aircraft take offs and landings, a covered pavilion for picnicking, a lighted parking lot, and restroom facilities housed in a building to mimic the air traffic control tower at the airport. The state-of-the-art, aviation-themed playground is enhanced with S.T.E.M. related playground equipment which allows youth to combine electronic games and healthy outdoor, physical play.
Jennifer Hogan, director of the Alliance, states, “We are thrilled to see this project complete and are so grateful to the many partners that helped make it happen. Everything about this project from the tail number to the direction and orientation of the installed plane has been very intentional. Having this plane installed sets the stage for the remainder of the planned exhibits at the park.”
This plane serves as the centerpiece in the anchor exhibit of the Alliance’s plan to activate Aviation Park. Developed by Kennesaw State University’s Department of Museums, Archives, and Rare Books, a series of historical and educational exhibits will be installed. These installations will incorporate elements of art, S.T.E.M. education, recreation and fun. Once complete, Phase II will enable visitors to explore the past and present of the aviation industry both locally and within the greater region.
Learn more about the coming exhibits and explore opportunities to get involved on the Alliance’s website, www.towncentercid.com/alliance/alliance-programs/.
About the Town Center Community Alliance
Established by the Town Center CID in 2015, the Town Center Community Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to shaping the future of Town Center by supporting and funding beautification, greenspace and other quality of life initiatives that help foster a sense of place within the district. The Alliance seeks to preserve and enhance the area’s natural beauty while creating opportunities for outdoor recreation by developing parks, trails, landscapes, artwork displays and other quality of life initiatives.
About Town Center CID
Founded in 1997, the Town CID is dedicated to the betterment of the Town Center area through transportation infrastructure, safety improvements, beautification and other projects that enhance property value by increasing interest and investment in the community. The Town Center CID utilizes funds from voluntary commercial real estate taxes to implement its projects. For more information, please visit www.towncentercid.com.