| The municipal initiative, framed in the "San Javier, Ciudad del Aire" project, proposes a route marked out by replicas of the planes that make up the history of aviation in the municipality | The Colón promenade in Santiago de la Ribera today houses the Tiflológico Aeronautical Museum, MAT, which opens with the first five aircraft that flew over the skies of the Mar Menor since the creation in 1920 of the Aeronaval Base converted into the General Air Academy in 1943 , to the present.
The museum, adapted to people with visual or hearing disabilities, through touch, the incorporation of the braille system and an application for mobile devices, stretches on the seafront from the start with the AGA to the Yacht Club, from where it is planned to continue growing with new replicas of aircraft related to the AGA and the municipality of San Javier. The Aeronautical Tiflological Museum is the spearhead of the project "San Javier, Ciudad del Aire" with which the municipality wants "to enhance its historical relationship with Aviation as a hallmark," said Mayor José Miguel Luengo during the inauguration of this morning of the municipal initiative coordinated by Councilor Rubén Pérez, former head of the Águila Patrol.
The inauguration was attended by the Minister of Tourism, Cristina Sánchez, who thanked the City Council for its commitment "to enrich our destination with a new tourist attraction", and the president of the ONCE, Ángel Sánchez, who after experiencing first-hand the visit to the Museo described it as "an example of integration, which I hope will spread throughout the rest of the country." The Air Force,that collaborates with the City Council with the implementation of the project "San Javier, Ciudad del Aire", was represented by the Defense Delegate, Colonel José Ignacio Marí and the Colonel Director of the AGA, Manuel de la Chica. The tour of the Museum begins with a replica of the Dornier J "Wal" seaplane, belonging to the time of the Aeronaval Base (1920-1939), which was the first aircraft to reach the North Pole and with which the Spanish Ramón Franco, Julio Ruiz de Alda, Pablo Rada and Juan Manuel Durán crossed the South Atlantic.
It is followed by the Beechcraft T-34 "Mentor" that arrived at the AGA in 1858 with which King Juan Carlos I was trained as a pilot and curiously also his son, King Felipe VI in the last year of service of this model, in 1989.
The sample includes the North American T-6 "Texan" advanced education aircraft that was in service at AGA until 1982 when it was replaced by the C-101.
At that time the Hispanic plane Ha-200 "Saeta" also flew over the Mar Menor,the first jet aircraft manufactured in Spain that was operational between 1962 and 1981.
The first series of aircraft is completed by the best known, the CASA C-101 "Mirlo", considered an excellent flight trainer, whose technical characteristics gave rise to a group of teachers to create in 1985 an acrobatic group called the Eagle Patrol, which 35 years later represents the Air Force worldwide. All the models include a bench designed to collect the essence of each of the planes, reproducing the color and aeronautical cockade that characterizes them visually.
In addition, at the height of the Barnuevo esplanade a family photoshop has been installed as a tribute to the Eagle Patrol.
The start of the tour includes an explanatory panel of the entire exhibition in which each model has a brief legend that can be expanded through a QR code system that is easy to install on a mobile device that works as an audio guide, including additional information on the history of Aviation and the municipality of San Javier. After a tour of the Paseo Colón, an institutional event was held on the terrace of the Nautical Club in which the mayor Rubén Pérez highlighted the exciting challenge of working "so that San Javier is a pole of tourist, cultural, educational and industrial attraction and economic around the aeronautics taking advantage of the connection of the municipality with the aviation for a century ".
The Open Air Museum, which also includes themed streets, parks and public spaces, is one of the pillars of the project that also aims to have a living Museum, based on the installation of the collection of classic aircraft of the Infante de Orleans Foundation that would entail the development of technical studies and an aeronautical industry in the municipality.All this accompanied by an annual calendar of events such as air festivals and others related to aviation. The mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo highlighted the effort and enthusiasm that is being put into the development of this project "with which we are recovering our history and putting in value that close relationship that Sanjaviereños feel with aviation and with the AGA to make it a hallmark and a generator of opportunities ".
José Miguel Luengo thanked the presence of the director of the Infante de Orleans Foundation, Carlos Valle, with whom he announced a subsequent technical visit to the facilities of the old terminal of the San Javier Airport, which was joined by the director of the Presidency, Javier Celdrán , on the occasion of the possible installation of the FIO aircraft collection and other possible services.
Luengo also carried out other initiatives that will complete the "San Javier,Ciudad del Aire ", such as the Aeronautical Cultural Center that would be accessed from the beginning of the walk inside the AGA compound dedicated to the Eagle Patrol and permanent funds of the military institution or the theme park on aviation and new green lung for Santiago de la Ribera with more than 200,000 square meters in the center of the town.
Source: Ayuntamiento de San Javier