Galileo Enters Restoration Phase

The Shuttlecraft Galileo has been moved from storage in Ohio, where it has been for 20+ years to Master Shipwrights, a professional boat restoration facility in New Jersey where it will undergo a massive, ground-up restoration.

The decision to use Master Shipwrights was two fold:

1)  It was decided a boat restorer was the perfect entity to restore the Galileo.  Galileo was built by Gene Winfield in the 1960s of wood on a metal frame.  A boat builder has expertise in working in these materials.

2)  We needed the Galileo restored in a facility close to Adam, who is undertaking the entire cost of the restoration by himself.  This way Adam can monitor the entire process

While the move itself from Ohio was uneventful, the Galileo, and Master Shipwrights were victims of Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York in October. Master Shipwrights facility was flooded with two feet of water.  Fortunately, Galileo was up on a trailer and was unaffected!  How terrible would it have been to make it through 45 years of travel and neglect to suffer a dismal fate in a hurricane?

 Master Shipwrights, owner Hans Mikaitis

Down to the metal frame as the wood gets replaced where needed.

Hans and his crew are working to a very high standard.  Recently, teh process of restoring the Galileo was reviewed by the curator of one of the largest air and space museums in the country and we were told Hans and his team were doing EXACTLY what a museum expects in a restoration of this type.  So you know Galileo is getting the treatment it deserves.

And Galileo was noted in a New York Times article naming the Galileo one of the top 10 most interesting items at auction in 2012.

More to come, so stay tuned!

Alec and Adam


By Steve Thomas

September 8, 1966…or “Stardate: 6609.8” if you will. A date that marks the television premiere of what would become an American icon in science fiction: “Star Trek”. So much of what came from that show is such a part of our society and of our planet, that’s it’s hard to imagine what things would be like if “Star Trek” had never been.
The iconic starship “USS Enterprise” was the ship that took our imaginations on a great ride. And aboard each version of the Enterprise there have been shuttlecrafts; and of them, the equally iconic “Galileo NCC-1701/7”.


In episode #13 “The Conscience of the King”, Kirk takes Lenore Karidian to the observation corridor that overlooks the hangar deck and refers to the shuttles there.

Though mentioned, the production couldn’t afford to build a shuttlecraft, which is why the transporter was so prominent. Transporter effects were inexpensive versus shuttle effects. In “The Enemy Within” (#5), Sulu and his landing party could’ve been easily saved by shuttle when the transporter (and apparently all transporters) was damaged.
Episode #14 “The Galileo Seven”, finally revealed this previously unseen aspect of the Enterprise. Production designer Walter “Matt” Jefferies, who designed the Enterprise, was asked to design a shuttlecraft. What he came up with was craft that was sleek, smooth and curved.
Its curvilinear lines were evocative of her mothership, but such lines also made it too costly to construct.  Jefferies also sketched ideas for other vehicles like this “Space Dock Utility Craft” (look familiar?):
Gene Winfield

At this point, things get interesting. The model company “AMT” offered to build the full-scale mock-up of the shuttle in trade for the model kit rights (AMT had the license for the Enterprise and Klingon ship models). They turned to custom car designer Gene Winfield, who was head of their “Speed & Custom Shop”.

“We built the [Star Trek] shuttlecraft, full-size shuttlecraft that was two separate units,” Winfield said. “One would be a complete exterior, full size. Then we built the complete interior. This interior had what we called ‘wild’ walls. What you do is you make the walls in four-foot sections on wheels so you can put up one wall and they could film the actors sitting on the seats and whatnot.

Matt Jeffries

Note that he says “built” the shuttle, not “designed” and built. There apparently was some connection with AMT and/or Gene Winfield with industrial designer Thomas Kellogg. He is known for designing the Studebaker “Avanti” – its front end styling similar to the Galileo’s front end).  Here is his shuttle design:


It should be noted that in an interview, Matt Jefferies says that Winfield designed the shuttle, but Thomas Kellogg’s obituary also states the he designed the shuttle. I believe it was a collaborative effort, with Jefferies “utility vehicle” selected as a base design by Kellogg, who was working under Winfield; and Jefferies putting the finishing touches on that design. Winfield’s department constructed the finished design.

Were Jefferies original design built, the Galileo would’ve looked mostly like this 3-D model by Vance Bergstrom:

AMT’s offer to build the shuttle allowed the production to go ahead with “The Galileo Seven” episode. Here are pics of the Galileo under construction at AMT Phoenix.


By Steve Thomas
The final design of the Shuttlecraft shows a sleek craft that does not allow occupants the headroom to stand up fully (unless you’re under 5-1/2 feet tall). This was intentional as the shuttle was intended to be a compact vehicle, kind of like a mini-van. However, for “The Galileo Seven” episode, it was elected to build (also by AMT) a stand-up interior for best dramatic effect. The rear compartment is larger and even included a magical second hatch not seen on the exterior!
Compare these screencaps with Leonard Nimoy (6’-1”) inside the interior shuttle set, and Mark Lenard (6’) outside the door of the mock-up.
These are the drawings of the finished shuttle by Franz Joseph (Schnaubelt), of the infamous “Star Fleet Technical Manual” and “Constitution Class Blueprints.

 The Galileo model kit actually came out in 1974, 5 years after Star Trek was cancelled! The entire line of “Star Trek” models would prove to be very profitable for AMT!

In the series, the Galileo was “destroyed” in “The Galileo Seven” episode, but returned in “The Doomsday Machine” (#35-presumably), “Metamorphosis” (#38), “Journey to Babel (#39) and “Immunity Syndrome” (#47- where it was destroyed again). It appeared as the “Galileo II” in the third season episode “Way to Eden” (#75). It was easier and inexpensive to paint “II” on the mock up than re-letter a new name and designation; but because of the continuity overlook of its second destruction, it should have been “Galileo II” in “Metamorphosis” and “Galileo III” in “Way to Eden”.
After 3 seasons, Star Trek was canceled in 1969. Paramount donated the shuttle mock up to “The Braille Institute” in Los Angeles, where it was used as a plaything for the young students. However, because of safety concerns, they sold it to Roger Hiseman of Palos Verdes, who wanted it for his older son. For whatever the reason, Mr. Hiseman kept the shuttle in his front yard, where it was considered an eyesore by his neighbors.
They petitioned that it be removed, and luckily for the owner, a man named Stephen Haskins bought the shuttle from him. Mr. Haskins paid about $8500 to restore the Galileo and in 1986, it was unveiled and displayed at the California “Creation” Convention celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Star Trek”.
When not on display, the Galileo was stored in the open (!), uncovered and exposed to the elements. She was restored twice more, but ultimately left to ruin, physical damage and at some point, it was even filled with sand! Here she rots amongst old RVs and busses in California.

In 1989 for $3000, the Galileo was purchased by Lynne Miller of Akron, Ohio. Her plan was to restore the shuttle once again; ultimately to display it at the National Air & Space Museum alongside the shooting model of the Enterprise. To help raise money for the project, she displayed the shuttle at the “LaGrangeCon” convention in Cleveland, sponsored by the Akron chapter of STARFLEET, the International Star Trek Fan Association, called the “USS LaGrange” and Vulkon conventions.

Commemorative t-shirts were sold to raise funds, and con attendees could see the Galileo and the beginnings of her restoration under a tent outside of the con hotel.

Members of her restoration team included Tim Gillespie and William “Buck” Krause. They along with Lynne are members of the USS Lagrange. Here’s a video put together by the “Galileo Restoration” team, documenting her condition before her transport to Ohio, and showing the start of her restoration.

Galileo Restoration Team

Here are pictures of the Galileo kept and worked on in a hangar at the Akron-Canton Airport in 1992. The 2nd pic shows prop-maker Ed Miarecki (l) visiting with restoration team members Buck Krause (c) and Tim Homa (r).

In 1993, the owner and her restoration team had a falling out and parted ways. Not much was known as to the condition of the Galileo after the parting. She was moved from the Akron airport as the hangar property was sold and the hangar demolished. After that, the Galileo’s location was a mystery.
In 2009 on the “Hobbytalk” forum, Phil Broad, who is a Galileo aficionado with an excellent site dedicated to the shuttle, “”, related these details about the Galileo:
“The woman who owned it had it moved to a sand blasting company in Akron, Ohio. She wanted to have some work done on it but eventually it became clear to the owner of the company that she was not coming back, they never heard from her again and could not reach her via the phone number she left with them.
The mock up sat in their storage yard for over 5 years with no one coming forward to claim it. Finally, I was contacted by a local fan who stumbled across it by accident when he went to that company and who suggested that it needed to be “rescued”. Well, he was right but there were so many issues and costs involved that I could not see any practical way to do it.
Last year the company went out of business and their property was cleared out, the Shuttlecraft disappeared at this time. It is not known if the original owner came and got it or if some other fans rescued it or if it was bulldozed. More than likely it was demolished.”
With this discovery, I contacted Tim Gillespie of the restoration team and who lived near the yard, to try to find out more. Tim went out to the yard, and verified that it was no longer there. I’m hoping it may have been taken by someone who recognized what it was, or possibly that it was reclaimed by the owner. Attempts to date to find the owner have failed. At this point I believe once the owner is found, she will be able to reveal if she still has it, sold it, or if it was abandoned and left for trash. I and many others hope it wasn’t trashed.
Recently, on Doug Drexler’s blog “Drexfiles”, Tim Gillespie posted the following in response to a poster who suggested her restoration was “mishandled” by the “USS LaGrange” club. He also supplies details about how the restoration team and owner Lynne Miller parted ways.
This may be a bit late but I want to clarify something concerning the USS Lagrange and the restoration of the Galileo Shuttlecraft.
The Galileo was the sole property of Lynne Miller. Although some chapter members assisted Lynne from time to time and two of our members were handling the actual restoration, all the decisions regarding the shuttle were in the hands of Lynne. As club president at the time (and knowing Lynne as I did), I insisted that anything regarding the shuttle was done purely at Lynne’s discretion and not as an “official” Lagrange project. Lynne was a very difficult person to deal with and when the inevitable problems arose (and they did) I didn’t want any fingers pointed at the chapter. To suggest that the Lagrange “mishandled” the Galileo is completely wrong. We neither owned it nor did we make any decisions regarding it. Whatever happened to the Galileo was completely the responsibility of Lynne Miller.
Personally, I haven’t seen Lynne Miller since 1998 when I left Trek fandom for good. If I had to guess, the Galileo no longer exists or it is in such disrepair that it is no longer salvageable. It was not something you could move around easily and required constant upkeep. Bill and Tom, when they gave up the project due to problems with Lynne, had completed most of the restoration of the main hull. Bill Krause is probably one of the most talented and meticulous people you could ever hope to meet and I assure you what they did with the restoration was first class. However, if this thing has been hauled around from location to location and left outside for any length of time without proper storage, it’s just not going to hold up. You have to remember that it was a prop – meant to be used on a soundstage and then discarded. It wasn’t built to withstand California sandstorms and Ohio winters. The guys did the best they could with it under difficult conditions but God only knows what has happened to it in the last 13 years. I know how much such an iconic piece of Trek history means to many out there, but actually owning this white elephant, if it exists, would be a huge, major undertaking – a veritable money pit, if you will.
Sorry about rambling on so much, but I get a bit touchy when someone disses the’ol Lagrange (not to be confused with the ‘current’ Lagrange).
Star Trek screencaps –
Matt Jefferies drawings – “Forgotten Trek” Frank Ottens
Matt Jefferies pic –
Gene Winfield pic and quote –
Thomas Kellog pic –
Thomas Kellogg shuttle drawing – “Forgotten Trek”
AMT shuttle construction pics – Phil Broad
AMT Galileo, Klingon & Enterprise model box covers – Internet
Shuttle blueprint drawings – “Star Fleet Technical Manual” by Franz Joseph (Internet)
Galileo in Roger Hiseman’s yard – from Roger Romage
Galileo in junk lot – Phil Broad
Galileo at “LaGrangecon” – Greg Tyler –


Bill Krause led the previous restoration team, and here is his review of the story after the Galileo left California in 1991:

In the summer of 1991 a private owner from Akron, Ohio had purchased and shipped the prop from the desert storage lot in Palm Springs to an aircraft hanger in Akron via a flat bed truck. Tom Wilson and myself were hired from the outset to recondition the prop (mainly just the repaint and lettering) – before we had seen the actual state of the craft when it arrived. Upon inspection, it was clear that a total restoration was necessary. It had been stored outside since its release from the studio many years earlier and time, weather and abuse had taken its toll on the mostly wooden prop. It was apparent that several previous restorations had been attempted in areas – but were mainly cosmetic. Luckily – the main framework had been left untouched.

In September of 1991 – the Galileo began a two-year project to methodically restore her to studio-original condition. The wood framework was stripped and replaced from bow to stern, the metal frame blasted and re-primed, the exterior panels re-cut and mounted in marine-grade plywood, new floorboards installed in the interior. The work was staggering, but necessary – the woodwork was totally decayed and structurally unsound.

The port side panel (masonite original) from just above the main door all the way back to the stern and just above the port wing/nacelle was left original. The stern was also in fairly good condition with the exception of the impulse engine area which was completely gone along with the roof. The owner had also contracted Gene Winfield (the original builder) to fabricate some new pieces. Two new plexi nacelle domes (clear) and the metal baffle shrouds were received the following year. An hurried attempt to make her presentable for the local convention (LagrangeCon 91) was her last public appearance to my knowledge.

Work continued on when we moved the craft to its own private hanger at Akron-Canton airport. Both nacelles were constructed almost entirely in steel and extremely heavy. They were transported individually from the main hull and remained that way in the hanger while work progressed. They were designed to be easily removed and replaced and basically slid into position on several steel pins (in the wing root area). The door mechanism was pretty complex and was fabricated from desk parts – mainly the track system for the upper door halves. The lower door/porch was opened by an operator inside using a large steel lever. There was never any intention of building an interior since this almost-full scale prop never had one. Outside of possibly carpeting the floor and dressing the interior wall opposite the hatch, the port side interior was all door mechanism and track. You could not stand upright inside the craft. If one were to be built – that was a later concern. One the trickiest areas to rebuild was the impulse deck – luckily what remained of the delicate lower lip provided enough patterns to reconstruct it.

By September 1993, the two man team was exhausted and the owner short on funds. The Galileo was was brought back to about 85% completed and a stone’s throw from seeing it rolled out in a fresh coat of paint and detailed out with its 1701/7 lettering. We parted company when the owner began discussions with another party interested in purchasing and or finishing it off.

Bill’s Facebook photos of the Restoration work his team did is here.

The Video from the Original Restoration in he 1990’s