Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Visit to the US Air Force Museum

After going to the Eastern-Miami game, we got a hotel down there.  On the day after, we headed over to the Air Force Museum.  It's been a couple years since I've been there.  I was hoping to get there early enough to go over to the Presidential Hangar but sadly they have that closed while they are transferring those planes to the new exhibit hall.  That will be opening next summer, so I will finally get to see them again after years of not seeing them.
 This time, I decided to start with the Air Park outside.  This is another thing I miss as I look at the main museum first and usually don't feel like walking around this.  Anyway, it is kind of nice to get pictures of planes in natural light.
This is the C-60A Lodestar which I think is Lockheed's answer to the DC-3.
 A Northrop YC-125B Raider.  This is military version of the Northrop N-23 Pioneer.  It first flew in 1949 and used for rescue.
 The AC-130 Spectre which is a gunship.
 A Boeing C-17.  I believe this one was used to test the aircraft.  This aircraft was used to replace the C-141.
 This is a rail car that was going to be used as a way to base the MX/Peacekeeper Missile.  The idea was that if there were tensions between the US and Soviet Union, these would be set out on the rails in an effort to spread them around.  It would be pulled by two engines and there would be a command car, launch car and security car.  They would be painted to look like normal box cars so that they wouldn't stand out.  The program was cancelled with the end of the Cold War.
 Between the parking lot and the museum is a memorial part.  There are various monuments to the different units that were a part of the Air Force (Either Army Air Force or Air Force).  Some of them are pretty cool looking like this one which is dedicated to the men that service in China, Burma or India during World War II.
 I kind of liked this one too.
 This one was dedicated to a P-51 unit.
 This one was dedicated to the men who flew the B-26 Marauder.  In front of it there was a stone that looked like the crosshairs of a bomb-sight.
 This is an early model of one of the Wright Flyers but not the one that flew at Kitty Hawk.
 This is a Spad which was one of the first combat planes used by the United States.
 I don't remember what this plane was.
 A barrage balloon.
 This is a P-26 Peashooter and I think this was one of the first monoplanes.  It might also have been one of the first all-metal planes.
 This is a Hawker Hurricane.  While not as glamorous as the Spitfire, it was a very effective aircraft.
 I think this was a Brewster Buffalo which was one of the early war aircraft.  It was obsolete prior to the US entry into the war.
 The P-40 Warhawk.
 The B-25 Mitchell bomber was used in the Doolittle Raid.  Eighteen B-25's were launched off the deck of the USS Hornet in 1942.  They were used to hit various targets in Tokyo and Yokohama.  The raid inflicted some damage but nothing serious.  It was a strategic success as it led to the Battle of Midway.
 A Spitfire wearing American colors.
 The B-24 was a very effective bomber and versions of it were built here at the Willow Run Assembly Plant.  I'm not sure if this one was though.
 A P-47 Thunderbolt.
 The B-17 Flying Fortress.  This was probably the more famous bomber of the war.
 The P-51 Mustang was probably the most famous and the most successful fighter design of the war. 
 The FW-190 was the improved German fighter.
 The Me-262 was the first operational jet.  It was never produced in sufficient quantities to turn the tide of the war.  Because Germany had a tough time getting some of the materials required for high temperature steel, the engines had a very short lifespan.
 The PBY Catalina.
 A B-29 Superfortress.  This particular one was used to drop the bomb on Nagasaki.
 A P-61 Black Widow.
 An F-101 Voodoo.
 The UH-1 Huey which became the symbol of the Vietnam War.
 I think this was a Sikorsky Sea King.
 A Caribou.
 The MiG-21.
 An F-4 Phantom.  This particular one was painted to look like one of the aces of the ar.
 An A-7 Corsair II.
 The B-52 Superfortress.
 An F-22 Lightning.  I think this particular one was used to test the plane.
 I think this is a Thunderstreak.
 An F-84 Sabrejet.  This plane was made famous by the Korean War.  While not as fast or maneuverable as its main Russian built adversary, it's pilots were more capable.
 The nose of a B-36 Peacekeeper.  This particular plane was designed so that it could attack Germany from the mainland US in case Britain was knocked out of the war.  It never saw service during World War II but it was used in the immediate post war period.  It was soon replaced by jet bombers.
 A Grumman Duck.
 The B-58 Hustler was the first jet bomber designed to go Mach II and it was a pretty cool aircraft.
 The cockpit.
 An F-102.
 And the F-106.
 The Tornado.
 A B-1 Bomber.
 A MiG-29.
 This was the nose art from a B-52G bomber which was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB in Oscoda, Michigan.
 This is a recreation of a missile command module.  Fortunately this scene never played out.
 The three versions of the Minuteman missile.
 The SR-71 Blackbird.
 A memorial the Air Force Medal of Honor recipients.
And an F-15 Eagle.

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