Saturday, December 29, 2012

The US Air Force Museum - The Outside Displays

The Air Force Museum is big but unfortunately, it is not big enough.   There is still a handful of planes that are sitting outside.  They are working on building another hanger so that they can get these inside.  I think they are pretty close to raising the funds they need.
 The C-141 Starlifter represents one of the earlier jet cargo planes used by the Air Force.  It was developed by Lockheed in the early 60's and saw service into the 90's.  It was replaced by the C-17 and supplemented by the C-5.
 This particular plane is painted in the colors of one of the planes that was used to return POW's from Hanoi.
 I'm not sure what kind of plane this is, but I've seen pictures of them with skis instead of wheels.  Given the weather yesterday, that would have been more fitting.
 The venerable C-130 Hercules.  This plane was developed in the 1950's and a variant is still in service today.  Until they find a plane with the short field capability, it is likely this will still see service for a while.
 Another C-130.
 This is a KC-135 that was used to develop an airborne laser.  In the 1980's, Ronald Reagan proposed the Star Wars system which was intended to be a system that would protect the United States in the event of a nuclear attack.  There would have been many components of this system and one of them would have been lasers mounted on satellites that would shoot down the missiles as they were launched.  A greatly reduced version of this system is being fielded now.
 The C-17.  This plane was developed by McDonnell Douglas as a replacement for the C-141.  I believe it is capable of carrying an M-1 Abrams.
 This railcar was designed as a basing idea for the M-X missile.  There was a proposal that some of these would be based at Wurtsmith Air Force Base but the collapse of the Soviet Union brought that to a halt.  It is kind of troubling to think that these missiles would have been wandering around but on the other hand, it lessened their odds of getting taken out in a first strike.
 Another angle of the C-130.
 A closeup shot of the C-141.  You can see hints of why they would like to get this indoors.
 A side shot of the C-141.
I didn't see the F-16 display in the main part of the museum, so I leave you with a picture of model.

As you know, I'm a huge plane buff and I'm kind of amazed that I've waited this long to go back to the Air Force Museum.  Once again, I wasn't down there in time to get to the Presidential Hangar, so I will have to make that a priority this year.  Also, I didn't make it to the Wright Brothers site nearby, so I may have to make a weekend out of it.

1 comment:

Christopher List said...

Glad to see you getting back to photographing something other than ships. I'd have liked to go with you, and with my new camera could have gotten better pictures than I did the last time we were there.