Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the tag “National Museum of the US Air Force”

National Museum of the US Air Force

2/3rds of the way in from my parking space, the lobby of the museum beckons. Hangar one is on the right.

You may find this delayed post to be worthwhile. Just south of Dayton Ohio, this museum is certainly the best aircraft museum I’ve ever seen and, just as certainly, the most expansive. I got there at noon on July 3rd, and although every car parking slot was filled, the RV section a quarter of a mile away at the outskirts still had spaces. What a mob! Plus, groups of cadets were assembled outside in an area peppered with stone markers dedicated to the various Air Force and Air Corps units who served during wars. The lobby was bustling but not unduly so. Once in hanger one, no issues. Plenty of acreage for everybody.

I’ll begin near the beginning. This is a Wright Military Flyer replica (1955) of the one that first flew in 1909. The Wrights first flew in 1903 and that is considered by most to be the first truly controlled flight, as opposed to momentary hops off the ground. It used wing warping instead of ailerons to control side-to-side tilt, a feature which has been reinvented in much more recent aircraft. They were the first to create a practical means of 3-axis control, making fixed-wing flight practical. This was flown for two years by the US Army for two years as a flight trainer. It crashed and was rebuilt several times before it was retired and replaced by what would become more conventional designs.

Let me just sum it up: incredible. There are four extremely large hangars packed with aircraft, both on the concrete and suspended by wire overhead. When I say extremely large, I mean that they had a B-52 bomber packed into hanger one, along with many other large bombers and cargo planes, no sweat. Somehow, even the fighters seemed larger than they do when Read more…

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