The Odyssey Part 2

Only a week to go before I get home and having a bit of a vege day today to build up energy levels again…in my travels, I achieved a couple of personal goals in getting aboard a for-real battleship and visiting the USAF Museum at Dayton, Ohio…getting to also visit the Olympia was an expected bonus…so for train-spotters here are links to photos if they are of any interest…

USS Jersey from USS Olympia (click for slideshow)

Martin B-10 (click for Early Days and WW2 slideshow)

Douglas C-124 Globemaster Day 2 Part 1…(click for slideshow – mainly Vietnam, Cold War and Modern Halls)

Douglas C-133 Day 2 Part 2 (click for slideshow…mainly Vietnam, Cold War and Modern Halls = Missile Wing)

Fisher P-75 Day 3 (click for slideshow of R&D Hall)

The National Museum of the USAF (to give it its full title) is am impressive resource that takes at least two days to work through if you have any interest whatsoever in aircraft or aviation history…if you are not driving, then you will need to stay at the Comfort Suites Wright-Patterson as that is the only off-base accommodation that is within walking distance of the museum…foreign nationals will need their passport in order to get to the R&D and Presidential Halls, US citizens will need some official Government-issued ID and DoD employees may go directly there if they have their ID. The rest of the Museum is freely accessible.

A lesson learned on photography inside the Museum: the lighting is quite dim to protect the exhibits, many of which have considerable historical significance…unless you have a camera flash that resembles a small sun, the best way to go is to switch off your flash, set your camera to Auto and practice holding it real still…the only except is closeups of confined areas like undercarriage bays and jet pipes…because of this technique, some of the images are not as crisp as I would like but they are a big improvement on flash ‘assisted’ images…

I was really surprised by the natural metal finish on aircraft like the Fisher P-75 and Seversky P-35…it is actually very very shiny and modelling these on the shiny side of sheet tinfoil is actually truer to the original than the matt side…the XB-70 was the one aircraft that I really wanted to see in the flesh and so I was conflicted when I thought I might have to cut short my visit in order to go back DC for the CNAS conference on Thursday…’fortunately’ the cost of changing my travel proved prohibitive and I was able to get across to the R&D Hall on Wednesday. Because it is on the active part of the base, access is quite strictly controlled and visitors only have 50 minutes in which to cover both halls – don’t count on going back again the same day as often the trips book out early in the day – you also don’t want to run around the R&D Hall too quickly as most of the wings, pitot tubes and other nasty sticky-out bits are around eye-level…

And just for the lads at Hawkeye UAV

Douglas A-1E Skyraider in which MAJ Bernard Fisher won the Medal of Honor on 10 March 1966

3 thoughts on “The Odyssey Part 2

  1. These photo’s are Outstanding and Well done. It would be so neat to actually see them in person.


    • Thanks, Jackie, there are so many aircraft museums scattered across the US, I am sure that there would be at least one near you…for me, it is one thing to read about them and see pictures in a book or online, and quite another to see them ‘in the flesh’ as it were, especially those that have some historic significance or uniqueness…whether it is a ‘first’ or a uniqueness of some sort or simply that they are tied to a particular event: like the MH-53 helicopter at the museum I went to today which was one of the ones that did the initial insertion and recovery at Jonestown where it all went belly-up there in the early 80s…or the C-130 that was the very first to roll off the line in 1953 and which did such sterling service for your country until 1995…it makes me think of all it must have ‘seen’ and ‘done’…


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