(Once again, a reminder that you can enlarge any image by clicking on it)
The last blog was cut short when the host, WordPress, informed me that I had used up all my cyber bits and bytes. I had to purchase a business-grade subscription. I was delighted to hear from several subscribers who wanted a part 2. So, now I’ll now finish my photo essay on this wonderful aviation museum. No matter how many photos I post, it is impossible to portray the enormity of this incredible display.
Oh those Russians! There is an amazing number of Russian equipment on display. We tend to forget that the Russians have always been a forerunner in aviation and space technology. These copper borscht kettles are enormous.
I remember Yuri. he followed monkeys into space. They all survived their flights.
Nice ride Yuri!
A pointed relic of the cold war.
“Oof, it must’ve been something I ate!” “Aw quit your whining and get back in here. It smells fine inside my suit.”
Sikorskys in a row. I have bent wrenches on the two types on the right, an S-55 and an S-58
An S-56. This was a new one on me. It is described as the world’s first heavy-lift helicopter introduced during the Korean War. What a pig it would have been to fly! Note the little girl at the tail. I could just reach the white band on the lowest tail rotor blade. Now let’s clear something up. If you go to U-tube and look up Nazi helicopters, you’ll learn that the Germans had heavy-lift helicopters in the late 1930s! There are films of them flying artillery field pieces. So…fake news? Uh huh!
Remember the Jetson cartoon of the ’60s and the notion of personal commuter aircraft? This is a McCulloch J2 autogyro from that era. It is, apparently, still available from a Nevada builder now as the Pegasus III. At the same time, in Canada, a similar aircraft was produced called the Avian Gyroplane. Despite government subsidies it followed the dodo bird south, just like the Avro Arrow. Today, with some wonderful composite plastic materials available, there are several new-gen gyro products being built. I’ve always wanted one.
The flying lawn chair. This is a home-built Benson autogyro. Plans and kits are still available. I flew one once. That was enough…no airbags! The 2-stroke McCulloch engine on the back was used in WWII target drones.
Of course! The military explores all the angles. “I just dropped in to see if you have any hand grenades.”
A Piasecki Vertol H-21. I have some personal experience helping repair these clatter boxes. Introduced the 1950’s, they were being surplused out from the military by the mid-sixties.. With a metal fuselage, they still twirled wooden rotors.
A Piasecki HRP1 from 1944. With wooden rotors and fabric over tube fuselages, it would take one brave soldier to go for a ride into battle in one of these.
Remember the 1954 film ‘The Bridges At Toko Ri’? Mickey Rooney played the pilot of one of these rescue machines. It is a Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly.
The office, full of steam gauges and switches. This is the cockpit of an F4 Phantom. Imagine having an intimate knowledge of every item there so you could invade the steaming skies of Vietnam while trying to evade a herd of Mig fighters trying to blow some smoke up your bottom. Today’s fighters have a full electronic display and lots of computers to help you make it all work.
The F4 Phantom
Jet fighters are everywhere, inside and out. I lost track. This is an F84 Thunderchief.
One of the engines from the SR71 Blackbird which could fling it at up to several times the speed of sound and to 70,000′. The huge evil-looking black beast carried cameras.
The SR71 looks like an angel of death from every angle. I prefer biplanes.
I kept wondering how the museum acquires all these items. It is amazing how billions of dollars in military assets are relegated to the scrap heap.10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- Gone!
Even the humble Piper J3 Cub, all 65 horsepower of it was turned into a weapon called the ‘Grasshopper.’ A light observation aircraft, someone figured out how to lash bazookas to the wings.
The Cessna 337 was similarly employed during the Vietnam conflict.
I can’t take it anymore! A Skyraider, designed for stowage aboard an aircraft carrier. That monster was flung off the deck with the aid of a steam catapult. It’s something I always wanted to do…as a passenger.
…To This! In a single century! Imagine if we had applied the same diligence and resources to eliminating war, starvation, malnutrition, and disease. What if we presented God as being on everyone’s side? We would not need all those war toys. It is all a matter of choices and the first should be to overcome our insatiable craving for possession and control.
Finally, I could take no more. The photos in this and the previous blog are by no means all of which I took. Outside there was more. Scrap heaps of parts and engines sit randomly in the dirt and pouring rain.
Like my headers? A corn-cob radial anguishes out in the weather.
The drip! I could not resist this parting shot of the hand of the bronze statue of the museum founder.