WWII Aircraft at the National Museum of the US Air Force

Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pins to this page are okay. "B-17: Shoo Shoo SHOO, Baby!"

The Museum’s B-17: “Shoo Shoo SHOO, Baby!”

As promised, today we get to head back to the Air Force Museum in Dayton! Last week we looked at early aircraft and WWI planes; today I have planes from the second major conflict of the 20th century to share with you. Just as with my earlier post, if you’d like to learn more about a specific plane, just click on the photo; it’ll take you to the photo’s page on Flickr, where more often than not I’ve included information about each ship.

P-47D "Five By Five" photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

The P-47D “Five By Five”, one of my favourites—not least because of the song, but this Thunderbolt is good-looking, too.

Perhaps our only disappointment was one ship we missed: The world-famous Memphis Belle—the real thing, not an imitation, as anything you’ve seen at an airshow is very much not the real Memphis Belle—is at the Museum, being lovingly restored by the Air Force. She can only be viewed on Fridays, however, and you must register in order to visit. I hope to be able to do this soon (Hubby just needs to get a Friday off)! There are many imitation and mock-up Memphis Belles out there, but the real deal is right here in Ohio, after spending decades sitting in Tennessee. There’s a very good article about the Memphis Belle and the ongoing, years-long restoration (with some good photos) here.

Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay. "The Forgotten Ship"

The Bockscar: The Forgotten Ship

Do not let that lead you to believe there are no historically astounding aircraft more easily accessed at the Museum, however. Continue reading

The Early Years of aviation at the National Museum of the US Air Force

Sopwith Camel photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

Sopwith F-1 Camel

Recently my husband and I took a trip over to Dayton to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Neither of us had been there in many years, and certainly not since the Museum’s expansion. Thus we had no idea what to expect other than an enjoyable day looking at some beautiful aircraft and learning about the history of the USAF—quite good things on any day, really. The Museum can also boast of being the world’s oldest and largest (hey, this is America, kids!) military aviation museum, so we knew there’s be plenty to make the drive worthwhile.

Early Years gallery at the National Museum of the USAF. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay!

Welcome to the Early Years gallery! We actually went through the Museum a bit backwards. Still had fun, though.

Well! I’m happy and even eager to tell you that our expectations were vastly exceeded: The Museum is wonderfully arranged, full of fantastic ships and tons of history on the easy-to-read-even placards, and it’s a terrific way to spend a day (particularly a very, very cold winter’s day!).

O-47B

Sliver of the Museum’s O-47B, an observation ship developed in 1934.

Nor are they exaggerating about the size: Three gigantic hangars are filled with ships, and there’s also a missile & space gallery as well as an IMAX theatre, outdoor exhibits (it was too cold & windy for us to enjoy these during this trip) and a memorial park, as well as smaller galleries connecting each hangar. Continue reading

Terrific Photos of Russian Airplane Graveyard

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Via the UK Daily Mail come these marvellous photographs from an airplane graveyard in Russia. Photographer Alexio Marziano has done a truly fantastic job capturing these old Russkie birds—I just love his eye for detail, sense of perspective when taking the photos, and especially some of the playing around he did with depth of field. (Yes, yes, a fellow photographer after my own heart, I know. But he is very good! Keep reading!)

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The ships can be found in an Ulyanovsk field almost 600 miles away from Moscow in what is part museum, part-graveyard for the planes, jets and helicopters—including a Tu-144, the Soviet Union’s first and last supersonic passenger aircraft (the Tu-144 is, I believe, in the first photo I’ve featured in this post). High prices and repeated crashes of this particular plane led to its operating for only one year—not at all a good return on investment, and much, much worse, at the cost of several lives.

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Continue reading