ad_exia: (Bombers (art))
[personal profile] ad_exia
All right! Since I have a couple of other things I'd like to journal about in the near future, let me get this post up so I can do that! (Yeah, don't ask, it makes sense in my head.)

Finally, the long-awaited (okay, not really) promised pictures of planes! These were taken at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ. I've just included some of the coolest ones here, and the rest are in my photobucket album.

Basically, the museum is made up of a number of hangars and then a huge expanse of outdoor space, and the collection totals over 400 planes. I don't think we even looked at them all, and we certainly didn't get to read all the signage, though the museum's website conveniently has information about every single plane there, so I can go back and read up on the really interesting ones. To begin with, you walk from the ticket counter/gift shop right into the first hangar...

Where they have a Blackbird! I never got to see the one at the Smithsonian (we never made it to their hangars), so that was pretty neat, walking into the first hangar and there it was!

Of course, all I could think was, Insert Xavier & Magneto here:

F-14 Tomcat, a la Top Gun:

Nuclear missile!

Russian MiG:

And on to my favorite part, the B-17! I've been reading this historical fiction series and a number of characters in it are bomber pilots who fly B-17s. So while the author has given some really great detailed descriptions of the planes, it was fabulous to get to walk into a room with an actual B-17 and get a real feel for how it's laid out and how the space really works inside of it. Plus, when we walked into the 390th Memorial building to look at the bomber, the docent there was one of the men who actually flew these planes! We must have spent 20-30 minutes talking to him, and he even wrote a memoir which I purchased, because I love reading the firsthand stories and now that I've read those books, I'm starting to get more interested in WWII aviation (which I admit I still know woefully little about). So I'm really looking forward to reading his book - I even got it autographed by the author! ;D As we were leaving, the other docent laughed and said to him, "Got another one, eh?" - but I think he meant it playfully, since the couple that was talking to the pilot before us bought his book as well. Either that or he's just so charismatic he can get all the young kids these days to buy his book. XD Good on him, either way?

One of the two B-52's used in the X-15 program:

And! Moving up in the war world: the B-24!

Norden bombsight~ Again, this was in those books I was reading and now I know what the thing looks like!

And the B-29 superfort - this is one of the planes that flew overhead on V-J day, hence the morse code for "V" that's painted on the nose - which I learned from the docent in this hangar, who was also a WWII veteran.

(Blurry) bomb tags:

Japanese Zero:

P-51D Mustang - this guy even shot at one of our own planes, apparently to keep it from landing somewhere it shouldn't have? Everyone survived, but he still got to paint an American flag on his nose.

And that's it for the prettiest of the pictures. I realize that wasn't much of a report, but really it was just an enjoyable day wandering around and learning about planes and talking to some very, very nice WWII vets, which was a great experience. I'm definitely hoping to look into volunteering here at some point in the future if I have time, because I think it could really be a lot of fun - and a great experience!


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March 2012

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