It’s a bit of a squeeze to get into this suit for a photo but so worth it if you’re a space nut like me.
The museum is as previously stated broken down into multiple hangers. Massive structures built to hold a staggering amount of airframes. We’d toured the Early days of flight, the First World War, the in between years and the Second World War. Now we were heading into the hangers that covered, the Post WW2 period, Korea, the Jet Age and all points up to now including the Space Race. Of course Bob and I were here to see the new hangar and its special aircraft section, though both for different reasons.
Here’s Bob in front of an Avro CF-100. An aircraft he flew in during his service.
The X-15. The aircraft that all of our Hypersonic flight data still originates from.
The X-24A. One of a slew of Lifting Body test beds that led to the Space Shuttle.
The X-24B otherwise known as the Dyna-Soar.
The front of the XB-70 Valkyrie a supersonic Bomber program that lost out to the Air Force moving into ICBMs.
One of the Apollo Capsules. Reentry is hard on your skin.
Not sure what this aircraft is but it looks like it’s from the desk of, “Screw it, let’s give it a try.”
The back end of the XB-70. Like something out of Thunderbirds.
The X-1B, Yeager flew this one as well.
One of the original tilt rotor concept vehicles.
Tacit Blue – The reason I’m on this trip. It’s the original Stealth Technology demonstrator. It ain’t pretty. It ain’t fast and it’s not that manoeuvrable but it’s damn near invisible on radar and IR.
Tacit Blue – Undercarriage
Tacit Blue – The Back End
The Avro Aerocar. Bob’s Dad worked on this one.
I liked the fact the new hanger was lit up. It made shooting a lot easier and you got to see every rivet of detail in some very cool air frames. We moved back to older hangers and started our walk through 50s, 60, 70’s and up sections. A time in aviation where everybody was pushing the limits of what you could do with an airframe. though of course, there were still some holdovers from WW2 still in service.
Nose Art on a B-26C
The rare Twin Mustang
A Chinese built MIG
And it’s nemesis.
This image gives you a good feel for the actual size of these hangars.
An F-105D THUD
An A-7D Corsair.
An F-4 Phantom. Seeing as this one doesn’t have a gun on it, I’m going to lean towards it being an early variant. The F-4 was one of McDonnell Douglas’s most successful airframes in terms of sales and deployment.
A nice Vietnam diorama in 1:1 of a Huey 1D
The same hanger from the other direction.
A B-36 Peacemaker one of the largest propeller driven aircraft ever built. So large it also had an additional four jet engines added to aid in takeoff.
6 massive pusher props and two twin engine jet pods outboard on her wings got her off the ground.
A B-50 weather observation aircraft.
A Grumman Albatross, one of my favourite aircraft.
B-58 Hustler. A Delta wing drag racer…
An F-117A still a cool looking aircraft.
A Panavian Tornado a Gr. Mk III I believe
The back end of a Pave Low.
A B-1B Lancer
The front end of the Pave Low
The a-10 Warthog
and its 30mm GAU8 Cannon.
And so ended our day at the NMUSAF of course it was easier getting a cab to take us back to our hotel from the museum but considering the fairly sketchy vehicle that showed up, we’d probably been safer to go back to UBER for our ride. The vehicle we were in had a very nasty shimmy in the back end and that never inspires confidence in your passengers.
The next morning we set out to head back to Toronto about two hours in because of my lack of having a Scala unit in my helmet, I wasn’t able to get into the right lane when the guys pulled off the highway for breakfast. We then spent the rest of the ride sort of circling each other on the Interstate. Somehow (probably when I stopped to eat) I ended up about forty minutes behind them. Still, these things happen.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures and if you are ever in Dayton, OH and you’re an aircraft buff, check out the museum it’s well worth it.
Please check out my thrillers Devil’s Gambit and Reliance on Amazon. They make great Christmas gifts (nudge nudge).