Next month I’ll be on a road trip for week with plans to travel through Florida’s panhandle. I’ll see museums I have not been to for nearly a decade and this time I will be taking a good camera, as opposed to what I was shooting with back in the day. I’m also looking forward to the quartz sand beaches with their whiteness and their “non stick” quality, unlike sand from limestone (calcium carbonate, Ca2CO3, the main stuff of antacid tablets). Quartz sand is the final remnant of mountain erosion, in this case the very old Appalachian Mountains of the eastern USA. Florida’s peninsula possesses the geology of a carbonate platform — oceanic and organic in its origin with karstic geomorphology — much like today’s Bahamas. The panhandle was made by continental geological processes — a resultant of chemical reactions with dendritic drainage. Florida’s structure was influenced by a hot spot, a long lasting plume from the Earth’s mantle. The path left by traveling over the hot spot began in Raton NM, later created the Ouchita Mountains in Arkansas, even later was the source of a volcano near Jackson MS (ultimately forming the Smackover oil trend), then an apparent course change (the hot spot is fixed in place while the geological plate moves over it) of the track to the southeast that created a rise in the Atlantic Ocean’s floor that enabled the Bahama Platform’s development by shallowing the depths and bringing the influence of sunlight so that photosynthetic algae (e.g., Halimeda sp.) began to precipitate calcium carbonate from the ocean (the mud ultimately lithifying into limestone). Voilà — carbonate platform island development!
Aside from geology, Florida has a rich and full aviation history and has 15 museums that I know of and here they are — selected from the Aviation Museums within the USA (grouped by state) list.
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- ** a post is set to be published on this museum
Air Force Armament Museum 100 Museum Dr, Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32542 (perhaps contrary to the title there are dozens of aircraft on display)
Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park* Camp Blanding Main Gate, from U.S. Hwy 301 in Starke FL go east on SR 16 (E Brownlee St) for 8 miles — both the museum and air park lie outside the main gate
DeLand Naval Air Station Museum* 910 Biscayne Blvd, DeLand, FL 32724
Fantasy of Flight* 1400 Broadway Blvd SE, Polk City, FL 33868
Florida Air Museum* 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland, FL 33811
Historical Flight Foundation* (not built yet as a museum but have a restored DC-7B that is a flying exhibition, also have several aircraft pending for acceptance in the HFF)
Kissimmee Air Museum* Kissimmee Gateway Airport, 233 N Hoagland Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Miami Springs Historical Museum* (no web site) 26 Westward Dr, Miami Springs, FL 33166 — a small but rich museum. There are no aircraft, but the museum encompasses the unique history of the town including the life of Glenn Curtiss who had retired there. Indeed he was instrumental in developing the town with its Revival Pueblo Mission style. A rare seat from a Curtiss Condor is on exhibit. Call for the hours at 305-884-4406 or 305-888-4849.
NAS Fort Lauderdale Museum* on SW 34th Street on the west side of the Ft. Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, Ft. Lauderdale FL (a sign says open Monday through Thursday from 11am until 3pm — the upkeep is new though I have never seen it open during the stated operating hours). Oct 2010 — the museum contacted me an assures me that renovations are well under way, their web site is now operating and they plan to open to the public soon but appointments to visit can be made.
National Naval Aviation Museum (west gate of the Pensacola Naval Air Base near Pensacola FL)
National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum* 3300 N Hwy A1A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34949 (has a UH-1B and Apollo command module recovery training simulators)
St. Petersburg Museum of History** 335 2nd Ave NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701 (replica of the Benoist airboat that Tony Jannus flew in the world’s first airline operation)
Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum* 6600 Tico Rd, Titusville, FL 32780
Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum — Keystone Heights Airpark Keystone Heights Airport, 7100 Airport Road, Starke, FL 32091 (check web site for contact information to get phone numbers for calling about visitation hours)
Wings Over Miami Air Museum* 14710 SW 128th St, Miami, FL 33186