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USAF Armament Museum—good seeing it again

26 September 2017

Thanks to Hurricane Irma we revisited (review post) the Air Force Armament Museum is located adjacent to Eglin AFB located Valparaiso and Niceville, both in Florida. Displayed on the grounds are 30 significant aircraft with the most popular likely to be the Lockheed SR-71A “Blackbird” (there is no official name for the SR-71) standing front and center.

USAF Armament Museum—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Martin EB-57 Night Intruder Canberra—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Martin EB-57 Night Intruder Canberra—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Unique Lockheed SR-71A “Blackbird” known as “Big Tail”—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The museum exhibits this unique SR-71A which has a nine foot tail extension trailed to house a bar camera as well as other electronics—this aircraft was, of course, nicknamed “Big Tail”. The equipment didn’t add enough to mission capability to continue use but the extension was left as it didn’t adversely affect this aircraft’s flight performance. More images can be found in this post.

Close view of the tail of “Big Tail”—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Douglas AC-47—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Lockheed AC-130 Spectre gunship underestoration—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The heaviest of USAF helicopters and meant to bring in, bring out a resupply special forces.

Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

North American P-51D Mustang—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

North American P-51D Mustang—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

North American P-51D Mustang—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Republic F-105D Thunderchief—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Republic F-105D Thunderchief—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Republic F-105D Thunderchief—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Republic-Ford JB-2 (LTV-N-2 Loon) taken from the World War II German V-1—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Ryan BQM-34A Firebee supersonic target drone—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Douglas AIR-2 Genie: the Mach 3, 6 mile ranged air-to-air rocket with a 1.5 kiloton yield nuclear warhead—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Hughes AIM-4A radar homing air-to-air missile—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Close view of the Hughes AIM-4A radar homing air-to-air missile electronics—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Hughes AGM-45 Maverick air-to-ground missile—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Ryan Firebee multi mission attack drone—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Vickers Wellesley Mk I model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Savoia Marchetti SM-81 Pipistrello model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Savoia Marchetti SM-79 Spaviero model (note the torpedoes)—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

 

Short Brothers Sunderland Mk II model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Heineken He 115 model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Dornier Do 18 model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Blohm & Voss BV 138 minesweeper model (the degaussing hoop antennae could trigger submerged anti shipping mines)—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Antoinette IV model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Avro Roe I model—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

GBU-39A/B FLM—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

GBU-34/B SDB (small diameter bomb)—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Doolittle Raid Congressional Gold Medal and bomb aiming device replica sued on the low-level bombing Doolittle Raid—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

“Glory Bound” painting by Jack Lorusso (signed by him and, more importantly, signed by some of the Doolittle Raid members)—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

 

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USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

25 September 2017

<><><><> USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Overall <><><><>

This is a wonderful place. Enjoy the park (exhibits, room to roam, picnic spots, well done memorials)—or enjoy the park and the wide spectrum museum (the USS Alabama, the Aircraft Pavillion and the USS Drum plus a few extras). See their web site here 🙂

The main entry to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile AL—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The park is spacious with many memorials, aircraft on display as well as military vehicles and hardware—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The Aircraft Pavillion of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is a modern, climate controlled hangar—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><> The Park <><><><>

There are quite a few aircraft and loads of military equipment ranging from tanks to cannon to see and explore here with nearly unlimited inspection angels for only a combined entry/parking fee of $2 per vehicle—one of the most satisfying bargains to be experienced. The field is large enough for cross-country running training and the shaded picnic shelters have en excellent bows on view of the USS Alabama.

The Vietnam Veteran Boeing B-52D Stratofortress “Calamity Jane”—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Close view of Calamity Jane’s mission markings—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

A USCG Grumman HU-16 Albatros—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><> The Memorials <><><><>

There are many war memorials in this park and all are well done—as they should be. Two of the many are featured here.

Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” as part if the Vietnam War Memorial at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” as part if the Vietnam War Memorial at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Gulf War Memorial at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><> The USS Alabama <><><><>

Entry to view the USS Alabama, USS Drum and Aircraft Pavillion is $15 with many discounts on offer.

The ship is sitting alongside looking ready for action as she was in World War II. Many of the decks can be explored and within are rooms serving as specific exhibits along with the ship’s regular spaces. Where the crew lived and fought as well as all the in between is readily apparent. This is a big ship and impressive—also difficult to properly photograph with the camera at the time.

<><><><> The Aircraft Pavillion <><><><>

This modern hangar facility properly protects and preserves the aircraft within. Space is maintained to easily move the Lockheed A-12 “Blackbird” within as needed.

Vought OS2U Kingfisher—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Vought OS2U Kingfisher—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

North American P-51D Mustang in the Red Tails display of Capt. Leon Roberts and his “Derailer”—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Aircraft within the Aircraft Pavillion a classic pairing of USN Vietnam War era aircraft, the Skyhawk and the Crusader—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Kaman Seasprite—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The rare Army One Huey which was used to transport President Reagan—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Grumman F-14 Tomcat, fleet defender with it’s array of missile armament—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Grumman A-6E Intruder, any weather any time attack aircraft—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><> The Submarines <><><><>

Submarines of World War II as well as the Civil War submarine H.L. Hanley (the world’s first submarine to meet combat success) are well addressed through models of Allied as well as Axis World War II submarines, the full scale replica of the Confederate Ship H.L. Hanley and the perfectly preserved USS Drum (highly successful US Navy World War II submarine).

Replica of the HL Hunley from the bows at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

More on the Hunley can be found here.

Replica of the HL Hunley from the stern at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The USS Drum looking forward at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Forward torpedo compartment of the USS Drum—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Aft torpedo compartment of the USS Drum—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Control station of the USS Drum—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Christmas tree panel and valve controls of the USS Drum—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

40mm gun mount forward of the conning tower of the USS Drum—©Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Night Time (see more with less light)

24 September 2017

 

Guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) transiting the Atlantic Ocean on 14 Sept 2017—U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Ryan Utah Kledzik

Navy SEAL team members training in maritime interdiction vessel boarding—USAF photo by Tech Sgt Gregory Brook

Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Milky Way—DoD photo by MSgt Russ Scalf

Combat Blade Damage

23 September 2017

Dr. Charlton Stanley recently began an interesting on-line conversation of battle damaged propellers and we thank him for this inspiration 🙂

On 26 December 1967 Lieutenant (junior grade) Bruce Marcus’s Douglas A-1 Skyraider launched from the USS Coral Sea on an armed recce mission and met with success in finding the enemy! The Skyraider was struck by antiaircraft fire including the armored windshield but the hole in the propeller blade wasn’t discovered until Marcus landed and secured the engine [displayed in National Naval Aviation Museum]—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

A close view of Lieutenant (junior grade) Bruce Marcus’s Douglas A-1 Skyraider battle damaged prop blade—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Rotor blade tip cap of the MH-60 Seahawk known as “Skat 14”, signed by the rescuers and rescued, showing small arms fire evidence during the rescue of SA-3 Goa downed “Hammer 34” on 02 May 1999 over Serbia [displayed in the USAF Armament Museum]—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

A close view of the hole made by an antiaircraft round through Skat 14’s rotor tip cap. “Hammer 34” was pilot Lt Col David Goldenfein of an F-16 Fighting Falcon and later became Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force in 2016—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

 

Horses Don’t Fly: the Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace

18 September 2017

Horses Don’t Fly: the Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace, Frederick Libby, 2012, ISBN 978-1-61145-710-0, 274 pp.

Horses Don’t Fly: the Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace by Frederick Libby

This book was gifted and what a gift it was. Capt. Libby led an exceptionally gifted life from another time. He wrote the way he thought—with clarity and absolute logic. His prose is a joy to read with no extra words, an eye toward humor, and telling the tale of a man meeting extraordinary circumstances with daring and common sense. How nice to hear of these days!

Libby led the life of a cowboy as he grew up in the late 1800s and readers learn of how things were done—from going to school to running horses and all that was between the two. His telling the tale of his wild ride in his best Sunday-going-to-church outfit while tied to an antelope is absolutely a hoot. From Libby was also learn that good experience often comes from bad decisions.

Later he pilots fighters in World War I while losing his U.S. citizenship in the process though regained thank to Billy Mitchell. Libby also knew Billy Bishop and has opinions of him, as well as many other famous aviators, telling his opinion in the context of the day. Wonderfully observant and salient, his experiences are valuable to read—the happy ones, the sad ones as well as the description of his flight missions. Beginning as an observer, where we learn the position was one of many duties, then advancing to pilot learning that training was extraordinarily brief due to the precipitous loss rate of aircrews. Yes, in Horses Don’t Fly, readers learn the harsh realty of World War I statistics as if living it and not in revisionist history retelling.

This book is a memoir. A rich memoir written excellently by a man who can be trusted to relate his experiences accurately. Read this book to learn of an exceptional life well led. Read this book to comprehend and feel the life of an aviator on the first lines of World War I. Read this book.

Back from Irma—three museum lists, a Blue Angels Skyhawk walk around and an Me 262 walk around

17 September 2017

We were fortunate 🙂

On the run from Irma we revisited two museums and visited a new one for us—more posts in the future but some image teasers for now.

<><><><><> Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Blue Angel Walkaround <><><><><>

Near where we waited out Hurricane Irma—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Pensacola loves their Blue and there are many reminders around town, this impressive one at the airport—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Blue Angels Skyhawk at Pensacola International Airport—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Blue Angels Skyhawk at Pensacola International Airport—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Blue Angels Skyhawk at Pensacola International Airport—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Blue Angels Skyhawk at Pensacola International Airport—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><><> The USAF Armament Museum <><><><><>

The USAF Armament Museum’s building proper (several aircraft are exhibited on the grounds surround the museum building) and that is a MOAB out front—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

One side of the building interior—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The other side of the building interior—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><><> The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park <><><><><>

F-4 Phantom II marking the entrance to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile AL—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park has a large parade ground where military equipment, memorials and aircraft are displayed for the $2 entry/parking fee (an additional fee is for viewing the USS Alabama, USS Drum and aircraft hangar). Yes, that is the USS Alabama as well as the Boeing B-52D Stratofortress “Calamity Jane” in the distance—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The Aircraft Pavillion with USS Alabama’s superstructure in the background—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The grounds of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><><> The National Naval Aviation Museum <><><><><>

The National Naval Aviation Museum (F-14 Tomcat at the main entry)—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

In the Cubi Bar (now a safe place for families) what I thought as a geologist was an interpretation pterodactyl is instead one of a Thunderbird but nice all the same—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

<><><><><> Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a Schwalbe Walkaround <><><><><>

The excellent example is displayed in the The National Naval Aviation Museum which also provides this virtual 360º cockpit panorama.

The almost rare twin seat trainer Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a Scwalbe—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The almost rare twin seat trainer Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a Scwalbe—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The tandem cockpit arrangement of the Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a Schwalbe, also note the wing sweep which was for trim not transonic requirements, a first at the time—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

The trainer Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a Schwalbe retained its teeth (4 x 30mm nose mounted cannon) for downing heavy bombers attacking the Reich during WW II and could mount rockets on the wings—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

One of the subtle aeronautical design advances on the Me 262, the elevated tailplane, along with the flat ventral surface á lá lifting body—© Travel for Aircraft/Joseph May

Irma–revised plan

9 September 2017

Posting will be infrequent and irregular until Hurricane Irma makes her way by and we get things sorted-‘once she is distanced herself from us.