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11
Museum Tour: USAF Museum part 1

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Introduction
The National Museum of the Air Force is located on Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. It showcases USAF history from the Wright Brothers (it even has one of their bicycles), into WWI, early aeronautical R&D, between-the-wars aircraft, WW2, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and the era of USAF aerospace, including UAVs, UCAVs, and rockets and missiles. It even has two hangers devoted to presidential aircraft and experimentals. It hosts an aviation hall of fame, aviation art, and several tributes to the men and women who make the machines move.

This was my 7th visit since 1989. It was especially enjoyable as it was with my friend of some 40 years, a literal rocket scientist, who has spent the past decade teaching aerospace engineering at a US service academy. He expanded on the physical displays with insights and background that only a career military officer involved in aerospace R&D with a life-long historical interest could know, i.e., USAF's shameful bias against Frank Whittle in favor of Doctor Hans Von Ohain as the inventor of the jet engine (I searched for Whittle in the museum's National Aviation Hall of Fame and his name is not even included!), and the disgusting recent defunding of NASA and other aerospace R&D.
Early years gallery
This gallery chronicles the early years of US military airpower, from the very first experiments in light through the "Golden Age" of the 1930s. Aircraft featured in this visit are:
  • 1. Fokker Dr.I
  • 2. Fokker D.VII
  • 3. Halberstadt CL IV
  • 4. Standard J-1 (displayed uncovered)
  • 5. Packard LePere LUSAC 11
  • 6. Caproni Ca. 36
  • 7. De Havilland DH-4
  • 8. Boeing P-26
  • 9. Curtiss P-6E
  • 10. Boeing P-12
  • 11. Douglas O-38F
  • 12. Martin B-10
  • 13. Keystone bomber


Around the sides of the gallery are exhibit cases featuring bombsights, cameras, uniforms and other equipment used during this time period. Many of the aircraft on exhibit are accompanied by mannequins wearing the uniforms of their pilots and crews. Intermixed through the aircraft exhibits are engines and other equipment, represented here by an experimental supercharged Liberty V-12.
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About the Author

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...


Comments

Jessica, Thanks for Part I. I'm working on more goodies for part II, III, +... A word about why there are so many apparent duplicate photos. Unfortunately, I could not talk NMAF into clearing the facility of other visitors and giving me the run of the place. So I duplicated shots with different exposures, lighting, settings, etc., so that you, the viewer, can see a subject with flash, without flash, etc. You will notice the colors shift some, shadows are minimized, etc. Enjoy!
JUL 21, 2012 - 06:39 PM
Thanks Fred, have not had much of a chance to venture out of state lately, thanks for all the pics.
JUL 22, 2012 - 04:21 AM
Fred, thanks for showing us around this big museum. I havn't been there yet, but it sure is on my list one day. As I have a favour for Japanese aircraft, I especially enjoy the Zero and the Shiden photos. Can't wait to see Pt. 2. Torsten
JUL 26, 2012 - 02:21 PM
Yes Fred, excellent photography, am looking forward to seeing more photos from other eras of aviation history! Russell
AUG 01, 2012 - 01:34 PM
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