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U.S Airforce Museum


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x002341.jpg (18024 bytes) This is the entrance to the U.S. Airforce Museum, located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just outside of Dayton, Ohio.
x002342.jpg (17262 bytes) This is the statue of Icarus, which is in the main lobby, reminding us that the quest for flight carries risk.
x002343.jpg (28924 bytes) Dad and Michael in front of the Wright 1909 Military Flyer.  Of course, Orville and Wilbur  are the "Wright" in the Base name.
x002344.jpg (18203 bytes) The Wright brothers lived in Dayton, Ohio, and ran a bicycle shop.  Here is Michael standing in front of one of their original bicycles.
x002346.jpg (25219 bytes) The Curtiss P-40E "Warhawk," an example of the creative painting on military aircraft.
x002351.jpg (15291 bytes) This is the plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, ending WWII.
x002352.jpg (28102 bytes) Michael imagines how yummy astronaut food must taste.
x002353.jpg (22211 bytes) Michael pays close attention to an aircraft vent.
x002357.jpg (24995 bytes) Dad standing in front of the SR-71 display.
x002360.jpg (28271 bytes) Michael checks out the plane from a pilot's point of view.
x002363.jpg (25580 bytes) This is the sign for the Lockheed U-2, which Dad worked on.  It is hanging from the ceiling, but was too far away in the dark for a direct picture.  I took some video, from which I'll capture a frame when I return home.
x002367.jpg (22921 bytes) Michael looks into a cockpit.
x002370.jpg (17440 bytes) Dad performs his own inspection.
x002372.jpg (14203 bytes) Dad and Michael on their way to the B-1 Bomber.
x002373.jpg (15508 bytes) Michael standing next to a propeller.
x002374.jpg (17925 bytes) Dad and Michael in front of a C-133 transport.
x002376.jpg (18073 bytes) Dad explained how he rode in a plane like this in Alaska.  There were tense moments when the light indicated an engine fire.  In a remote area, above freezing seas, they would have lasted about two minutes in the water.  Fortunately,  there was no fire.
x002379.jpg (23366 bytes) The hangar where they keep the presidential airplanes.
x002382.jpg (29438 bytes) The Lockheed Constellation, built for President Eisenhower.
x002383.jpg (23899 bytes) It was named the "Columbine" (Colorado State Flower, and name of the High School that experienced shooting recently)
x002388.jpg (29114 bytes) Here's the big deal.  Dad worked on the assembly line at Lockheed building this airplane!!!  It had all kinds of security and special procedures.  He showed me where he did some work, right where the wing intersects with the body.
x002387.jpg (18035 bytes) See, the metal that covers where the wing is attached.  That's Dad's riveting work.
x002386.jpg (14168 bytes) He remembers working around this little flange underneath the wing.  He remarks how difficult it was to get the metal to fit right.
x002385.jpg (15621 bytes) This little hole is interesting because it provided a path to get into the body of the airplane, rather than going the long way around.  Dad remembers squeezing through it.  I don't think either of us could get through it today.