Another day, another museum  

rm_funinic 48M
562 posts
4/9/2006 1:08 am

Last Read:
5/22/2006 2:02 am

Another day, another museum

Driving through Dayton (sounds like a movie title?!?) I realized I couldn't pass up the Air Force National Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Guess what I found?

Another Blackbird and her chick!

I didn't know the D-21 was in the museum. I think maybe 25 years betrween visits are too long... The one airplane I went to take a picture of, the only remaining XB-70 Valkyrie, is on a limited-seating tour bus whose schedule fills up about .02 sec after the museum opens at 9am. Not a chance.

So many one of a kind and historic aircraft, it's hard to describe to someone not into airplanes...

X-45, X-36, Global Hawk, AC-130A gunship, Airborne Laser Lab, the remote comms/sensor aircraft for Apollo, the Boxcar that snagged the first return capsule on its parachute descent... All this, and the mundane. U-2, B-36, B-29 Boxcar (dropped The Bomb on Nagasaki... ) F-117, B-2, ...

I gave myself an hour, ended up closing the place down at 5, 2:30 later.

They had NO trinkets with the XB-70 on them!?!?! WTF? I was looking for ANYTHING. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Very disappointed, no pics OR trinkets.

I made it through the memorial plaques and monuments in memory of aircrews that were in between the parking area and the museum buildings. I could (just) attribute my occasional tear to the 30mph 45 degree wind.

Until I got to the Medal of Honor memorial. Right in front of it is a monument to the aircrews who served in China in the years before and during WWII. As in, the Flying Tigers.

Then I had to sit down.

rm_funinic 48M
823 posts
4/11/2006 5:03 pm

I've been an airplane junkie all my life. One of my earliest memories is of my father bringing home a gift for me ofa die cast toy of an early 1900s seaplane racer.

I once met a Flying tiger. I was test-riding a motorcycle I had just rebuilt after a crash, and ran out of gas.

I heard/saw an old man, whipcord tough, push-mowing a lawn with an old mower. One that didn't drive the rear wheels for ease of use. I knew he'd have gas because it was a 4-stroke. I walked up to him, and on the way by his 20 year old, immaculate car, I saw the Flying Tiger sticker in his rear window. He didn't seem like the kind of man to have random stickers on his car. It was old, but clean and waxed. He was wearing khakis, a button-down short sleeve shirt, and had the air of someone who could handle anything life threw at him.

I asked him about the sticker in his window, he said he'd been in China flying for Chennault. I actually met and shook the hand of a Flying Tiger...

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