Tag Archives: aircraft

Where Dreams and Technology Meet

A visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, is the closest you’ll come to time travel (without a Back to the Future modified Delorean) as you move from the Wright brothers’ legacy to present day stealth technology.

Our visit took us from the Early Years Gallery, starting with the Wright brothers’ vision of flight through World War I aircraft, to the World War II Gallery and the Korean and Vietnam Galleries, landing us in the Cold War Gallery, which houses the world’s only permanent public display of a B-2 stealth bomber.

This blast from the past culminated in the Missile and Space Gallery, a silo-like, 140-foot high structure that serves as a final resting place for Titan missiles and Apollo, Mercury and Gemini command modules and capsules. No Buzz Lightyear here.

Back Down to Earth

Like the two theatrical masks of tragedy and comedy the exhibits entitled, Prejudice and Memory: A Holocaust Exhibit and Bob Hope: 50 Years of Hope, ground visitors with a reminder of the losses endured and the hope retained and at times, laughter shared during times of war.

As Bob Hope used to say – thanks for the memories.                                                   And preserving the memories as well as these massive historic vehicles is no small feat. The restoration division of the museum relies on the talents of volunteers, whose skills range from machine and woodworking expertise to craftsmanship in sheet metal and painting. Their knowledge of aircraft spans years of technology – from World War I fabric covered aircraft to the elite fighters of today’s Air Force.

The Memphis Belle is one of their more recent restoration projects. A B-17F Flying Fortress, the Memphis Belle is one of the museum’s most famous aircraft, with its bomber crews having flown 25 missions against Nazi Germany in WWII. Visit the link below for a slide show of the restoration in progress.

Memphis Belle Restoration

For Museum Hours and Info visit the National Museum of the USAF.

Post written by Pamela J. Willits.

Winged Migration

Having recently attended EAA AirVenture  in Oshkosh, WI, I thought I’d share some images. Originally known as the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Fly-In Convention, aircraft enthusiasts have been gathering in Oshkosh since 1953.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, as it is now known, is one of the world’s premier aviation events, attracting government officials, corporate leaders and hundreds of thousands of aviation aficionados. It spans the spectrum of aviation and according to their website, attracts 10,000 airplanes annually. You might see anything from the Spirit of St. Louis to a Stealth fighter.

Over  500 forums were conducted by aviation leaders, NASA researchers, FAA personnel and aircraft designers. The exhibit buildings housed something for everyone, ranging from flight instruments and aircraft parts to insurance carriers.

And it’s not just the pilots that get a lift. With more than 500,000 attendees, the local and state economies land a 110 million dollar boost during the week-long event.

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