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A.F. Museum Update  
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1650 times:

Well, here it is!! Ta da!!

Just prior to Christmas is really a great time to visit the museum. Attendence is way down; but from 12/26 to 1/5 (except for 1/1) the place will be a mob scene.

Contrary to my last report the RAF Tornado GR 1 is not yet on display. A chuckle for everyone, the nose art on RAF combat airplanes seems to be a bit racy and one of the problems the museum had was selecting an airplane that is Desert Storm Veteran and has Politically Correct nose art. The airplane we got meets both criteria; the second, barely (oops should I use a word that has bare in it  Smile/happy/getting dizzy ).

Work is continuing in the Air Power Gallery. Most airplanes are in place, stantions installed, and the detailed exhibits are being built up. One of interest is the 40 and 8 rail car restored for the museum by the French National Railways in Dijon. It is a wonderful display. In the doorway are about 6 GI prisoners who are helping a new prisoner into the car with a German solder standing guard. The mannequins all have different features; often the museum will use the pictures of actual people to recreate the scene.

The B-25 is on the deck of the Hornet in preparation for the April, 1942 attack on Japan. Standing along side the airplane is Jimmy Doolittle talking to Marc Mitchner (the admiral in command of the task force). In the airplane's cockpit is a mechanic with his head out the window as if he is comunicating with someone. Behind the airplane are boxes of supplies and ammo waiting to be loaded. The airplane is tied down to the the deck and there is also a video explaining the raid with actual footage.

Our current director is big on getting people into the stories of the airplanes and more and more dioramas are being created around the airplanes. General Metcalf's unofficial motto for the museum is "The Keeper of the Stories" and I try to follow his lead by being able to relate some of them to visitors when I can.

I got to sneak into the new building (Kettering Gallery) and it looks as if the Modern Flight Hangar (MFH) would fit inside. The B-36 is still outside the end of MFH waiting to go inside the Kettering Gallery. This building will open about April 1, 2003.

Preparations are well under way for the rotating art exhibits that will on display throughout 2003 in the gallery that was used to contain the exhibit on the Korean War. The first artist to be displayed will be Keith Ferris, starting in January, 2003. There will be 60 of his paintings displayed. For those that are not familiar with Mr. Ferris' work; he paints a point in time as exactly as he can. The huge mural of the B-17, "Thunderbird" at the NASM is a good example of his work.

The south end of the MFH will be dedicated to the Korean War. Most of the airplanes are there (F-80, F-82, F-84E, F-86A, F-94A, Mig-15bis, T-6, H-5, C-124 for example). Work on the individual exhibits has yet to start.

The north end of the MFH will be dedicated to Vietnam. There is a mix of planes from that era and other aircraft that have yet to be relocated. Among those that have been moved are the XB-70, X-15, X-24B, and the X-29. The first 3 are in the Research and Development Hangar across the field adjacent to the Presidential Hangar. Visiting these hangars is restricted to 3-7 bus loads(depending on the day of the week in the winter) a day unless you have a DOT ID and vehicle pass and can drive over on your own.

The Kettering Gallery will be primarily dedicated to the Cold War with a section on Desert Storm. In it will be the B-36, a B-1B (arrived about 2 months ago), a B-2 (The Iron Bird or structural test speciman with a big crack in the right wing where it was tested to failure), and the RAF Tornado GR1.

In 2004, the Space Gallery and Education Center will be open and between it and the Kettering Gallery will be a circular building, housing ballistic missiles in a silo like setting.

We are expecting the delivery of a replica Martin MB-2 in January as part of the display dedicated to General Billy Mitchell. It will have to be reassemblied before it can be displayed.

That's it for now folks. If you have any questions, just ask away!! I'll be back at the museum on January 18th.

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1561 times:

Broke, many thanks for a informative update. Regarding what is probably my favorite aircraft at the museum, the B-36...is she sitting outside for the winter? If so, how much snow does the Dayton area get? Thanks again, and Merry Christmas!  Wink/being sarcastic Regards.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1549 times:

Hi FlagshipAZ,

The B-36 will go into the Kettering Gallery once all the interior utilities and other necessary work is completed. It will probably will be outside for a little while longer. Winters in the Dayton area can be harsh with a lot of freeze thaws which can do more damage than just cold snowy weather by itself.

Another "Oh by the way", since you are a fan of the B-36, the museum has accepted responsibility for the XC-99 which has been going to pot at Kelly in San Antonio. It is going to be moved to Dayton (that should be an interesting operation), restored, and placed on display. Current plans are to display it outside. I don't know if there is a plan to eventually place it indoors, but that will be well into the future.

I was living in Miami when the Lockheed R6O Constitution was vandalized and eventually scrapped. It hurts to see a unique airplane trashed. The B-15 was scrapped in Panama and the B-19 at Davis-Monthon.

The facility is getting so large that people, who have difficulty walking, can literally end up at the Kettering Gallery and have great difficulty getting back to the exit.

Plans on a rear entry and on some sort of a tram-like system are being considered and will likely be the next major project to be funded.

User currently offlineTWAL1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 205 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1535 times:

I can't tell you how much I love that place!

I've seen the B-36 at Castle AFB, but it looks even bigger indoors.

The XB-70 is suc a beautiful bird. It actually looks smaller to me than I had imagined. Would be nice you could see into the air intakes...Are the engines in place?

Thanks for the update, by the way!  Smile

User currently offlineTWAL1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 205 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1540 times:

Doh! such a beautiful bird....

User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 1541 times:

Just a small sidenote to Broke's post regarding the Lockheed R6O Constitution. There were 2 aircrafts...BuNo #85163 & #85164. The first was scrapped at LAS, & the second as Broke said, scrapped At MIA. They were only 10 years old. Regards.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1523 times:

The XB-70 has been moved to the Research and Development Hangar, which is across the base and adjacent to the Presidential Hangar. You have to take a bus from the main museum due to security restrictions or be with someone who has a base ID and car sticker, who can use their personal vehicle. The buses leave hourly, you can normally only spend an hour there and all adults will need a photo ID.
Reservations can only be made in person at a desk at the end of the Kettering Hall (not the Kettering Gallery, 2 different places in the museum) adjacent to the Berlin Wall Exhibit (we have 3 sections of the original wall). On busy days, you need to make your reservation as soon as possible as all the bus seats are usually reserved by noon time or earlier.

The XB-70 has its six engines still installed and, so far, there is no way to look down the inlet. Maybe a thought in the future, once everything has settled down from the current expansion, would be to install a viewing stand. You can see the nozzles on the 6 afterburners though, known in the program as the 6 pack. There is a J-93 on a transport stand under the airplane that you look at. A point of interest to me, that had not generated any questions from the public, is the amount of heat shielding that is on the fluid lines all over the engine. I believe that they are there to keep the fluids cool (usually jet fuel is used as an hydraulic fluid in driving the A/B nozzle, among other things) and not get a vapor lock.

In one of my past lives, I was an experimental engineer at P & WA and then a powerplant engineer at EAL, so I still have a great interest in turbine engines of all types.

User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1526 times:

Broke, a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind.  Wink/being sarcastic
First off, I'm planning another trip to AF Museum sometime next spring...where's the nearest motel to the complex?
Next question...Are all the known Presidential aircrafts now at the museum? Besides the two VC-25s & SAM 27000 which is in CA at the Reagan library.
Last question...on my first & only visit to date, I'd learned the museum wants at least one example of all known aircrafts the USAF (with the USAAC & USAAF) has had in active service thru-out the years...is this goal within reach?
Thanks again, Broke. I always look forward to your posts here. Regards.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1534 times:

Hi FlagshipAZ,

When I stay overnight near the museum, I usually use the Red Roof Inn on Colonel Glenn in Fairborn, Ohio. (I'm not 100% sure about my spelling of Fairborn, Fairborne, Fairbourn??) The bases and museum are actually in Fairborn. Hoffman Prairie (where the Wright Brothers flew) is on the southern end of the Patterson section of the base. Patterson still has active flying.
The motel is pretty basic, but there are restaurants nearby (walking distance) and the museum is about a 5 mile drive from there.
There were 3 VC-137B's and 2 VC-137C's. There are a couple of museums that have the B's (Boeing and Pima?) and they called their airplanes "Air Force Ones", but the C's were the primary airplanes and, in my mine, are the genuine items.
The museum has the "Sacred Cow" (C-54C), the "Independence" (VC-118A), the "Columbine" (VC-121E), the "26000" (VC-137C), the Aero Commander (U-4B, the Sabreliner (T-39), the "Jetstar (VC-140B), the King Air (VC-6A), and the Sioux (H-13J). All of these aircraft flew at least one president and had the call sign "Air Force One".
I don't know if the museum will ever get one of everything the Air Force flew, but they are continuing to expand the collection with both restorations and replicas. The latest replica will be the Martin MB-2 (Billy Mitchell Bomber) and we have several WW I airplanes that are replicas in addition to the Boeing P-26A. I have a friend who is building 2 P-26A's to fly; he was a consultant on the construction of the museum replica.
The Boeing B-15 and the Douglas B-19 were both scrapped and I don't expect anyone to build replicas of these. We had the Douglas "World Cruiser", but it belonged to the Smithsonian and they have it now.
I don't think we have any of the odd WW II fighters except for the Fisher P-75A Eagle. To my surprise, we have the fuselages for both Convair X/YP-81's.
Oh, by the way; if you are going to be at the museum for several days; you need to schedule yourself when there is a "Behind the Scenes Tour".
They are held one Friday a month (June, July, August, every Friday) and you would be visiting the restoration shops and the storage areas. You'll both salivate and cry over what is in storage.
I normally work the 3rd Saturday of the month in the Modern Flight Hangar (this building will be dedicated completely to Korea and Vietnam when you get there and I might be working a couple of galleries by then).
Maybe I'll see you when you visit.

User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1532 times:

Flagship...One of the "AF1" a/c is up at the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle. I don't know the tail #, but they have done a nice job with the exhibit, allowing you to walk through the a/c in small groups.

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