June 3, 2009

U S Air Force Museum

While in the area of Yellow Springs, OH we discover the Wright Patterson AFB and the USAF National Museum, what a great place to spend an afternoon! The beautiful entry opens further into three massive hangars each dedicated to a particular era of aviation history. To do justice to the Museum would take an entire blog's worth of post. Let's just say that having been to many aviation museums in my life, this ranks near the very top.

We start with the early days of the Wright Brothers, finding the actual wind tunnel they used in later years a fascinating piece of workmanship in beautiful hardwoods.

and numerous examples of unique planes up to & including the "racing era" machines!

they also have many examples of early engines, like this first supercharged one from days gone by:
The second hangar cover the WWII era and seems to dwarf the earlier building in size!

I was surprised to find a nice display of Louisiana's Chenault and his Flying Tigers>>>

Of course, no military aviation museum would be complete without the B-17...

As we wonder around, we are greeted by a sombering reminder of the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War, movement into the Nuclear Era!
I guess I was surprised to find any evidence of this in a public museum, especially shocked to see actual containers of those earliest weapons of mass destruction, acompanied with a small placard explaining that modern nuclear weapons have shrunk in size while growing log-rhythmically in power!

This fact coupled with intercontinental mobile delivery systems is pretty scarey...

And speaking of the Cold War, we enter the world of spy planes including one of the only remaining examples of the SR-71 Blackbird, what a machine, especially when you consider it's design dates back to the early sixties!

Just past the Blackbird we see modern contrasting examples of stealth technology....

All in all, a fun visit to one of the Nation's best exhibits of aircraft as evidenced by Kim's fascination with the place and it's many unique examples...

UPDATED_Visit with Family and Yellow Springs, Ohio

When I saw our path north to Minnesota was going to pass through Ohio, I knew I needed to make an effort to see my dad's sister and my cousins. I hadn't seen them in over 30 years!

My dad's family lives in the city of Springfield, not too far from the city of Dayton. We also wanted to visit the Air Force museum in Dayton to chose a campground halfway between the two cities.
To our pleasant surprise, this put us outside the nice small town of Yellow Springs. This artsy, fun town was filled with art galleries, fantastic restaurants, art and food co-ops and interesting gift shops.

The state park where we camped was a very well kept, quiet place. We pulled in next to a tee pee that was rented by a local camper.

Sam really enjoyed the friendly & quaint atmosphere of Yellow Springs. Each morning was spent at the local coffee shop, commonly referred to as "the living room of the town", where coffee, breakfast, and live music are served every day!

After a day of visiting the Air Force Museum (in another post), we set out for Springfield.
My cousin Tim and his wife Ellie live in what used to be my grandma's house. My other cousins Mike and Vickie along with my aunt Dottie all came by to visit. We had a great visit with talks about old times, grandma and updating on what was going on in our lives today.

Before we leave, Sam snaps a picture of the whole group. Thanks Tim for getting everyone together and for the great visit!