Thursday, September 19, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different Part 2

Today's Stop: National Museum of Naval Aviation
As a change of pace, and to allow me time to do some research on a major project I have going right now, I thought we'd get away from the daily grind of smacking down "F-35 Hater" stories and post a series of travel pics from some various museums I've visited in the last year.

These were taken in the middle of last month. I really like the NMNA, it is one of the few around that have sufficient light for most picture taking. This was the first time in 20 years or so that I've been back. The last time, the main building was finished but there were rare treasures sitting in the uncut grass outside. The Chief and I spent 5 hours there this time and we could have spent even more time. We will be back

P.S. If you see 'ghosts' it is because I'm using Photoshop to merge photos into collages and panoramas.

USMC S4C Scout on Floats

NC-4 Seaplane. 6 Engines: 3 Pushin', 3 Pullin'

Underneath the seaplane wing we find a Boeing F-4B
Sopwith Camel
The Navy obtained six Camels after WWI for experiments performed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, operating planes aboard ship using wooden platforms built over the forward turret guns of battleships.  this plane has markings replicating those of a Camel operating off the Battleship TEXAS.  Normally, launched aircraft were flown ashore, but were also equipped with inflatable air bags underneath the wings to keep the aircraft afloat in the event of a water landing.
"Pacific Maintenance", FM-2 Wildcat
I really enjoy dioramas like this one.
PBY Catalina
The museum has a great full-size 'cutaway' display of a PBY. Can you imagine loooong patrols with the engines (hopefully) droning? I never knew about the 'penthouse' station at the wing attachment point.
A-1 Skyraider
They had a few different versions of the 'SPAD' on display. Note here and elsewhere the tail-hooks of planes past used for sign stanchions. This highlights another great thing about this museum: the ability to get close to the exhibits and REALLY see them.

Lockheed TV-2 : Two Seat, Carrier Operable, version of the Air Force P-80

In reality, this is an Air Force T-33 modified to replicate a TV-2. The Navy acquired quite a few of the TV-2s as their first jet trainer, so it is kind of surprising they didn't have a real one available to display. How'd you like to have to polish it while asea?
Upper Deck Panorama: Lockheed L-10 Electra Center, JRC-1 Left 
The JRC-1 was the Navy's version of the Cessna T-50, the Army Air Force's AT-17
Lunch at the 'Cubi Bar Café'
When the Navy shut down operations at Subic Bay, the museum requested some mementos for posterity. What they got was the whole bar, now the museum's restaurant. Food was good, reasonably priced and the atmosphere priceless.
Check out the National Museum of Naval Aviation virtual tour here. 

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