Me An' Soupo Went To The Museum Of Flight

Yup, Soupo and me, and Uncle Skippy went to the Museum of Flight this weekend. If your in the Dayton Area, and you have a “Y” chromosome, go there. They’ve got planes there. Big planes. Big military planes. It is so cool.

Balloons, bi-planes, jets, bombers, cargo planes, X planes… it’s the USAF Museum, they’ve got it all. It’s a real “guy place”. You smell the testosterone in the air. Dads are wondering around with their eyes as big as saucers, drinking in all this metal shaped for maximum destruction. Sons are following dad just drooling on themselves. Moms and daughters rolled their eyes alot after they were through with the gift shop*, so good thing we didn’t bring any women-folk. It’s a great place to unleash the inner-6-year-old.

You can even learn stuff. Everything has a big sign telling you what each plane is, how it was used, how many… hey! What’s that? A big-assed bomber? Cool! We didn’t read many signs.

Mundane…check
Pointless Stuff…check
I Must Share …check
That seems to cover all the bases for this forum. I guess I’m finished now. Thank you.

  • Yes, there were some girls there. And, yes, they did seem to really be enjoying the planes. No, they were not there just to shop. All that part was just a joke.

Rue, this place is on my “Must Visit!!” short list. Thanks for the recommendation!

Another place you might like if you’re in the area is the Kalamazoo MI Air Zoo. They have a decent collection of stuff, mostly centered on the WW2 era, but also a Korean war vintage jet or two, a couple of bipes, and other misc. birds. There’s a corncob radial engine in the back corner somewhere, too. Most of the planes are in flying condition, and weather permitting, they fly one almost every day. Usually they get the Ford Trimotor out and sell rides in it. The last time I was there, $40 bought a 30 minute ride. The repair/restoration shop is a short walk away, and they give tours through there as well. You can see what’s being fixed/fixed up, and get close enough to touch them. The whole facility can be seen in 2-3 hours comfortably, if you don’t take the ride. I’m going back soon…

Hey, I’m working on my private pilot’s license! I cannot tell you the thrill this gives me. In addition, I once asked my instructor if it was “old hat” to him now, since he gets to fly nearly every day. His answer?

“Every time I hop in, I’m thrilled to be there.”

And this from a man who flies with people who are basically clueless much of the time.

Right now there’s this big ass orange blimp parked on the airfield. Everyone in the training office goes BONKERS when it takes off or lands. Even people who have been flying for 30+ years. Amazing!

-L

Congratulations!

I should start flying fixed-wing again. Helicopters are expensive. On the other hand, there’s nothing like flying a heli along the beach or down a river wash with the doors off!

There are a few other pilots who post to these boards. Let us know when you get your license! :slight_smile:

Rue deDay: I was going to berate you about your “Y” chromosome comment. (Still looking for a g/f who flies… I know they’re out there!) But then I read your disclaimer at the bottom, which I missed the first time. So in the immortal words of Rosanna Rosanadana, “Never mind!” :wink:

That’s Emily Litella, you know “What’s all this fuss I keep hearing about presidential erections?”

Oh, man, am I jealous of you guys!! I’d love to start that, but it ain’t in the cards at the moment. Maybe in a few years I can swing it… It WILL happen, in one form or another, though!!

<hijack> Johnny L.A., I found a couple of pictures of my '46 CJ2A. Interested in seeing them? Can I use the address in your profile to send them to you? </hijack>

Yep, Rue DeDay, that is a really cool place to visit. I went there this past Thanksgiving when I was up in Cincinnati visiting family. We should have gotten an earlier start. My son, 8 year old grandson and I did manage to make it through the whole place. And wear out my 75 year old mother and my DIL and 3 year grand daughter.

There is lots to see, lots of planes, big planes.

Jim

Flying is the best. Museums about flying are a close second. Growing up in suburban D.C., I went often to the Nat’l Air & Space, and when I go these days, it’s every bit as good as it was then. Spent some years at Ohio St, and heard about the Dayton museum, but never made it out there :frowning: Also never made it to Cedar Point. Maybe it’s time for a trip to Ohio…

You know? Those museums are really great. I haven’t been to Dayton or the Smithsonian (time and distance, y’know?) but I’d love to go.

But there are less ambitious alternatives. The Santa Monica Museum of Flight is small, but nice. The NASA/Dryden facility at Edwards Air Force Base has tours twice each weekday (call for a reservation) and it’s free. Plus a nice gift shop. Also at Edwards is the Air Force Museum display that features aircraft inside and outside that are part of the rich history of Edwards AFB.

But ya know what’s really nice? Just go down to your local General Aviation airport and watch the “little planes” fly. Van Nuys Airport has The Condor Squadron, who fly their T-6/SNJ aircraft frequently. There’s a beautifully polished P-51D that flys out of there too. Helicopters? (My choice of flying machine. :wink: ) The local news keep their helis there. And right next door is Group 3 Aviation with their two-seat Robinson and Schweizer helicopters. In the northeast corner of the field is The 94th Aero Squadron restaurant with its WWI French Farmhouse motif and the big windows overlooking the runway.

Santa Monica Airport has a “vultures row” where you can sit and eat a picnic lunch while you watch the Cessnas, Beechcraft and other GA aircraft take off and land. Step over to The Spitfire Grill (where the movie got its name) for an airport burger.

Fox Field in Lancaster has the desert winds to test the skill of the local pilots. There’s a photo of me landing a Schweizer 300CB there on my web page. By the tilt of the rotor you can see the wind was blowing about 20 knots that day. During the fire season you can watch the tankers take off from the permanent tanker base there.

My mom worked for Gibbs Flight Service at Montgomery Field in San Diego when I was a kid. I used to go there to watch the airplanes fly, and sometimes accompanied the lineman when he went out refueling aircraft. He let me attach the ground wire and even, a couple of times, refuel. Great fun for a 10-year-old!

Yeah, museums are great. But the magic of flight isn’t restricted to mach-2 fighters and aluminum-overcast-sized bombers. Little airplanes show you the wind when they bank and crab. They climb their way into the sky with their little engines, and the pilots are always wishing for – just a little – more power. Sure, military pilots love their jobs. Sure, historical aircraft are nice to look at. But when you see a Cessna take wing, you know there is someone in it who’s probably not getting paid for it; he’s doing it for the love of flying. And even though his mount is common, it’s flying!

Airport. Air port! A “port of the air”, like the seaports of old filled with tall ships and crews hustling and bustling in preparation to embark on fantastic voyages to far-off lands! Columbus and Magellan and Cook and Ahab. And Orville and Wilbur and Curtis, Ryan, Beech, Mooney, Maule, Lindbergh, Dick Bong (Ace of Aces!) and the Rutan brothers and Patty Wagstaff and Joanne Osterud! And… you? Magic! A desire? A dream? If you have it, the magic is yours!

(Sorry for gushing. I really love Flight!)

[hijack]
RalfCoder: Yes, the profile is good; or you can go to The CJ2A Page and e-mail from there. I only have my own under the 1946 category. (Now if only I could find a 1945 and a 1949!)
[/hijack]

I don’t know if you did this Rue but if you have the time and are at the USAF Museum, Go to visit the Annex You have to catch a bus to get there since it is on the base proper, but it is worth it.

I grew up only 5 miles or so from there, so I kind of take it for granted, and I also worked on base in the building with the two legged tower on the hill (As did both my parents when I was there) So the Museum was a bit of a normal site for me, and I still love seeing it.

Narile-
No, we didn’t make it to the Annex. Soupo’s only 4, and by the time we were done with the main Museum he was tapped. Next time we’ll have to get our passes first thing, and see the Presidential Planes.

flyboy88-
If you want to see the Museum and do some coasters without tooling all over the state, there’s always King’s Island (now Paramount’s King’s Island). And it’s only about a half hour from Dayton. It’s not as good as Cedar Point, but some world-class coasters.

RalfCoder, SexyWriter, Johnny L.A., flyboy88 -
So there are a few Dopers that fly? Huh. Who’d a’thought. Such a rare obsession. Actually I’m a little jealous, but not so much as to actually do any thing about it. I’m a ground-pounder at heart. But I do love planes. Almost as much as model railroads (Z scale). But that’s another thread.

Johnny L.A.-
There are two small airports here in Cincinnati. This summer we’ll have to make a point and go down to watch the little planes go. Hmmm… the Lunken Airshow this summer…hmmmm…

JimB-
Didn’t want to leave you out, it would be rude. Big planes…cool. Gee, you brought the whole crew, didn’t you?

[sinister hiss]
Join ussssssss… >:^)
[/sinister hiss]

Must.Buy.Buddy.Holly.Killing.Plane.
Must.Learn.To.Fly.