Airplane Porn

English: Formation flying during the 2008 Comm...

English: Formation flying during the 2008 Commemorative Air Force Airshow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, my good friend Chris was visiting from northern Canada. I thought that Chris, being an airplane nut, might enjoy seeing a couple of the air museums around Texas.  A few co-workers and myself had a business meeting in Midland, Texas, and there was one seat left on the company plane, so we invited Chris to fly out with us and go to the Confederate Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Museum located at the MAF airport.

The Lone Star Museum was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008. Some of the planes were lost.

The CAF was started back in the 1950s by two Texans who had a  great love for World War II aircraft, and began collecting and restoring everything from heavy bombers to fighter planes. Most of the planes, once restored, are able to fly, and I have a couple personal friends who are pilots with the CAF. There are now museums and tour sites all across the country, and the boast members from every US state and over 60 countries. They fly the planes around the country, take them to air shows, and are frequently called upon to fly the planes in movies or documentaries about WWII. The FBO where we hangar our company planes, for instance, has autographed posters from the movie Pearl Harbor, which members received after they flew in the movie recreation of the bombing in 1941. The CAF headquarters was moved to Midland about 20 years ago to take advantaged of the skilled local community who could provide mechanics, as well as the dry semi-arid environment.  The CAF has a great website, with lots of pictures of their plane collection in flight here.

This is the type of plane that President George H. W. Bush flew in WWII.

A few days ago, we met our mutual friends Jay and Kate (our fellow blogger here) in Galveston for a day of sightseeing and seafood. One stop was the Lone Star Flight Museum, which is also home to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

This Renegade is a kit plane with a fabric body. It was built by and is owned and flown by Gene Kranz, the Apollo flight leader.

Let me say right off that I know exactly Jack +1 about planes. I recognize the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, because my father was in the USAF for 20+years, and was the tail gunner. (They have not been made since 1962, by the way. The planes in the current war are the same planes my dad was in!)  I can also recognize the Cirrus R-22, the Pilatus  PC-12, and the Lear 31A, because I ride in those quite a bit. I wrote about my general aviation experiences last summer. So, the pictures below don’t mean a great deal to me, but those of you out there who are into the Big and Shiny Planes, enjoy. And if you are in Midland or Galveston, stop by for a piece of American history. (Note: I reserve the right to make corrections at a later time, if I get the captions mixed up!)

The B-25 was famously used by General Doolittle on a raid over Tokyo in April 1942.

A Catalina being restored

The Boeing N2S-3 “Yellow Peril” was a Navy trainer. After WWII, they were sold to civilians and used as crops dusters, sports planes, and for wing-walking in aerobatic shows.

P-51

Before United Airlines came along and ruined the company…

Half-scale model of the Japanese suicide torpedo planes. They moved so slowly that the carriers were able to pick them off before they could hit the ships

Bomber Babes. Plus a crazed tiger

A large gift shop at the Lone Star carries the usual shirts, model airplanes, and stuffed toys, as well as a nice selection of history books.



Categories: History, Travel

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