Saturday, September 24, 2016

Visiting "Planes of Fame" museum

Older Son visited us starting over the Labor Day weekend, along with his GF.  He was able to set aside some father-son time so we took a day to drive out to Chino to visit the Planes of Fame museum.

We had visited this museum sometime in the early 90s along with my father.  I didn't remember much of the museum from that trip except that I remember that I was impressed with it then.

The museum is especially interesting, not only because of the rare aircraft in the collection but also because many of them are flown, something almost unheard of these days.

The museum was well worth the 1.5 hour drive from Grouch estates and Older Son professed to find it very interesting.

The museum has one of only two remaining inter-war P-26 'Peashooter' Boeing fighters left in the world.  A revolutionary aircraft when it was developed, it was outmoded in only 5 years or so.  It went on to see combat (briefly) in the opening days of WW2 where it only served to run up the kill scores of some Japanese fighter pilots.

And here is the other, at the Air and Space museum.  We saw it when we visited in 2014

A Vietnam war era O-1 'Bird Dog ' forward air controller (left) and a P-35 fighter from the late 30's that also was meat on the table for the Japanese.  The P-35 is probably the only one left in existence.  The drip pans on the floor are a sign that the planes are flown as engines all leak oil.

One of my favorite WW2 fighters, the Bell P-39 Airacobra.  A cannon armed bomber interceptor that never lived up to its hype but did hold the line against the Japanese in 42-43 and helped stop them at Guadalcanal and New Guinea.
Love the name on this P-51!

A Lockheed Constellation and used by Douglas MacArthur.  It is sitting in a no-go area but they made the mistake of leaving the gate open and when I expressed disappointment that we couldn't go see it, Older Son lead the way.  He gets his rule-breaking from his mother.

The aircraft name, alluding to MacArthur's early wartime service in WW2.

Another very rare WW2 aircraft, a P-51A Mustang as used by the UK in Europe and by the U.S. in the CBI theater by the 'Air Commandos'.  This must be one of very few still in existence.  It is being restored for flight.

A technology demonstrator for the YB-35 Flying wing, to prove that the concept would actually work.  This one was restored by the museum and is flown.

A Korean war era F-86 being restored to flight.

Nose art on a B-25 used for movie filming after WW2

Now this is what speaks to me!  An M4 WW2 tank

A Cold War era M114 recon track and a WW2 M3 halftrack

The aircraft sitting outside are unfortunately deteriorating in the blistering desert sun.  A Grumman F7F Tigercat.

A WW2 German BF109 that was shot down over Russia during WW2 and recently recovered.  It will be eventually restored.

Older Son contemplates the strength of the F100 that could take this damage and return to base.  This type of plane was heavily used during VN as a ground attack aircraft and recon plane.

One of my BiLs flew F100s in VN so hopefully he'll enjoy this picture.

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