National Museum of the U.S.A.F.

Discussion in 'Upcoming Events and Trip Reports' started by BJC, May 20, 2018.

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  1. Sep 9, 2018 #21

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

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    Thanks to all who offered guidance and suggestions.

    It was nice to meet Vigilant 1. (I always enjoy meeting HBAers.). Thanks, V, for all the information on the local area.

    A few observations:

    Two days was about right for us. One could spend more, or less, time based on specific interests. For example, the presidential airplanes greatly interested some people that I spoke to, but did not interest me.

    Something that was a pleasant surprise to me was the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Those types of things usually are of little interest to me, but I enjoyed seeing who was in it. Anyone who has been around aviation for awhile will have met a dozen or more inductees.

    I learned that the reason Bomarc missiles are disappearing from the public, is that they have beryllium in them. Nasty stuff. The one that was in the museum has been removed.

    Airplanes that I really enjoyed seeing:

    B-36. Bigger than I imagined.
    B-2. Looks like a movie prop.
    XB-70. Massive airplane. Must have been really noisy.
    B-58. Impressive design from the golden age of turbojet aircraft.
    X-3. Always intrigued by this design.
    SR-71 and YF-12. Always amazed by these.
    X-15. Had shutters for the windshield.
    Replica of Joe Kittinger’s gondola. Smaller than I imagined.
    P-26 replica. Smaller than I imagined.
    P-36. Still the one warbird that I would love to own (and be able to afford.)
    Plus too many others to mention.
    The restoration shop was interesting to see. They do amazing work with a miniscule budget. When the current crop of volunteer craftsman, who average quite a bit older than me, are no longer able to work, it will be a challenge to replicate parts without the addition of laser scanners, CNC machinery, and a new group of craftsmen to operate it.

    Go; you will enjoy it.


    BJC
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  2. Sep 9, 2018 #22

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

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    Good friend of mine bought a 1966 C-150 that was restored by one of the U.S.A.F. Museum restorers. Nicest C-150 that I have ever seen.
     
  3. Sep 9, 2018 #23

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

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    For anyone who is planning a trip to the museum, be aware that they no longer offer tours of the restoration shop. They have some sort of educational event in the museum that provides information about restorations, but that is only on certain days.


    BJC
     
  4. Sep 10, 2018 #24

    Vigilant1

    Vigilant1

    Vigilant1

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    BJC, thanks for touching base, I enjoyed the conversation a lot. It's great to now be able to put a real "person" with all the great posts.

    Years ago I was fortunate to go on a tour of the Garber Facility, which was (is?) the Smithsonian's restoration workshop for the Air and Space Museum. In one area they were working on a WW-II medium bomber (maybe a B-25?) and the guide mentioned they were drilling out thousands of rivets due to bimetallic corrosion. One of our group asked how this happened, did the designers not appreciate the problems caused by dissimilar metals, was galvanic corrosion not well understood? The guide just said that the designers knew all about dissimilar metal problems. "But these planes lasted, on average, for about 20 to 30 missions before being destroyed in some way. Planes that had been flying combat missions for three years were freak curiosities. The thought that any of them might survive 50 years and have corrosion issues was not a consideration. It was a problem they would have welcomed."
     
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