Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pima Air Museum

As we entered the Air Museum we were greeted by Orville and Wilbur Wright's 1903 plane that made the historic first engine powered plane flight at Kitty Hawk. I'm sure it was a knock-off... it looked too new! The wood looked too new, the fabric covering was flawless. Regardless, this was without a doubt the "best of show" and I lingered around this plane for several minutes.

This Bede Microjet was the smallest jet plane ever... wingspan 17 feet... length 12 feet.

This Starr Bumblebee held the Guinness World record for the smallest bi-plane, flown in January 1984. The plane has a wingspan of 6 ft. 6 inches... and is 9 ft. 4 inches long, weighing 725 pounds.

We loved this Lear Jet Model 23... what a sleek design and no doubt a very fast way to fly. Looking inside it appeared like it would seat six plus the pilot.

Isn't this Lear Jet an absolutely beautiful, design? Look at all the people who flock around to check it out?

No plane flies faster or higher than this Blackbird SR-71! The bar is set pretty high for those who can even qualify to take this plane out for a spin. It can reach 80,000 feet elevation and cruise up to 2100 mph... Mach 3! That would keep you pretty tight in your seat.

Outside the building is 80 acres more of planes to see. So we took a walk around. This is one of the larger planes with 8 engines and the wingspan almost as long as a football field.

Some of these planes don't look like they would even fly, let alone carry heavy cargo. This Super Guppy was used by NASA to transport Saturn 5 rocket boosters around. Scary payload.

After we had walked almost halfway around the 80 acres, we saw this tram full of lazy tourists getting a snow job by the driver.

Speaking of snow, and the lack of it at Whistler, here is Snowball One. Was it called this because of its white paint job... or was it because there was more chance of a snowball surviving in hell than you being able to catch this plane?

Here is a little more history... this is one of Howard Hughes TWA planes. Can you remember when TWA was a viable airline company?

Here is a Sikorsky Sky Crane helicopter. This can carry heavy loads or handle any serious rescue missions. It has crane winch centered under the main rotors. It is equiped with 2-4000-horse power Pratt & Whitney turbo shaft engines, which turn the 6-blade rotors.

It was hard to believe how many different kinds of airplanes or helicopters have been designed and built. Everyone thought that they had a better idea of how to do it... and somehow they found the money to build it.

The name on this plane sums up my feelings precisely! It's 1:00 AM and I am one "tired dude." Even though I have another hundred planes I could bore you with, let me save a little surprise for you when you come to Tucson to see this museum for yourself.

Smile a Little

Q: What's the purpose of the propeller?
A: To keep the pilot cool. If you don't think so, just stop it and watch him sweat!

Pilot - "Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land... it's a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern."

And, after landing: "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

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