03 July 2008

Boneyard part 1

Ok, this is the Pima Air and Space museum, my favorite aviation museum in the US (and I have been to a lot!) This massive museum is the world's largest non-government funded, boasting over 250 aircraft on 80 acres with a truly unique blend of Air Force, Navy, Army, even foreign aircraft. It all began in 1976 when local enthusiasts became concerned with all the aircraft going into storage at nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and started the museum with the surplus aircraft. Now the base serves as a unique source that gives the museum its ecclectic and massive collection. This is one of my most difficult posts because of having to pick from so many amazing aircraft and photos. So these are my absolute favorites, and all of the photos are on my Dropshots account. Please visit to see all the great plane photos, and if you happen to be in Arizona, and like airplanes or history, you really need to stop by! And don't forget you can click the photos on here to make them bigger! We kick off with the group photo above, including from left to right an OV10 Bronco, A7 Corsair 2, A4 Skyhawk, A6 Intruder, F14 Tomcat, and F105 Thunderchief.
In the first hanger we find this beautiful example of an S3 Viking.
This is my favorite noseart that I've seen. It's just so well done!
PBM Mariner
Two of my favorites in one shot: The A10 Thunderbolt 2 and SR71 Blackbird.
The rare F107 fighter
This lineup would make any aviation enthusiast (or museum) drool. From left to right AV8 Harrier, YF4 Phantom 2, F11 Tiger, F3 Demon, F8 Crusader, and F6 Skyray.
Another impressive lineup left to right F101 Voodoo, F102 Delta Dagger, F104 Starfighter, F105 Thunderchief, F106 Delta Dart, and A4 Skyhawk.
Super Guppy transport
This unusual craft is an AEW3 Gannet, A British airborne early warning and control plane developed after WW2.
The YC14 prototype, one of two competitors in the 1970s to replace the C130 Hercules. Although the YC14 and 15 were both very succesful, niether went into production.
The main helicopter collection, from left to right OH58 Kiowa, two UH1 Hueys, HH43 Huskie, HH52 Seaguard, HH3 Pelican, H37 Mojave, H21 Shawnee,HUP3 Army Mule, H19 Chickasaw, H5 Dragonfly, HO3 Dragonfly, and HTL7 Sioux.
The Avro Shackleton bomber, built after WW2 as the last British piston engine bomber. It entered service in 1951, and served as a bomber in several small conflicts around the globe. This particular example retired in July 1991 and is the only one in flying condition left in the world.
The massive B36 Peacemaker, the giant intercontinental bomber built following WW2.
Two other now rare aircraft, an extended wing Canberra used for research by NASA, and a Skycrane helicopter.
The RB1 Conestoga built by the Budd (hey that's me!) Company out of Philadelphia. Designed at the begining of WW2, it was made of welded stainless steel due to fears of alluminum shortage. The Army and Navy placed orders for the plane, having its first flight on Oct 31, 1943. But poor flying characteristics as well as construction delays doomed the project. By this time, aluminum had become plentiful and other aircraft had begun to fill the need for cargo transports. This caused the orders to be cancelled and only 17 were delivered to the Navy. Some flew for civilian companies for a short time after the war, but several crashed and they were soon discontinued in favor of more popular designs such as the C47.
Another rarity, the F7F Tigercat.
A British Bristol Blenheim bomber
A B23 Dragon, developed to replace the B18 Bolo bomber, but inferior to other bombers of the day, so only a handful were made and none saw combat.
This is great. Three B52 bombers, an A, D, and G model, all sitting next to each other. Looks like a force to be reckoned with.
The elusive and ahead of its time B58 Hustler supersonic bomber
A trainer version of the F102 Delta Dagger
Where else in the Western World will you see this? A Mig 19 Farmer, two Mig 15 Fagots, two Mig 17 Frescos, and a Mig 21 Fishbed. превосходный!
A Constellation transport, by the name of Columbine 2. Those who are familiar with the more prestigous Air Force Museum might wonder why this is here. Because this plane was General Eisenhower's plane during WW2. President Eisenhower's plane, Columbine 3, also a Connie, is at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice set of pics. You seem like the kind of guy that would be good history teacher. We have some "Tundra Honeys" out here. Most are old WWII leftovers. In the past couple of years they have found a couple of new "lost aircraft". The last one was out on the Aleutian Chain. They ID ed the aircraft and the DNA bone fragments.