It’s been well over a year since we were able to set foot in a museum. Oh how we missed them! We spent several hours touring Airbase Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum in Arizona, with friends Dave and Marilyn. Although it was one of the smaller plane museum’s we have visited, it had a number of things we have never seen before.
Below is a replica of a Nieuport 28, built in France, and flown during WWI. It was the first fighter aircraft for the United States.
The plane below is a 7/8 scale flying replica of the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E. 5a, one of the fastest aircraft flown during World War I.
The museum was able to obtain an actual steel artifact from the USS Arizona, which was sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. When the USS Arizona wreckage was declared a national memorial in the 1960’s, a portion of the wreckage was removed so the visitor’s bridge could be installed. The pieces that were removed were stored by the Navy in Pearl Harbor. The Airbase Arizona Museum requested a piece of the wreckage, and the Navy granted their request and they received this piece in 2019.
The North American F-89 Sabre
And the most produced jet fighter type in the world, the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21PF “Fishbed-D.” (in case you are wondering how I remember all of this, I take a picture of the sign, and then the airplane!)
The museum has several helicopters on display. The Bell UH-1B “Huey” Gunship
The very “slim” AH-1F Cobra SN67-15589
And the Sikorsky H-19 Chicasaw, used during the Korean War.
The Douglas A/B-26C “Invader” was used during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
The North America P-51D Mustang was a single pilot fighter bomber used during WWII and the Korean War.
The “red plane” is a Frankfort Sailplane Company QQ-3, a remote controlled drone used by anti-aircraft artillery for target practice. 9,403 drones were produced, but there are only 6 left in existence. It was painted red for better visibility in the museum.
Outside the museum, they had a Douglas C-47 “SkyTrain”, used as a cargo troop carrier.
You are able to walk inside this plane. And we quickly realized why they may have it outside, with the windows open. It had a very strong odor of cigarette smoke. According to the plaque (see below), the plane was operated during WWII.
The Boeing B-17G Bomber “Sentimental Journey” was undergoing routine maintenance. You can actually schedule a ride on this plane. It was also one of the few planes that you could walk (or rather “squeeze” through).
This is what I mean by “squeezing” through..
But it does get a bit wider in the back!
The front of the B-17G Bomber from the inside…
And the view of the front from the exterior.
The bay doors below have been signed by many of the brave men that have flown on this World War II Flying Fortress.
They have a display of fighter pilot head gear over the years.
I always enjoy the personalized symbols on the planes
If you are in the Mesa, Arizona area, this is definitely worth a visit. The four of us had a great day reliving history.
Quote for the Day: “If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.” – Chuck Yeager