The Museum of Flight – 2004 – Part 1

In the Fall of 2004 we ventured out to Seattle (WA) with the intent of possibly find a place to relocate our belongings, and us with them. I’ve already done a number of posts about our two weeks there, and now I give you our visit to Boeing’s The Museum of Flight.

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That’s a Harrier Jump Jet, a VTOL aircraft. The main purpose of this jet was to evolve into the second generation Jump Jet that was featured in the movie True Lies.

Other aircrafts on display outside the entrance are as follows:

Grumman A-6E Intruder . . .

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. . . and the Grumman F-14A Tomcat.

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We then went inside . . . and looked out to capture more of the Jump Jet and a part of Boeing Field.

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Oh, wait . . . I forgot one. I swear, I’m beginning to worry my mind is going.

Fiat G.91

Fiat G.91

It’s an interesting plane, and I traced it using the plane’s graphics . . . the Frecce Tricolori flew the pre-production  Fiat G.91 version for several years, and those are their insignias on the plane. Eventually they switched to the Aermacchi MB-339.

By the way, the copyright on the photos says 2014, but all these photos were taken in 2004. Yes, I made a mistake (I have a lot on my mind – heavy duty stuff like the very understanding of The Waffle and its planned purpose for humanity in general, and me in particular), and I did not want to go through the process of fixing it. The camera used was the still-viable Nikon D100.

Inside They have a Blackbird . . .

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. . . but not just any Blackbird . . . that is a Blackbird Mother Ship.

What I thought was a third engine turns out to be a drone. A drone mounted on what are provisions for, you guessed it, a drone. The drone program was canned after an accident, but the original intent was to send drones over dangerous areas after getting them close.

They ended up just making the Blackbird too fast to catch.

DC-3

DC-3

DC-3

DC-3

The main entry to the museum has a lot of interesting stuff, but I don’t like how it’s arranged. Also, the large glass window made photography a dicey thing. The lighting was all messed up-like, you know?

. . . I tried to do my best but I was not happy.

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Stearman C-3B – Western Air Express livery and the Swallow Commercial – ‘Varney Swallow’ livery

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The wooden plane is Boeing B&W Replica – Boeing and Westervelt, the very first Boeing. Also an early U.S. Mail truck – I don’t think it flew.

The place looked kind of busy, and it was difficult to get a feel for the individual planes; everything jumbled together.

Curtiss Robin C-1

Curtiss Robin C-1

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In fact it felt a bit like a typical airline flight. The technology and trappings are impressive, but one never quite gets comfortable.  We walked about kind of lost, me snapping pictures in the hope it would help my focus.

. . . I mean, the pictures are in focus, but I wasn’t.

Stinson SR Reliant

Stinson SR Reliant

Hmmm . . . now that I look at the photos, I must have had some wits about me . . .

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So, what are those neat-looking planes?

The top one is the Northrop YF-5A prototype for what would become the Northrop F-5. These planes were used as the ‘bad guys’ in the Top Gun school, substituting for similar MiG fighters.

Below it is a Bowers Fly Baby 1A. You can read more about these planes HERE.

La freccia azzurra is the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter. You can read more about these popular planes HERE.

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The little helicopter you see at the edge of the frame is the Hiller YH-32 Hornet.

And, finally, the plane doing the barrel roll is the Stephens Akro, and you can read a bit more about them HERE. You’ve seen this plane before in a previous post, only it had a Budweiser paint design.

I can only look up so long before my neck starts hurting, but before we go back to the ground, here’s a shot of part of the great hall. You might notice, as this post progresses, that I did not snap a photo of each plane in the hall . . . too bad, that.

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Well, OK . . . one more shot looking slightly up, but only because it’s the Blackbird.

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It almost looks as if it should be an alien craft . . . and if conspiracy theorists are right, maybe it was.

Gee Bee Model Z replica

Gee Bee Model Z replica

The Gee Bee Model Z had a brief but interesting career . . . this is a replica, so you can guess how it ended.

Hello! . . . this is something interesting!

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That’s the Taylor Aerocar III . . . for all them whiners still waiting for flying cars, you missed them; they were around in the 50s and 60s. Read more about them HERE.

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The Phantom . . . or, more precisely, the McDonnell Douglas F-4C PHANTOM II. The Phantom has the distinction of being the last U.S. fighter flown to attain ace status in the 20th century. Also, for some reason, I feel an affinity for this plane . . . probably because it was flying when i was a teen. You can read more about it HERE. You can also see a list of all the F-4s on display around the world HERE.

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One of the planes that faced off against the Phantom was the MiG-21. This one has an interesting history . . . it was saved from the scrapyard in the Czech Republic, bought, and transferred here. You can read more about MiG-21 planes HERE.

Yup . . . it’s time for another view of the SR-71 Mothership.

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Awesome . . . simply awesome. That’s the Lockheed D-21B drone riding atop the Blackbird.

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I’m sure if I did some research I would figure out what this plane is. It’s not currently listed in their displays, so it may have been on loan from someplace that wanted it back. I should have taken a picture of the plaque.

From the Great Hall we ventured outside . . . 

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I presume I don’t have to identify the above plane. 

This next one is probably the most famous Air Force One, used by presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It is the Boeing VC-137B.

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You can read a bit more about these planes HERE.

From there we headed back in, and wandered over to the WW II display . . . but it’s getting late, and I’m tired.

I’ll pick this up in the next post. Meanwhile, you can see larger versions of these photos in the SmugMug gallery HERE.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

State of Being

State of Being

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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6 Responses to The Museum of Flight – 2004 – Part 1

  1. oneowner says:

    The Blackbird is still my favorite but I do like that F104C, too. I love to take a ride on Air Force 1, too. It must be a thrill to be in a plane with that history.

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  2. What a cool museum! :-) You got some great shots! :-) Almost impossible to pick a fav here…but, I do like the Phantom! I’ve been to the San Diego Air and Space Museum, in Balboa Park, a few times. I love planes, trains, and automobiles and can look for hours!
    HUGS!!! :-)

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  3. AnnMarie says:

    Even thought you might not be too pleased with the shots, they look great to me! But perhaps it does seem a little crowded inside . . . Anyway, always a treat to get your ‘show and tell’. And I got a kick out of looking inside Air Force One and imagining those Presidential meetings . . .

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