Saturday, June 25, 2011

I see those fighter planes

Beautiful day for a mini road trip. We headed to Dayton to see the Air Force Museum. I had not been there for about twenty years and was wondering what types of changes had been made. There seemed to be a lot of improvements. A stunning amount of information on the walls and exhibits. What impressed her, and surprised me, was how little flag waving and blatant America F-yeah there was, especially since I have not been there since the end of the Gulf war.

She'd never seen a Wright Flyer up close before. Yes, that thing flew. Both of us were appreciative of the exhibits about the early days of military aviation. Here she is with a Sopwith Camel.

There are a lot of stories about the men and women who flew and did not make it that will rip your heart out. It's an overload of information that is very difficult to absorb in just a few hours. We got through a lot of the exhibits until world war two, and then it became too much.

Approaching the later exhibits up to today I started realizing we really have not learned anything from the lives lost. We're still blowing people up, but with prettier, more technologically advanced machinery. Here's what it's like looking into a bomb drop of a B-52.

There was a very moving exhibit about people from Dayton who had family in the holocaust. They donated a lot of photographs and other personal items, including a death camp uniform that somehow survived the war.

The enemies this country had and defeated were, for the most part, treated with respect. There was a kamikaze plane on display, along with a Japanese fighter and a MIG. The Berlin Airlift was given a good amount of space, with models depicting a Candy Bomber, who dropped parachutes filled with candy and chocolate to the children of Berlin.

You never know when you may come across a Russian checkpoint.

Above all though, the men and women who fought in these wars were all damn brave. You have to respect that. And the astronauts who flew in a Lunar Module the size of a well equipped hot tub get their due as well.

That's Apollo 15.

It's a great place to learn about military aviation, admission is free. Just remember, do not touch anything.

And remember to leave when you have reached your information limit.


Link said...

You know, I've been going to the Museum over 20 years now...hell, my Dad works there...and I always find something new and interesting.

Someone Said said...

You cannot see all of it in a day. There's too much on the walls alone to view. Being a curator here has to be a busy job.