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Thread: Museum of the United States Air Force- IMAGE HEAVY

  1. #1
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Museum of the United States Air Force- IMAGE HEAVY

    For the past 14 or so years I have been wanting to make a stop at this place when traveling from PA to Indiana and back. Right off Interstate 70 in Dayton Ohio, this museum houses an amazing collection of aircraft spanning the entirety of flight history in several galleries. Perhaps most amazing is that admission to this incredible musuem is free, but I just had to make a donation given what I was treated to. It being a weekday, the galleries were nearly empty, which made for some pretty decent photo opportunities. A tripod was an absolute must given the low light in the hangars, and because I forgot my expodisc I had to manually set wb temp. I ran around that place for 6 hours straight with no breaks to try to grab as many airplanes as possible. I had a 12-24mm lens and 55-200mm lens on me and stopped down to f/8 they pretty much covered all my needs. Most of the indoor exposures were 1-2 seconds long.

    We start with the Early Years gallery






    Moving along to WWII








    They had 'Bock's Car', the B-29 that dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki


    The Presidential Transport and R&D galleries are located on a controlled access part of Wright Patterson AFB. You show your ID in order to be able to board the shuttle bus, and get driven through a checkpoint staffed by MP's armed with full-auto rifles. No photography is allowed while in transit. These galleries house some very exotic aircraft, such as SAM26000 and the only XB-70 in the world. They only give you 45 minutes in both galleries, and believe me when I say that was barely enough time to get most of it in. Also, they crammed in as many airplanes into these hangers they could, so even at 12mm most shots were partial airframes with parts of other planes visible. Looks cool though




    SAM 26000 flightdeck, handheld and through glass. The plane that flew Kennedy's body home to Washington, you are able to go inside and view the area where his casket was placed. Very eerie.






    I couldn't believe how enormous the Valkyrie was in person. What a damned fine looking airplane that was, there's just something about that nose with the canards that it and the Tu-144 Charger take the cake for sexiest 'beak'


    I just love the bit about the encapsulated ejection seat


    Next is a Hercules that was converted by Convair to a simulator test-bed for new aircraft designs. I don't know how they did it, but apparently it can be programmed to emulate the flight control characteristics of many different aircraft, including the Space Shuttle


    We then returned to the museum grounds. While everyone else walked back inside I walked over to their outdoor static displays.


    Some interesting editing on this Starlifter


    EC-135E ARIA, used to support the space program in the 1960's


    nose art


    While walking back to the building I noticed a strange 707 on the Wright Patterson ramp. They never said 'no pictures from the museum grounds' so here it is:

    Moose I'm thinking you know what this is. A Cobra Ball maybe?

    Then it was off to the SE Asia/Cold War gallery




    This is the Phantom piloted by fighter ace Robin Olds














    And finally, there was the Rocket & Missile gallery, complete with a Minuteman I and III

    5pm came just as I got through the last gallery. I didn't have time to browse the gift shop but that's OK, I don't need any more trinkets. Staff there were incredibly nice and helpful. I highly recommend visiting this museum if you happen to find yourself in the Dayton area.

    Have a great weekend,

    William

  2. #2
    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    Looks like you had a great trip. Awesome set William. One of my favorite is the B-47 bomber you captured.
    Mark
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    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Nice work, William! The museum is a great place, and very photographer friendly. I was last there about 5 years ago, and spent most of 3 days touring and photographing the place.

    That's actually the NKC-135A Airborne Laser Lab, used to test airborne lasers against flying targets. It was retired in 1988. On my last trip, it was on the ramp outside the building, next to the ARIA -135.





    More info on the NKC-135A:

    http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/fac...eet.asp?id=787

    It looks like there is a B-47 (minus the vertical fin and outboard engine) parked next to it.
    Last edited by moose135; 02-15-2013 at 12:23 PM.

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    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    drool!! i've been meaning to go there for years. definitely in the top 5 on my list of things to do!
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

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    Senior Member cowens727's Avatar
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    Great set! Looks like Dayton, Ohio is going on my list of must-see towns now. Thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowens727 View Post
    Great set! Looks like Dayton, Ohio is going on my list of must-see towns now. Thanks for sharing.
    My pleasure! We apparently both visited some very cool museums at the same time lol. I tried not to replicate too many of the same planes you had posted, but I couldn't resist posting Strawberry Bitch and that B-52D


    Thanks also to you other folks for the compliments

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    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    One of the, if not THE best Military museums in the world. Been there three times too little The fact that they have a few FIRST OF in the collection as well as a few ONLY OFs makes it all more worth it.

    If you have a chance to visit the IMAX theatre, you will be treated to a lot of footage that will blow you away, not available in 70mm IMAX 3D anywhere else... well, maybe the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has a good collection as well.

    Definitely ned time alone there or an understanding wife/girlfriend. Not to be sexist, the same applies to female enthusiasts
    Manny Gonzalez
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    Just started doing work with a contractor located in the area, so the museum is on the
    ToDo list.

    Karl

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    Amazing photos William! Wow! I am blown away! That place is definitely on my to do list for 2013, especially with the airshow circuit going down the toilet this year...
    Steve Furst

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    Awesome photos!!! I just added it to my wishlist. But I thought the tripod is not allowed to bring inside the museum.

    John/BDL

  11. #11
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    John, this is one museum that welcomes tripods...scroll down to their photo tips:

    http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/que...pic.asp?id=182

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