USAF Museum Experimental section

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by Geedee, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Okeydokey, heres the shots form the Experimental section...right next door to the Presidential section at the USAF Museum in Dayton.

    You cannot really go to the USAFM and look at all those stonking Warbirds without nipping next door for a gander at the jet jobbies.

    The only drawback here is that you are at Wright Patterson, which spookily enough is an active Military base so you are escorted in by bus and have the grand total of 45 minutes to get around and see everything. Not much fun if you only have one visit as you are trying desperatly to get around each A/C and get those all important piccies with out breally having much time to just stand there and look.

    I should point out to those who havent been to the USAF Museum but are thinking about it...GO !!!!...., its snuggled up against the fence of Wright Patterson so there no real travel included...in fact you are picked up and dropped off outside the USAF Museum itself.

    There are some real gems in this hangar. First one is obviously that ENORMOUS Valkyrie. I knew it would be big....but that big ?...its heeuuge !....and dead sexy to boot !.

    Here you will find a Piper Enforcer, a re-engined Mustang with a turbo prop at the point end......aaaaargh, sacrilage !!!

    And dont forget the Thunderscreech !. Some wag thought it'd be a good idea to bolt a high speed prop on the front of a Thunderjet....only problem was that the high speed prop made such a noise, that it induced acute nausea on anyone within a couple of hundred yards when it was running (I'm assuming the pilot had cotton wool buds jammed in his ears under his bone dome !).

    And I never knew the X-15 had an opening window ! I can just see the astro-pilot-dude with his arm out of the window scrapping the frost off from those high altitude flights !.

    There is also the amazing little Ryan Vertijet, the X3 Stilleto...looks like a mouse from head on !...and if I remember correctly a Pave (Have ?) Blue, looking like something a Storm Trooper would arrive at Jabba's in. And its Blue !. Also nestled in and around the Valkyrie are various lifting bodies from the early days.

    Anyway, enough of the smartypants comments, this is a real treasure trove and absolutely has to be on your list of plaeces to visit. Trust me, you absolutely, categorically, will not regret it.

    To coin an Americanism...its awesome !!!
     

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  2. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Heres the last batch from this side of the USAFM. I'll do seperate threads on the Cold War, Modern and early years, in the next few days, if thats OK.
     

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  3. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Sweet shots there Gary, many thanks!!!
     
  4. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    very nice Gary, some interesting aircraft there !
     
  5. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Hey Gary, those are great. The place looks like it's packed. I had not ever seen a 107 before. Checking your 6 would be a bit tough. Thank you for sharing. :thumbright:
     
  6. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    Great Pictures!

    The Air Force Museum is raising money to build a fourth large hanger. The plan is to place the X-Planes and Presidential planes in the new hanger.

    Two years ago when I was there, I tried to get onto Wright-Patterson AFB to go the this annex. The fliers and even the sign where you sign up said all you needed was a valid Military ID (which me and my girl friend had) to go over on your own. We tried and were turned away because my car didn't have a Wright-Patterson AFB sticker on it. The security forces (Air Police) are polite, but very serious about security.

    It is for the reasons you cite and my failure, that the Museum wants to have the collection all on the same side of the fence. That will be super when it happens.

    The problem is that the Museum already has enough planes to fill a fifth hanger! And the XC-99, when it is done, will take up a lot of room. And with the airplanes that still sit outside on the ramp, they have a large problem of lack of room.

    The good news is that they do have the XB-70 inside. When I first went there, this plane was sitting outside.

    Bill G.
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Excellent stuff Gary!

    Definitely got to get over there at some point, would love to see the XB-70.
     
  8. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yes, it made me feel much better seeing the one-of-a-kind Valkyrie inside finally, instead of outside exposed to the elements.
     
  9. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Ok maybe these are stupid questions but what is that plane in the second picture down on the second post?
    And what modification of the F-16 is that?
     
  10. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Flyboy2, I believe it is the same as the first photo, the F107A. I could be mistaken though.:-k :scratch:
     
  11. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    I just checked the Air Force Museum web site. It is the AFTI F-16. AFTI means Avdanced Fighter Technology Integration.

    Here is the Museum Writeup.

    The USAF used this highly modified fighter for more than 20 years to test new and award-winning ideas in flight control, electronic targeting and cockpit design. A one-of-a-kind aircraft, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) F-16 made more than 700 flights in 10 different research programs between 1978 and 2000.

    AFTI F-16 programs developed targeting lasers and computers, and new autopilot and ground-avoidance systems allowed pilots to fly faster and lower while seeking and attacking targets. Other AFTI advances included digital flight controls, a voice-activated maneuvering system that allowed the pilot to “point” the aircraft in unusual flight attitudes, and touch-sensitive cockpit displays.

    The aircraft’s last project contributed to the Joint Strike Fighter design by reducing aircraft weight and increasing maneuverability. One of this program’s most significant achievements was the first-ever use of all-electric “power by wire” flight controls, with no hydraulic or mechanical backups to move the aircraft’s control surfaces. This milestone won the AFTI team the 2000 Aerospace Industry Award for Engineering, Maintenance and Modification.

    The AFTI F-16 was retired Feb. 11, 2001, when it was flown to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and transferred to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

    Bill G.
     
  12. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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  13. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, my dumba$$ was looking at the first post!:oops:
     
  14. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Wondeful shots Gary thanks mate! :)
     
  15. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

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    is that a turboprop Mustang?
     
  16. Venganza

    Venganza Member

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    You got it Trebor. It was an attempt by Piper to turn a Mustang, yes, that Mustang (the P-51) into a COIN aircraft, with a turboprop engine replacing the Merlin, along with general strengthening of the airframe and many other changes, large and small. By the time they got finished modifying the plane, it didn't have that much in common with the original P-51, but still looked somewhat like it. An interesting concept, but it never made it past the prototype stage. I'm glad it's been preserved. I believe somewhere out on the Internet ether there is (or was) a conversion set available to convert a normal P-51 into the Piper Enforcer, in 1/72nd scale If I remember correctly. I'd love to make the pilgrimage to Wright-Patterson, especially when they get the XC-99 restored and inside. I saw it over 30 years ago when it was outside of Kelly AFB in San Antonio, sitting outside and already in not so great a shape. I was mightily heartened to hear that the USAF got ahold of it and intended to restore it. Great pictures, Gary, keep 'em coming mate!

    Venganza
     
  17. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

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    wow! quite interesting. I wonder ho well that bird would have performed?
     
  18. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Ok thanks Graeme and Bill G.
    Mucho Gracias!
     
  19. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Nice stuff Gary. It's great to see the Valkyrie in a hangar. I last visited there in 1980 and it was parked outside. I was hoping they would get it out of the elements.

    As an aside, it was that very airplane that sparked my interest in aviation. I was very young, almost three, when my father took me to see the final landing of the XB-70 at Wright Patterson. It is one of my earliest childhood memories and something I will never forget. To see that big white plane go right over our heads and the roar was deafening. But I was in love.
     
  20. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    You lucky, lucky, lucky B*gger !.

    When I was standing underneath her and looking up at those 6 jet-pipes, I was thinking to myself, "I wonder what she sounded like when the dude up front, firewalled the loud levers. Did she 'howl' like the Vulcan, on her take off run ?".

    It certainly makes you feel small and insignificant when you see the area involved in the engine department on this babe.

    I bet she's still be a viable deterrant too !
     
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