Dayton – December 2018 – Cool and Quirky Airplanes

With family in town that has a strong interest in aviation, a day long visit to the Air Force Museum in Dayton was called for. For this visit I focused on the cool and quirky aircraft (and spacecraft).

We start with the horizontal stabilizer of Douglas VC-54C Skymaster with the name of ‘Sacred Cow’. It was the first presidential plane, serving FDR.

The Lockheed VC-140B JetStar was the first business jet produced in quantity for the civilian market.

Because of it’s smaller size it was sometimes referred to as Air Force One Half.

A view from the outside of the cockpit of the Independence.

Another look at the Sacred Cow. While it was state of the art, from this angle it looks like there were 100 pieces of aluminum cobbled together.

Not alien, just not useful.

Early Stealth – the Northrup Tacit Blue. While it was stealthy, it apparently was aerodynamically unstable.

Much of the day was spent checking out the quirky noses on many of the planes.

North American X-15A-2. One bad airplane – Built to fly high and fast it made 199 flights starting in 1959, and it speeds of 4520 MPH!

It was the world’s first piloted aircraft to reach hypersonic speeds, and allow the pilots to earn astronaut wings flying as high as 67 miles above the earth.

But then – they made spacecraft! A Gemini and Apollo.

Back to the quirky noses.

We always go through the museum ‘backwards’ – going straight to Hangar 4 for the Presidential aircraft and working our way to the front for the early flight.

Nothing better than a piston engine aircraft.

Dayton – September 2018 – World War I Centennial Anniversary

With 1918 being the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the USAF Museum in Dayton held a commemoration in the form of a period correct air show.

While this air show occurs annually, the 100th anniversary brought special meaning to it.


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Many of the participants dressed in period clothing.

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Most of the aircraft present were in flying condition, although some are recreations and not original, 100 year old planes.

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Wright Patterson Air Force Base is huge, and could easily support the air show on a distant runway of the base.

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As with other events, the re-enactors added to the scene.

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Women were an essential part of the war effort as well, as represented by this Red Cross worker.

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Not really sure why so many of the men had on kilts though.

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A field hospital doctor with period medical pieces.

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There was constant flights occurring – these are actual model aircraft flying while the full size ones took a break.

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While they had nice paved runways, the period aircraft used the grass areas between the pavement for their movements.

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Ready to go…

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The Air Force base buildings also added to the atmosphere.

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Usually the skies over Dayton are filled with screaming jets, but on this day the sounds were very different with the piston engines taking flight.

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The building in the background house some of the museum’s 350+ aircraft.

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While there were no female pilots in World War I, this pilot was flying today.

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More of the aircraft ready to go.

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In addition, a number of aircraft were parked as static displays. The wooden propellers have a classic look to them.

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No ground crew needed, just pick up the tail of your plane and move it onto the runway.

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A number of the re-enactors were dressed as Germans.

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The leader of the Remote Control plane show was looking snazzy.

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More kilts?

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Time to fly…

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The models were very accurate in their representation.

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The Remote Control plane collection was quite large.

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In addition there were period automobiles. During the break from the full size aircraft, the automobiles took to the runways for a spin.

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Sometimes being chased by the model aircraft.

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A period ambulance.

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As with all things at the USAF Museum, the entire event was free to the public.

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Time to stop and move on to the next event.

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Dayton, OH – May 2018 – Origami Art

The Dayton Art Museum featured for the last few months a display of origami.

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There was a variety of models, some more impressive than the others.

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The approaches seemed a bit random.

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Although the more traditional patterns were most impressive.

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Some were small enough to be displayed in a case.

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One was completed using paper with print on it.

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Another pattern based.

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The finale was a room sized piece made up of corrugated cardboard.

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Dayton – January 2018 – Airplanes as Abstract Art

With another exceptionally cold day greeting us, but wanting to keep up with the goal of 13,000 steps per day it was decided to make the hour trip back to Dayton to the US Air Force Museum. It is huge, it is inside and heated, and it is free.

Having been there a couple of times recently and taken photos, with a blog posting, I decided to focus on different views, which ended up what I am calling ‘Airplanes as Abstract Art’.

Rather than try to come up with profiles of each plane, I tried to combine angles, views and perspectives to come up with different views. With the very dark lighting throughout  it made it challenging, but also added an interesting effect.

First up, a Fairchild C119J Right Propeller and the vertical stabilizer for the Space Shuttle mock up (for some reason the USAF Museum did not get one of the original shuttles).

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A North American Twin Mustang ‘Betty Jo’ and a collection of other tails and wings in the ‘Cold War’ section.

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A General Dynamics F111 Aardvark nose backed by an Lockheed AC130A transport plane.

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A Lockheed F117A Nighthawk ‘stealth’

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Douglas C124C Globemaster cargo plane with the cargo loading door open, coupled with the very symmetric ceiling of the hangar. The cold kept most people away, this is one of very few photos from the day that ended up with people in them (barely visible in the interior of the plane).

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Douglas B18 Bolo

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Fokker DR1 Triplane from the early days of flight. This one is hanging upside down from the ceiling.

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A Hawker XV6A.

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Finally a Lockheed XR71 Blakbird. For many years it held records as the fastest airplane (well over 2000 miles per hour) and altitude, at over 80,000 feet. With our walking steps goal complete we headed back out into the cold.

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West Chester, OH – July 2017 – Crazy Cardboard Boat Races

The town of West Chester, Ohio is located between Cincinnati and Dayton, with a rapidly developing suburban feel to it. It was here that we attended our second cardboard boat races ever, the first being a couple of years ago in the Ohio River town of New Richmond.

While both were entertaining this one was clearly geared more to youth, although there were some adult competitors. Still, the boats were creative, the competition at times fierce, and the opportunity for photography excellent.


The concept of a snow shovel for an oar must have seemed like a good idea at first – but it was an epic fail.

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The victors of a heat return to cheers.

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The ‘Five Peas in a Pod’ quickly realize one of their competition have sunk.

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One of the more creative boats was the US Airway flight that landed in the Hudson, complete with a grey stash on Sully.

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One young lady decided it was best just to close her eyes and paddle in any direction.

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A couple of the adult heats clearly knew what they were doing and were extremely intense in their competition.

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These young ladies made it back to the dock first, then promptly sunk.

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Rounding the 3rd buoy and heading for home.

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Another sinking at the dock.

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Dayton – April 2017 – Proto Build Bar

A find on the Roadside America website was the World’s Largest Claw Game. Located in Dayton, Ohio it was a must stop on our day in town. It turned out to be in somewhere very cool itself.

The Proto Build Bar is acknowledged by the folks in the coffee shop, as well as on their website as the World’s first ‘Buildbar’. It is a place that they claim is part 3D printing lab, part electronic maker space, and part cafe, and their advertising is spot on.

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Upon entering we were welcomed by Betty, who showed us around and explained the concept.

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There are many touches recognizing the genius of Nikola Tesla

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And true to Roadside America they do indeed have the World’s Largest Claw Game. And to top it off I had an excellent turkey and swiss panini.

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Dayton – April 2017 – British Transportation Museum

Our primary destination in Dayton on this beautiful Saturday was to visit the British Transportation Museum. Located in a former grocery store warehouse the volunteers here are passionate about restoring British vehicles, and sharing the stories behind them. While there are many automobile museums in flashy buildings, or with larger collections, the people we met here were some of the friendliest.

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I found this place on an internet search, and a couple hours after sending an email to the contact person (Pete) I received a reply welcoming us to come by the next day.

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They have a nice collection including Mini’s, Jaguar’s, Austin’s, Triumphs and many others. The old building gives a true motor head feel to the place.

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We were even treated to a tour of the auxiliary building where they store some of their overflow, as well as renting out space to others to store cars, as well as giant rolls of rubber/plastic seals for who knows what. What it did do was give one the ‘found a classic in a barn’ feel.

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For every Nethercutt I will take a trip to places like the British Transportation Museum in Dayton.


Dayton – April 2017 – America’s Packard Museum Revisited

Since we were running ahead on our day in Dayton, we made a return visit to the America’s Packard Museum. We had visited this museum a couple of years ago and were pleasantly surprised to see they had completely rearranged the automobiles on display, swapping out many of them for others in their collection.


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The post war collection has been greatly enhanced as well.

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As always with Packard’s there is an amazing collection of hood ornaments.

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Located in a former Packard Dealership in downtown Dayton, the entire place gives off a feel of travelling in time (luxury time travel at that). There are few locations that are as good to visit a second time, but the Packard Museum is one of them.

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Dayton – April 2017 – National Cemetery

On a hill on the west side of Dayton is one of the National Cemeteries, where nearly 50,000 former soldiers are buried. Not all of the soldiers died during service, however anyone interned there served in the military.

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With it’s commanding view on likely the highest hill around, and topped with a 50′ high column and statue as a monument to soldiers from Dayton.

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Also within the cemetery is a bell tower. The bright blue skies coupled with the exceptionally well kept headstones and column gave this solemn place an impressive look and feel.

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Dayton – April 2017 – Porsche Gathering

We found ourselves in Dayton on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, checking out another transportation museum (in other posts), when someone came in looking for an event hall. He explained to the ladies at the counter he was late for a Porsche Club gathering.

Having heard that there were ‘a hundred’ Porsche’s just parked on the street a block away we headed down. And it was true, there were Porsche’s everywhere in the old Dayton neighborhood surround Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School.

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