Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, April 11, 2013

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force - The Inside View

By Mark Nankivil
Since Fred Harl is covering the aircraft in the Air Park out there in the snow, I thought I would provide an inside look from a recent visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.  A research trip to the Museum archives allowed for a Sunday afternoon visit to the Museum itself, my first visit since 2003.  The NMUSAF Museum has an excellent variety of aircraft and related artifacts on display in the three galleries/hangars of the main Museum building along with additional aircraft on display over in the Research & Development and Presidential Galleries. 

The three galleries at the main Museum area cover the Early Years, World War II, Korean War, Southeast Asia War and the Cold War.  There is also a Missile & Space Gallery that is oriented to allow for the display of various missiles in the vertical position.

Photography in the main Museum galleries is difficult with black
ceilings, pinpoint lighting on subjects and at times, tight quarters.
The 'bat cave" is a title that is well deserved.  Tripods are allowed,
and you'll need one to allow for shutter speeds you simply cannot hold
by hand.  Having said that though, the aircraft displayed are worth
seeing, and as is the case for many, such as the Bird of Prey, F-22 and
F-117, this is just about the only place you'll see one up close.

The NMUSAF is only 5-6 hours due east of the St. Louis area - simply
head east on I-70 until you reach the Dayton, Ohio area and follow the
signs to the Museum.  Be sure to check the Museum schedule at their
website as the sequester is impacting what is available for viewing
and tours.

Curtiss V2-3, 200HP

Curtiss D-12, 375HP

1930s Aerial Bombs

McCook Field G-3 Target Glider

Fairchild PT-19A Cornell

Kellett K-2 Autogyro

Bristol Beaufighter Night Fighter

Curtiss AT-9 Jeep 

Martin B-26G Marauder

Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Bockscar"

McDonnell Aircraft Corp. ASV-3 Asset

Ryan BQM-34 Firebee

Northrop SM-62 Snark

Republic F-84E Thunderjet

Republic RF-84K Thunderflash

North American F-86 Sabre Cutaway

Northrop F-89J Scorpion

Convair F-102A Delta Dagger

Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV
McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Bird of Prey

General Atomics YMQ-9 Reaper

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