Museums

Visit to Robins AFB Museum

I’ve often traveled up I-75 on my way to one of the sites I manage for my company.  Over the years I’ve passed a sign outside of Perry, Georgia referring to the Robins AFB Museum of Aviation.  It’s one of those places I’ve always muttered, “got to visit that one of these days . . .”

Well, today was that day. My family is taking our yearly trek into the mountains and I convinced my wife we needed to visit the museum as our first stop along the way.

I don’t know why I’ve waited so long.  This is a fantastic, amazing place. Lots and lots of historic airplanes and memorabilia.  It would be easy to spend all day, or even a couple days, going through everything they have on display.  There’s four buildings, the first being where you enter, and are immediately faced by an F-15E Eagle. We also had the opportunity to chat with one of the pilots from the USAF Thunderbirds who were there for an air show the following day. Was cool to have him to ourselves for a few minutes.  Also in the first building is a Korean war display with an F-84 and a P-51, then an area devoted to the India-Burma-China theater in WWII, with a P-40 and a Texan on display there.

The next building focuses on the Vietnam years, and there’s lots of interesting aviation stuff in there to look at, starting with an F-101 and an F-4 Phantom II.  There’s a lot of helicopters, and a number of smaller observation aircraft. There’s also a MiG-15 next to the Phantom, to demonstrate who the opponent was at the time.

Next up is a building they call ‘A Century of Aviation.’  I’m not sure if that’s just an interesting name, or if it’s because there’s a few ‘century series’ fighters on display.  There’s an F-102 and an F-106, an F-86 and an F-16 Thunderbird.  There’s also an SR-71 and a U-2 spy plane, and a T-37 ‘Tweet’ trainer.

The last building is also where they do maintenance and restorations, where they’re currently working on restoring a B-17, so they had a number of parts on display.  They also have a fully restored B-29 Superfortress, the first one I’ve ever seen in the flesh, along with a mock-up of an Atomic Bomb.  There’s a B-25 gunship and a few trainers and cargo planes in the rest of the building.

Just outside is a row of aircraft, some are cargo haulers and others are figures or recce aircraft.  There’s a C-124C Globemaster that has to be one of the ugliest airplanes I’ve ever seen, alongside a couple modern cargo planes.  There’s a B-52, and then a string of fighters.

I took a lot of photos, over 200 in all.  There’s a gallery below.  I’ll come back at some point an add some captions and clean up some duplicates or just bad photos, but in the meantime here’s everything, right out of the camera.  Enjoy.

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Fantasy of Flight

Fantasy of Flight in Lakeland is open on a limited basis each weekend.  Rather than the full museum, they’ve got one hangar open with a variety of aircraft and vehicles on display.  There are abbreviated tours, and when we were there they were offering flights in a couple biplanes.

The future looks bright if they can deliver on what they want to do.  Based on conversations with some of the staff, the goal is to significantly expand the facility, with hangars devoted to specific time periods, and a centralized area that will have rides and activities.  They’re striving to make it more family-friendly, so the target audience won’t simply be airheads like all of us but have activities for significant others and the kids.  Kermit Weeks has a lot of interesting aircraft in his collection, so I wish them all the luck and hope they can get started soon.

These photos were taken in December 2015 and show all of the aircraft on display in the single hangar.

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North Carolina Aviation Museum

Photos from a visit to the North Carolina Aviation Museum outside of Asheboro, NC.  Some interesting planes and artifacts on display.

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Confederate Navy Museum

 

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Titanic – Ship of Dreams

Back in 2006, I was able to visit a RMS Titanic exhibit in Orlando called Titanic – Ship of Dreams. While it was not as impressive as some of the traveling shows with actual artifacts from the wreck, it was interesting and did feature a few things that were picked up by other ships traveling through the debris from the sinking.  There was a big model of the wreck site, and some interesting vignettes of staterooms and the grand staircase.  The attraction is closed now, but here are the photos I took back in 2006.

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Virginia Air & Space Museum

Virginia Air & Space Museum

During his trip to the IPMS Nationals in Hampton Roads, club member Fred Stalbaum had a chance to visit the Virginia Air & Space Museum. He’s shared his photos with us here.  All photos are ©Fred Stalbaum, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

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