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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Walking About Dreaming of Flying About

I can't remember if it was a model my brother built or maybe just a picture but when I was a boy and saw the sharks mouth on the P-40 Warhawk (or Kittyhawk) to me it was just the best thing ever. I went on the spur of the moment to the Seatlle Museum of Flight. I was down at Pike Place wondering what else I might want to see and a little green sign on the freeway saying "Flight Museum" came to mind. I wasn't even sure what I was in for but had always wanted to go.





Curtiss P-40N Warhawk



"Curse you Red Baron!" If you ever watched or read the cartoon Peanuts you will know what I am talking about. The Fokker Triplane was favoured by Manfred Von Richtofen in which he racked up 19 of his 21 combat victories. I am not sure how many of those were Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel. There are no surviving original Fokker Triplanes. Apparently the last one which was flown by Richtofen was destroyed in WWII by allied bombing in a museum in Berlin. This reproduction was built between 1958 and 1972 then crashed and later rebuilt in 1990.                                                                                                            
             Fokker DR.1 Triplane (reproduction)

Here is a very unique airplane (click the link).Too bad it was on loan to Science City at Union Station in Kansas City. It would really be something to , um, not see.

They have a lot of displays about space right from a Mercury space capsule (I thought it was a 1/2 or 1/4 scale model, so tiny) to a space shuttle full scale mock up. That was huge.  Above the shuttle is the Hubble telescope. Actually both of them are.














One of the display buildings is the original Boeing factory building called The Red Barn. It was moved from it's original site to the museum on a barge by river. There are displays of the beginnings of flight and what the workshop may have looked like with it's tools and partially built airplanes.  In there I found this radial engine. I have always felt these were mechanical works of art in their own right.









Not quite sure the purpose of this was. I think it was designed to fly quiet. Thought it was cool though so I took a photo. I am afraid I started a bit late in the day so I was trying to rush through and see the planes and couldn't get much reading done.




"P51! Cadillac of the skies!" Christian Bale playing a young boy in a Japanese internment camp in World War Two as 3 P51 Mustangs tear up the airfield there. The movie is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by J. G. Ballard. The shot of the pilot waving to the boy actually happened. The airplanes in this museum do have ropes around them but they are low and right up to the airplanes so you can get close enough to touch them.







North American P-51D Mustang

Looking down at the cockpit and ammunition bay.




















I always thought the Navy Corsair was a graceful looking airplane with its gull wing. The wing was designed this way so it wouldn't need long landing gear struts for carrier landings. As you can see the wings were folding to save space on those aircraft carriers. 












 Goodyear FG-1D Corsair

Most of the facts in this blog post I gleaned from the museums web site. The site is worth a visit too but definitely go see the museum and take several hours which is what I will do next time. 

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