Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 35 - Cincinnati & Dayton

Inside this building is a replica of the Wilbur & Orville Wright's aircraft that was the first official aircraft that achieved "flight". This replica actually flies - well that how it is written in our tourist brochures. The museum was closed today because it was a Sunday. Located at Miamisburg (near Dayton), Ohio

An old ancient Indian Mound at Miamisburg, Ohio. We believe it was a burial site back in 600 BC

The Mound in question regarding the second photograph

Located in the main street in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton is the birthplace of aviation. It was here that the Wright Brothers had their bicycle shop and came up with the idea about using an aerofoil shape for winged flight, hence the first sustained flight in an aircraft. This monument is the actual length and height of the Kittyhawk flight path that first flew in 1903 - 120 feet in 12 seconds at a speed of 64 kph

The Dayton City Hall, Ohio. It's a Sunday and hardly no traffic to content with

Entering the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, east of Dayton, Ohio. It is a huge complex - this is the main foyer and hangers are to the right of this building. The following pictures are some (and we mean a fraction of what is inside) of the exhibits displayed in this fabulous museum

The exact replica of the Wright 1909 Military flyer, the world's first military airplane

A wooden wind tunnel used during World War One

A famous British Sopwith Camel - the mainstay of the Air Flying Corps during WW1

An Italian Caproni Ca-36 "bomber" - used by the Italians against the Austrians in WW1. The pilot or his passenger would just drop bombs from their cockpit

A Boeing P-26A "Peashooter", the first all-medal monoplane fighter for the US Army Air Corps

A Douglas B-18 bomber in service from 1939 to 1942

A display regarding the Doolittle raid on Japan in 1942 - a B-25 bomber that launched from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier

Imagine being at 10,000 feet in an open gun position and under freezing conditions waiting for enemy fighters to shoot back at you with your fully loaded 50 calibre weapon

The nose section of a B-24D Liberator - notice the three intimidating barrels facing forwards 

An excellent shot of the nose section of a Martin B-26G Marauder. The dummy inside depicts the bombardier's position

One of Hitler's secret weapon - a Me 162 "Komet" rocket propelled fighter. Many exploded in flight due to the volatile rocket fuel and killed many pilots. The idea was to reached maximum altitude in minutes and glide down seeking enemy bombers with its guns

Bob Hope gave many shows to servicemen for the war effort from WW2 to the Vietnam War. He was given an Emmy which the actual trophy is on show here in a special stand inside the museum

We had a 5 minute F-15 Eagle" simulator ride inside this capsule. Anne was the gunner and Neil was the pilot. Anne shot down two enemy aircraft with Sidewinder missiles at the start then fired many at the ground??? We did two barrel rolls in which the capsule rolled upside down creating a small amount of "G"
. Anne wasn't not impressed with Neil's flying ability. After shooting down two aircraft we couldn't find any aircraft - so much for our navigating ability. Overall it was fun

A Russian built Mig-15, used by the North Korean Air Force during the Korean War

Neil has spent many hours inside this type of aircraft when he was in the RAAF. A Caribou aircraft used in the Vietnam War

Anne standing in front of the actual Apollo 15 Command Module

Wow - this is a 105 mm M102 Cannon. Used on Hercules AC-130 gunships during the Vietnam War. Check out the 7.62 mini-guns protruding from the C-130's fuselage

Thankfully, never used in anger or tested in peace. A megaton hydrogen nuclear warhead that was fitted to ground-launched missiles such as the Minuteman and Titan ICBMs

This is what humans are capable of destroying to other humans and perhaps civilisation as a whole. This warhead conglomerate is fitted to a Minuteman III silo launched missile. It's aim is to reach a certain altitude over enemy territory and break up into ten separate pieces thus enabling to hit ten different targets simultaneously - each one is capable to explode in the megaton range.

A rarity - an SR-71 "Blackbird". It was a long-range advanced strategic reconnaissance aircraft "a spy plane". It is the fastest and highest flying operational aircraft - over 80,000 feet and Mach 3+. This is one of Neil's greatest achievements when visiting aircraft displays - seeing an actual Blackbird

Nothing much to add in this picture - just that this thermonuclear weapon was carried by many USAF aircraft around the world during the Cold War 

A beautiful aircraft a B-36 - was America's largest bomber during the late 40's and 50's

America's latest aircraft weaponry a F-22 "Raptor". The world's first stealthy air dominance fighter. Only used by the USAF

The famous (or infamous) Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" named Bockscar. This particular aircraft on August 9th 1945 dropped an atom bomb on Nagasaki

This is the bomb casing for the atom bomb that was dropped by the Enola Gay on Hiroshima "nicknamed "Little Boy" an uranium bomb

This is the bomb casing for the atom bomb that was dropped by the Bockscar on Nagasaki "nicknamed "Fat Man" a plutonium bomb

A C-17 Cargo aircraft on display outside the main hangers

These three hangers contain hundreds of warbirds ranging from pre-WW1 to recent conflicts. Each hanger is huge and it took us three hours just gazing and reading the material on each aircraft. To visit and understand each aircraft on display and its role would take a day. It was a great experience in visiting this museum and has to be the best and largest collection in the world. A good choice of the USAF to locate this on the Wright Bros home territory.

It only took us one hour to drive to Dayton from Cincinnati. It is Sunday and the traffic is light, even through Cincinnati and Dayton. We stopped at the location of a Kittyhawk replica, which does fly but being a holiday it was closed. We continued to Miamisburg (a suburb of Dayton) and visited an Indian Mound. Apparently there are many scattered around the countryside and are 1000 BC year burial sites of indigenous people of that era. We assumed that the mounds are like burying people similar to Egyptian pyramids. From Miamisburg we drove into Dayton and viewed the ramp that is in the main street. As the picture above relates it is the replica flight path of the Kittyhawk that the Wright Bros built and flew. Dayton is in the state of Ohio and they claim they are the birthplace of aviation and in fact are proud of that too (it's on their vehicle number plates). From Dayton we drive to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where the National Museum of the United States Air Force is located. And without going into what is inside this huge complex, which would take many hours of writing this narrative, a sample is listed in the above pictures. Neil took hundreds of photographs and each relate to some point in history or a role each aircraft performed. The highlights in the museum is the actual aircraft used on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, a SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, F-22 Raptor and witnessing the cunning way aircraft were hung, positioned and basically displayed in all its glory. Quite an achievement for the creators of the museum. It is a pity that Australia could not contain all its aircraft in one location instead of several small museums we have in place. We are staying at a suburb location near Dayton at Fairborn and tomorrow we drive out of Ohio to West Virginia. We will be stopping at Point Pleasant to see what the fuss was all about "Mothman" back in the 1960's. More about that tomorrow - cheers to all our happy readers.

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