Daily Archives: March 15, 2015

Planes and More Planes . . .

Thought today’s blog might be a good time to catch up with our visit to the War Eagle Air Museum a week or so ago since not a lot else happened today.

War Eagle Air Museum

The first things you see are a Hawk missile battery, and Patriot missile launcher, along with their radar units.

WE Hawk Battery

WE Patriot Launcher

Getting into the building I was happy to find that, unlike some places, the entry fee was very reasonable, $5 for adults, and $4 for seniors. Working our way through the gift shop (there’s always a gift shop) we went out on the hanger floor and found a very nice collection of vintage planes, many in flying condition.


Hint: The way you tell if one is in flying condition is to look for the oil drip pans underneath the engines. As they say, if it’s flying, it’s leaking.

First up was a very nice P-40E Warhawk.

WE P-40E Warhawk

This plane was what the famed Flying Tigers were using against the Japanese in China, operating as the 1st American Volunteer Group.

Later, flying with ‘Pappy’ Boyington of ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ fame, many other Flying Tigers veterans flew the F-4U Corsair for the US Marines.

WE F4U Corsair

‘Pappy’ Boyington was later awarded a Medal of Honor for his heroics.

Next up was a P-51D Mustang,

WE P-51D Mustang

and a TBM Avenger bomber.

WE Grumman TBM-3E Avenger

The next plane in the line is one of my two favorites, the Lockheed P-38L Lightning. (My other favorite is the SR-71 Blackbird)

WE P-38L Lightning

Note that this one is also in flying condition. Known by the the Germans as the ‘Forked Tail Devil’ and the Japanese as “Two Planes, One Pilot’, it was the only American fighter to be in production from Pearl Harbor through VJ Day.

And of course, what’s a WWII display without nose art . . . well, tail art, anyway.

WE Texas Tail Art

Wrapping up the prop planes, here’s an A-26C Invader, also flyable.

WE A-26C Invader

Finally getting into the early jet age, they’ve got an F-86 Sabre,

WE F-86 Sabre

a MiG-15,

WE MiG-15

and a MiG-21.

WE MiG-21

And a little more modern, here’s a T-38B Talon trainer.

WE T-38B Talon

We see a lot of these around Houston because they’re what the astronauts fly to keep current, and travel back and forth to the Cape.

And here’s another favorite of mine, (OK, so I have 3 favorites) the Cessna T-37B trainer.

WE T-37 Dragonfly2

One reason it’s my favorite is that I actually have a couple of hours of left seat time in both the T-37 and its A-37B big brother. The A-37 is a lot more fun because it has more than twice the thrust of the T-37. This was when I was working as a DOD contractor in the late 60’s – early 70’s.

Last up was a group of H-Bomb mockups showing the amazingly small size of something that can wipe out a city.

WE H Bombs

If you like planes, the War Eagle Air Museum is a cheap, enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

War Eagle Air Museum Balcony 2

WE Balcony 3

Check it out.

As far as today, not much.

I worked on some projects, Jan read, and about 5:30 we met Nick, Terry, and Nick’s cousin, Bev at the Hot Wok Asian Bistro. After all the recent problems with Luckie’s Thai, I think Hot Wok is our new favorite Asian place in Tucson.

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Thought for the Day:

“He soured on life some seconds after he was born and has made a profession of deteriorating ever since.” – Mission Earth

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