Saturday, September 27, 2008

Florida Air Museum

Today was the Smithsonian's Free Museum Day, and since we're never ones to turn down something free, the family ventured out to visit the Florida Air Museum. We've visited many automotive museums and a train museum, now it was time to see some planes.

(Bummer here is that we were going to get together with friends, but Chef decided he wanted to hang out with friends in the morning. He changed his tune when he realized we were going to see planes.)

It was a cool way to spend a few hours. The museum is heavy on vintage planes and a few military aircraft. While technically it wasn't a 'hands on' type place, the planes weren't roped off-you could look right into the cockpits or touch the propellers. I honestly can't tell you who got the most out of the experience, because we were all enjoying different aspects of the venue.

Half of the main (air conditioned) building. The hangars aren't cooled, which makes me glad we didn't visit in the heat of summer!


This model was made from pie pans.


Cool two seater, huh?


We didn't see Snoopy anywhere. (Red Baron is made locally, so its common to have it turn up around here)


I love looking at the cockpits of these old machines and marvel at the nerve of those who took them up. Open air, primitive controls, no seatbelt!


I wish the macro on this camera worked well. I love old decals. This propeller was made by hand.


There were a series of photographs taken by Russell Munson on display. They were taken in the air over Long Island. I would love to have the prints, they were gorgeous!


A small representation of what was hanging from the rafters in the main exhibit building.


The Spirit of Peace. Alas, no information accompanied the vessel, but Google is my friend, found the information on the museum website!


One of the Navy's jets assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The kids were fascinated with being up close with this plane, especially Chef Jr.


Sensenich seems to have made props for quite a few planes. Up close, it is beautiful workmanship.


This engine was made less than ten miles from where I grew up.


The picture doesn't do this plane justice. It was huge, and those props were about 8 feet tall! It was quite impressive.


Another prop blade


My Nana and Papa were employed by Grumman for many, many years. Now it's Northrup Grumman, but at one time, they were the largest employer on Long Island (with Fairchild being either 2nd or third)


On the way out, Ed noticed a flyer that they hold campouts for youth groups. This sounds awesome, and who knows? Maybe we'll be back soon with the kids earning a merit badge and checking out more of the facilities.

I suppose we should look through the list of participating museums and start planning next year's excursion...

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