As a kid I built a lot of model airplanes. Mostly World War I and World War II, though there were a few jet aircraft in my stable, it was mostly propellor-driven aircraft which dangled from the ceiling in my bedroom at the ancestral home. You can imagine the excitement I felt when I walked into the Cold War annex (which I only heard about from a fellow who worked at the museum, there are two buildings housing exhibits) and saw two big display cases filled with model airplanes. Lots of model airplanes.
These aircraft models are really well done. In the opening photo we see the Catalina and the Neptune. While I have seen real Catalinas "in person" at a couple of museums (Pungo has one), the Neptune has long been an OAFS favorite.
When I was a kid, the P-2 was one of the few military aircraft we'd see around the neighborhood. Why these maritime patrol aircraft would come booming over the house at low altitude always puzzled me. But never bothered me. When I was a kid most of the P-2s we saw were no doubt out of NAS Brunswick, Maine. They were painted dark blue-gray if memory serves me correctly. Something like this...
No one thought it odd back then that a bunch of civilian kids knew what a MAD boom was (MAD = Magnetic Anomaly Detector, that long thing sticking out the back) but we did. Dad had a buddy who knew a guy who had been in the Navy. Before the Internet there was the veterans network. Someone always knew somebody who'd served in a particular service and done a certain thing who'd know what something was. Kind of cool really.
Now that Marlin is pretty cool looking, I've always had a thing for flying boats. Especially the big ones equipped with weapons. I don't think I'd ever really looked at the P5M-1 before.
Pretty neat I thought.
I have seen any number of P-3 Orions, in museums and in flight, they are cool looking and they too have a MAD boom. I recall seeing them when I was on Okinawa, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. An island in the Pacific is a good place to have maritime patrol aircraft. Even we simple sergeants can figure that out...
Here's a taste of the Orion (footage from VP-1, RIMPAC 2016).
Then there's the P-3's replacement, the P-8 Poseidon. Only two engines, and it's a jet, when this first came out I talked with a couple of P-3 NFOs, they had their doubts. Not enough engines, what was it's loiter time like, a number of questions and doubts. I suppose it's all relative. No doubt back in the day aviators were skeptical of enclosed cockpits and a single wing as well. Time marches on, so does technology.
The P-8, doing it's thing...
Here's a picture of all of the maritime patrol models, this embiggifies with a bit of clicky-clicky.
There was also a big display case full of models of carrier aircraft at the museum. Why yes, I will get to those. Soon.