Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Air and Space Museum - A Whirlwind Tour - Part 1 of ?

On Monday we were scheduled to fly out of Sandy Eggo at 2248 local time. Yes, boys and girls, that's 10:48 PM, nighttime, late, are you kidding me late for a cross continental flight. What's more, we had to check out of our hotel at noon. So we had a lot of time to kill. About 9 hours or so. (Dropping off the rental car, taking the shuttle to the air patch, checking in with TSA, etc., etc., takes time. Some times lots of time.)

But we still had to occupy those hours in between.

Of course, a trip to the Navy Exchange (NEX) at Naval Station San Diego is a requirement. The Missus Herself will seldom pass up a chance to hit one of the big exchanges. The one in Sandy Eggo is quite large. (Way bigger than Newport at any rate...)

That consumed a certain amount of time, far more than Your Humble Scribe cared to spend looking at purses, dresses, shoes, and what have you. It was probably no more than two hours. It just felt like two weeks.

I was beginning to despair when lo and behold the All Girl Spending Team* declared it was time to weigh anchor and make sail. Without further ado we headed for the exit, only to be brought up short by the makeup counter. There is, apparently, always something needed by the fairer sex when passing by a makeup counter. I won't make any comparisons between canines and fire hydrants but, you catch my drift.

After the shopping expedition The Nuke asked if I knew that Sandy Eggo had an Air and Space Museum, I said, "Yes, yes I do." Then the trip continued with nary a word. Until we drove into the parking lot and I beheld that scene in the opening photo.

Talk about "kid at Christmas"! I was out of the car and sprinting (well, okay, lumbering) to the entrance, pausing to gaze at the lovely Convair YF2Y-1 Seadart (à gaucheand the exquisite Lockheed A-12 (à droite). (Betcha thought that was an SR-71, dintcha?)

Inside we went to discover that the museum closed at 1700 so we had barely an hour to explore! While we missed much, we have an excellent excuse to return! The Missus Herself even enjoyed it immensely, there was so much to see.

As for me? I went nuts with the camera. If a picture is worth a thousand words, behold the 19,000!**

I didn't notice until just now that one can pose with Mr. Lindberg and shake his hand.
Apollo 9 Command Module "Gumdrop"
Mock up of Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis
General Atomics RQ-1K Predator

The machine in the foreground really caught my eye, the Fokker E III Eindekker. The bird flown by Immelmann, Boelcke, and others of that ilk in The Great War.
Top, Albatros D-Va (reproduction) - bottom, Fokker Dr-1 (reproduction) Triplane, think Red Baron (Mannfred Freiherr von Richthofen) - Foreground, Mark 1 Mod 0 Flying Doghouse (Yes, that is Snoopy. I loved it!)
Curtiss A-1 “Triad” (reproduction)
Snoopy and his dog house next to the Red Baron's aircraft

Come on, you knew I'd go there. Right?

There's a view of the "business end" of the Dr-1
Not sure what that sketchy chap at the wheel is doing, not sure if the nurse likes it or not...
Oh, he's shifting gears I'll bet. (Nudge, nudge, know what I mean?)
Looking back towards the entrance to the WWI area. Like I said, much to see.
They have an excellent selection of WWI posters.
Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés S.VII known to we Yanks as the SPAD VII. She and her kid sister, the SPAD 13, are Old AF Sarge favorites.
Cutaway models on display. Top to bottom: Sopwith Camel, Fokker Dr-1, SE-5A.
These are Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen's actual medals, not reproductions, actually worn by the man himself. The highest award is in the lower center, the Pour le Mérite or "Blue Max."
A sculpture of the Baron, a model of his last aircraft is behind him, Note the white tail, his aircraft was not completely red as his oft written. (Das Museum hat es richtig!)
Plaque accompanying the next photo...

She's a beauty isn't she?
The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" marks the end of the WWI exhibit.
Do I have more photos from this most excellent of museums?

Why yes, yes I do.

Eventually you will see them.

Just not today.

Yes, I can be a tease.

* Hat tip to Lex on this one. I've always loved the way he used the language.
** Yes I did change that. Originally it said 24,000. Apparently I can't count...


  1. Great set of photos. I am getting my gruel bowl in hand to ask for more sir!
    Pretty near every time I see machine guns that shoot through the prop arc, I remember my father talking about some of his experiences at Randolph Field during WWII. He worked in ordnance and said it was not uncommon to see props with bullet holes.
    Sounds like that museum will be a must see if ever in the area.

    1. Thanks John.

      It wasn't uncommon for the interrupter to malfunction, thus letting the occasional bullet hit the prop. I'm sure that was a "no fun" experience.

      There will be more photos from this museum, this I promise!

  2. Ah, great pictures once again. Great post with a delightful soupçon of enlisted whimsy.

    That song was a turntable staple at the ol' roller skating rink, and usually prompted me to switch to two-dimensional BFM mode, which usually prompted the management to put me in the penalty box for a while. It was only later in life that I discovered I'd been suffering from normal 10 year old disorder.

    Nieuport most elegant fighter of the war? Oh yeah, I'll buy that.

    1. "a delightful soupçon of enlisted whimsy"

      My word but you can turn a phrase.

      NTYO disorder is something I think I still have.

      Thanks Shaun.

    2. I know I still suffer [sic] from NTYO disorder.
      There's nothing to be done for it.

  3. Very Cool! Another museum on my must see list.

    1. It is well worth a visit, I need to get back there when I have more than an hour to spend.

  4. Most fantastic indeed. Now I need to go back there. That Nieuport looks like it needs to be pushed outside and flown around for a bit.
    And did their WW1 section have an Old NFO exhibit? Many military museums focusing on that period do now, or so I've been told.

  5. That's the Nieuport that Frank Tallman owned? Double cool. He was missing a leg too, ya know.

    1. That is double cool.

      I need to read up some more on Mr. Tallman. I note that he had a Corsair in his collection, triple cool.

    2. He did. And HOW he got it was the cool part. Bought it from the scrapper who bought hundreds from the government. Paid the scrap price for it and picked the particular one just by selecting a logbook with low engine hours. Went out to the boneyard where it was, shoveled the desert sand out of it, started it up and flew it away. I'm in awe of that man.

    3. Wow! Now that is something else.

  6. Only problem I see is that Snoopy's flying machine is missing bullet holes courtesy of "Curse you, Red Baron!"

  7. How is it that I have only today learned of this place?
    Considering my current circumstances at home, I am sorely tempted to jump in the car to drive down there.
    I could book a room with hot water and other amenities.

    1. I didn't learn of it until late last year.

      Hot water and amenities? In Sandy Eggo?

      Well, there is a Motel 6 downtown, runs about 64 bucks a night. Not sure about the hot water but the neighborhood looked relatively safe. (Or they weren't using tracers, not sure which.)

    2. Heck I can splurge and go to Mission Valley.
      I have Marriott Rewards.
      A college classmate is a GM with one of the other chains down there and he can fix me up, if necessay

    3. Excellent!

      You haven't left yet? (Oh yeah, who will feed Sebastian while you're away...)

    4. Exactly...
      and who'll let the repairman in?

      What irritating about just now finding out about the museum is when GS and I were down there in 2012, we weren't but spitting distance away.
      Nobody even mentioned it.

    5. Well that just sucks.

      You must have visited the Maritime Museum, I mean if you're on the waterfront it's hard to miss...

      "Hey look! Old ships!"

  8. I did not know of this museum. It will be on my list if ever I am back that way again. I am surprised that the Germans have not asked for Richthofen's medals.

    Thanks for the photos!

    1. Glad to oblige Ron.

      It does seem odd that the Germans don't have those.

      I highly recommend the museum, it is superb!

    2. I hadn't thought about the All Girl Spending Team in quite a while. It always makes me smile. Thanks Sarge (and Lex).


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