Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Tempting Flight Experience

A "working museum" is the title I would use to describe the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, TX. I chose that description because many of the planes are maintained in flight condition. For example, a B-25 (shown in the text below) Flight Experience is available for $375 per person.

Although tempting, the thought of flying in an open cockpit of one of the biplanes did not materialize.
PT-17 Stearman Bi-plane

From 1934 until February 1945, more American military pilots learned to fly in the Stearman model 75 primary trainers than any other airplane. After the war, many Stearmans soldiered on for decades as crop dusters and air show performers.
T-41B Cessna, "Fighting Mescalero"

The Cessna T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the popular Cessna 172 used by the United States Air Force and Army as a pilot training aircraft. The T-41B is the US Army version.
North American SNJ-5 Texan

Boeing Spearman, PT-17

The primary U.S. Army and Navy trainer during WWII, Boeing‘s PT-17 Stearman enjoyed a thriving second career as a crop duster. Hundreds still fly today in private hands.
SBD-5 (Scout Bomber Douglas) Dauntless

Known by its Navy nickname, Slow But Deadly, this plane was a WWII carrier-based dive bomber that served with distinction in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. It played a pivotal role in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway where the SBDs were instrumental in the sinking of three of four Japanese carriers.
Beech 58 Baron

B-25 Mitchell Bomber

The B-25 Mitchell was a very versatile medium-duty bomber which flew in both the Pacific and European Theaters during World War II. The Flight Museum B-25 is the official aircraft of the Doolittle Raiders. It honors the 80 brave men who flew 16 land-based B-25s off the USS Hornet in the first raid against the Japanese on their own soil.

F4U-5N Corsair "Annie-Mo"

The trademark gull wings are the result of having to place the main landing gear at the lowest point in the wings to prevent the huge 13-foot diameter propeller from hitting the ground or flight deck on take-off or landing.
The Corsair is popularly known as "The Sweetheart of the Marianas" and "The Sweetheart of Okinawa" for its roles in these campaigns respectively--the names were given by ground troops rather than by naval and marine personnel.
Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon

By the time the PV-2's problems had been resolved, the plane was on revision 'D'. Only 35 PV-2D aircraft were delivered before VJ Day brought about the abrupt cancellation of all Harpoon contracts. The limited number of PV-2D aircraft makes this find potentially valuable and important.


"The DC-3 was a major stepping-stone in the development of today's worldwide commercial aviation system," said Continental Chairman and CEO Gordon Bethune.

Manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, CA, in 1940, this aircraft was reacquired and restored in '50s-vintage colors by Continental in 1989. Since then, the aircraft has attended many air shows, winning prizes including "Grand Champion Antique Air Transport" at the 1997 EAA Convention and Airshow, Oshkosh, WI.

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