Thursday, April 3, 2014

Galveston's Lone Star Flight Museum

One of our early stops on this stop in Galveston was "the Lone Star Flight Museum, home to one of the finest collections of restored aircraft and aviation exhibits in the nation. Over 40 restored aircraft are displayed and most are in working condition. The collection includes WWII Fighters, Bombers, Liaison Trainers, and Executive Planes."

When we entered the gift shop to begin our tour, we were greeted by this unusual flying machine.
There was no information about this plane or its crew, and we did not ask about it. We smiled and quickly headed into the main exhibit room.
Today the Museum displays over 40 historically significant aircraft and over 1500 artifacts. Its mission is " educate the public of their aviation heritage and history by: acquiring, restoring to flying condition and preserving a collection of aircraft representing the evolution of aircraft design and operational capabilities; acquiring, preserving and displaying artifacts and memorabilia depicting the development of aviation...."

The goal of "restoring to flying condition" has been achieved by a number of the planes on display. One of the planes available for a 20-25 minute flying time experience is the plane below. Cost? $425.
B-17G, Flying Fortress

The Flight Museum’s B-17 is painted in the colors of ‘Thunderbird,’ an aircraft with the 303rd bomb group which flew 116 missions during World War II.
The B-17 Flying Fortress was an Army Air Corps heavy-duty bomber from World War II. These four-engine aircraft flew strategic bombing missions over Europe armed with .50 caliber machine guns and five thousand pounds of bombs. 13,000 B-17’s were produced over the course of the war, of which only 13 still are airworthy today.
Curtis A-1 "Triad" (replica)

The A-1 Triad was the first Seaplane and Amphibian ever made. The name "Triad" stands for three: Land, Air and Water. Curtis developed the Triad for the US Navy

Examples of Nose Art

Nose art is a decorative painting or design on the fuselage of a military aircraft.

While begun for practical reasons of identifying friendly units, the practice evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and as a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death. The appeal, in part, came from nose art not being officially approved, even when the regulations against it were not enforced (
The example above from a B-17G (709th Bomb Squadron, 447th Bomb Group) shows a character from "Male Call," a cartoon strip in Army camp newspapers.
PB4Y-2 Privateer

Built by Consolidated Aircraft to meet Navy’s need for a low level, long range patrol bomber with increased stability at lower levels and speeds, the PB4Ys were used in Korea for flare-dropping “Firefly” missions often working with Marine F7F Tigercat night fighters.

Beechcraft AT-11

The Army Air Force AT-11 is an advanced twin engine trainer that was used to train Bombardiers, Gunners and Navigators during and after WWII. Over 90% of all of the Bombardiers in WWII trained in this glass-nosed version of the famous Twin Beech.
Boeing N2S-3 Stearman Kaydet, (known as “Yellow Peril”)

The two-seater bi-plane was able to quickly select the best pilots during flight training for the U.S. Navy during the 1930s and 1940s.
Private plane

Republic P-47D (F-47) Thunderbolt

Republic's immense and powerful P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the truly great fighters of World War II. Designed by Alexander Kartveli, the P-47 was to be built in greater numbers than any other U.S. fighter, including the North American P-51.
In combat, the P-47 was an effective air-to-air fighter--but it was an even more effective air-to-ground weapon. It had great diving speed and a tremendous payload capacity.
Grumman F6F Hellcat Carrier-Borne Fighter-Bomber

The aircraft was known to make aces of most pilots who flew her.
Douglas Aircraft A-1 Skyraider

During the Korean conflict, Skyraider saw front-line service with the US Navy and Marines. Later during the Vietnam conflict, when most other propellered fighters and attack aircraft had been traded in on the latest and greatest jets, the venerable ‘Spad’ (referring to the French fighter used in World War I) with its long loiter time, ‘low and slow’ delivery system, and ability to get home despite being in less than one piece carved out yet another niche for itself.

An interesting museum--historic planes on display, unless they're out on a flight.

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