Air-Minded: PASM Photoblog I

It’s time I posted more photos from the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. As a volunteer tour guide, I’m sometimes able to visit parts of the museum visitors don’t get to see. There’s always something interesting hidden away.

These two Japanese Kamikaze planes, for example. Until recently only the fuselages have been visible, but now the wings and other components have been uncrated, and it looks like our restoration volunteers are slowly getting them ready for display:

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Okha flying bomb, left; Tsurugi Kamikaze plane, right

Some other hidden treasures:

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Sights & head-up displays

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F-4 instrument panel & ejection seat

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Erco gun turret

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Erco gun turret (detail)

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Erco gun turret (detail)

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Drop tank racer

Of all the items in the storeroom, the Erco gun turret was the one I couldn’t stop photographing. If you follow the link to Flickr and look at the large original photos, you can see it’s still loaded with practice rounds. These turrets were mounted on the noses of US Navy PB4Y-1 Liberators and PB4Y-2 Privateers during WWII. I hope it goes on display soon; it’s cool as hell.

Speaking of bomber self-defense guns, PASM recently acquired a Vietnam-era B-52D that for decades had been on static display next door at Davis-Monthan AFB. Since we already have three other B-52s on display in the museum yard, we’re breaking this one up and displaying parts of it indoors. The first piece to go on exhibit is the tail gun section, which when seen without the rest of the airplane looks like a prop from the 1979 sci-fi film Alien:

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Boeing B-52D tail gunner section

Last but not least, this Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk in USMC livery, fresh out of the paint shop, on display less than a month:

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Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk

© 2014 – 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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