I think it’s time to post another batch of photos from the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, where I volunteer as a walking tour docent. As always, you can click on the individual photos below to see the full sized originals on Flickr, or you can click here to view my entire Flickr Air-Minded photo collection.
I’ve been waiting for the restoration shop to put our Korean War-vintage North American F-86E Sabre on display, and this week they towed it into Hangar 4, where it now sits beside a MiG-15 in North Korean colors. Looks like I’ll have to brush up on my MiG Alley history before I lead new tours of that hangar.
Outside, we’ve added a Kestrel to our collection of Harriers. The Hawker-Siddeley P.1127 Kestrel, developed in the early 1960s, was the forerunner of the Harrier jump jet. This particular jet wears the colors of the Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron, RAF West Raynham, and was flown and evaluated by British, German, and American pilots. The USA did not buy the Kestrel, but eventually did buy the Harrier for the USMC. One of our Harriers, the two-seater, is British built; the single-seater was built under license by McDonnell-Douglas in the USA.
Another new indoor exhibit is the Douglas A-24B Banshee. You may be forgiven for thinking it’s a Dauntless; I thought so too. It’s actually the Army Air Force’s version of the Dauntless, identical under the paint with the far better known Navy version.
Down toward the bottom I posted two Sabre selfies, not out of egoism but to show, side by side, the significant differences between the early Korean War F-86E and the post-war F-86H, the last, best, and biggest version of the Sabre, which served in active USAF units from 1954 to 1958, then soldiered on with the Air National Guard into the 1970s.
I know it’s in stark contrast with the fighters shown above it, but I can’t resist closing with photo of our lovely TWA Lockheed L-049 Constellation, IMO the sexiest airliner ever built.
© 2014 – 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.