Air-Minded: PASM Photoblog XVII

It’s been four months since I last posted a Pima Air and Space Museum photoblog. I volunteer every Monday and always bring my camera. What I’m saying is that I’ve taken a ton of photos since my last update. Not all the ones in this post are mine, but most are.

First, an update on PASM’s Boeing 777 and 747: they moved the chain link fence and visitors can now walk around the jumbo jets. I’m told the museum plans to open them up for guided interior tours, but only on certain days and so far I haven’t seen a schedule. The aircraft are parked in a back lot not visible from the main outdoor exhibit area, and visitors have to take a short trek to get to them. That’s a shame, but I’m not sure where else the museum could put them. One of these days we’ll be getting a C-5 Galaxy from the Boneyard, and unless restoration’s prepared to shuffle the 150 outdoor aircraft already parked in the main exhibit area, it’ll have to go in the back lot as well.

Boeing 777-200
Boeing 747-121
Closest I’ll ever get to a Rolls
Spreading the weight around: Boeing 777-200

Things are happening in restoration, now off-limits to volunteer docents, so sadly these photos were taken from outside the fence. But exciting nonetheless!

There’s a mix of new and old museum aircraft in these photos, including Eisenhower’s VH-34 Army One; a Gulfstream G1 formerly flown by NASA; a KC-135 fuselage we’re prepping for the USAF, which plans to use it as a trainer; a Martin B-26 Marauder (one of only seven left in the world); the NB-52A, now breaking records for the longest paint touch-up ever; and one I didn’t even know we had, a Gloster Meteor.

Gulfstream G1, CH-37 Mojave, VH-34 Choctaw
Dassault Guardian, Martin B-26, F/A-18 Hornet
Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor

Here are a few favorites that pique my interest. Hey, it’s my photoblog and I get to choose ’em, right?

McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee
Cessna 172
Repubic F-84C Thunderjet
Sun protection!

Just as an aside, they say early Republic jets incorporated a sensor that prevented rotation and liftoff until the departure end, regardless of runway length. Well, I didn’t believe it. Until I took a closer look at PASM’s F-84 Thunderjet, that is.

Bendix dirt & grass sniffer (circular dot at top of nose gear strut)

One of PASM’s T-33s (there are four in all) used to be painted to represent one used in the John Wayne/Janet Leigh movie, Jet Pilot (1957), where it played the role of a MiG. It has now been redone in USAF colors and looks spectacular.

T-33 (before)
T-33 (after)

I’ll leave you with these four:

Ryan AQM-34L Firebee
Lockheed F-94 Starfire
Douglas F4D Skyray
PASM is dog-friendly!

I have several PASM photo albums on Flickr. Most of the photos in this post come from two albums, which you’re welcome to browse:

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