Air-Minded: Women & Military Aviation

When I tell visitors about the Pima Air & Space Museum’s F-14 Tomcat, I always work in a few words about women in military aviation. The Tomcat seems like the right place to introduce the topic: first because the US Navy, along with the US Army, led the way in training woman aviators in 1974, a full two years before […]

Site Improvement: Air-Minded Article Index

At the suggestion of a new reader, I’ve added an index of Air-Minded posts. It seems a lot of you come here just to read those posts, and this’ll make it easier to find them. The index is on the right sidebar, just below the “About” section. Clicking on the little F-15 image takes you […]

Air-Minded: Nose Art at the Air Museum

Project Boneyard is now on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum, where I volunteer as a tour guide.  It’s an art project using old aircraft and aircraft parts as canvases.  When I wrote about it last week, the exhibit hadn’t officially opened and just a few outdoor aircraft were on display. I thought […]

Air-Minded: Art Planes at the Air Museum

The aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB turned local artists loose on some old aircraft.  The results are soon to go on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum.  I watched them tow a few out into the yard this week and took some photos: There are more to come, and the exhibit, called The […]

Air-Minded: the Super-Duper Sabre

I love the jet fighters of the 1950s.  Built for speed, sleek and swept-back, they were the embodiment of the fantasy planes of comic book superheroes.  The North American F-107, an orphan fighter-bomber abandoned by the USAF, embodies the go-fast exuberance of the period. The F-107 began life in 1953 at North American Aviation as a drawing-board […]

Air-Minded: V for Victory

When I started conducting walking tours at the Pima Air & Space Museum a few months ago, I quickly realized I’d talk myself hoarse if I didn’t overcome a certain egotistical reluctance to use a portable voice amplifier and speaker.  The museum had two but they were big heavy things, each one powered by eight […]

Air-Minded: Old Jets, Older Stories

People who don’t know any better are starting to think the F-15 Eagle … like me … is ancient history. Witness this BBC News story, gleefully shared by a Facebook friend: The linked story describes how Japan grounded its Eagle fleet after a fuel tank and training missile fell off a wing of an F-15J […]

Air-Minded: the Wright Way

When I lead visitors on walking tours at the Pima Air & Space Museum, we start underneath a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer.  I think about Orville and Wilbur often.  They showed us the way, and the F-15 Eagle I flew in the US Air Force used the same three-axis controls the Wrights developed […]