Alistair Maclean's Web Site
US Air Force Museum. Dayton, OH
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September 11th, 2001

Bomarc and Flag I could not have picked a prettier day to visit the Museum, though I could have picked a better on. Before I arrived I had watched an aircraft smash into the Trade Towers, as I arrived the radio reported that the Pentagon had been hit. I realised that I probably didn't have much time to see the museum. I asked in the entrance if the museum was still open (I Europe it would either have not opened, or not closed). I was told it was still open. The camera was loaded with 100ASA Fuji film so I was not going to get images from inside the museum (not a believer in lugging around a flash gun) so I decided the get the exterior displays first. Before I had walked halfway down the car park people were streaming out saying the car parks were to be closed and cars moved away from the building.

I started to photograph the line up of bombers, cargo and larger aircraft the museum has outside, when I noticed that things must be going from bad to worse: one of only 4 E-4 Command and Control aircraft rapidly climbed out of Wright-Patterson AFB, right along the axis of the display line. My 70mm lens, not exactly being the right tool for the job, and not being in the best of positions I have had to relied on the slide scanner for enlargements. Later I was to hear that the fighters that support the E-4 had made sonic booms over Dayton and caused quite a bit of panic.

I checked out the external line, started heading back to the main building and realised that the Museum was closing. I made a foray to the gate guardian and then back to my car. They had simply turned the lights out in the museum to get people out. I was not able to get in to see the XB-70, nor any of the other wonderful exhibits.

With a heavy heart I left the area, the radio in the car piling on the news about the carnage in New York, Washington and Shankesville, PA.

My drive to Ohio had been circuitous, but it had me leave the New York metro area with the towers still standing, I ran passed the Pentagon down I-395, scaffolding still showing the work that was ongoing, and on the way home passed close to Shankesville when on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A sad day.

E-4 Take-off
E-4 E-4 E-4

Images

These are a few of the images from the Museum, using the link below you can see additional images that I took on this trip.

B-1A bomber [35Kb] B-1A bomber [41Kb]
B-1A bomber [50Kb]

B1's are part of the triad of bombers that the USAF uses. The B-1A, cancelled by Pres. Jimmy Carter, brought back in B-1B form by Pres. Ronnie Reagan.

Connie [41Kb] Connie [72Kb]
Connie [68Kb] Connie [51Kb]
Connie [37Kb]

Lockheed's Constellation airliner became the first Radar Command system. Personally I consider it one of the prettiest aircraft to have flown, though these radomes do spoil its fine lines

F104 Gate Guardian [50Kb]

The F104 Starfighter sits at the front of the museum as a gate guardian. It projects from the ground on a large pedistal that thrusts it into the blue Ohio sky.

Other images can be seen by clicking on this link: Museum Aircraft

 


© Copyright A. Maclean 2001 -
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