How do you prefer to see museum aircraft?

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willpittenger

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I have visited the Seattle Museum of Flight and the Evergreen Aviation Museum (in McMinnville, Oregon). The Seattle museum displays its aircraft in a way that maximizes the number of aircraft on display for the square footage available. This requires hanging many of the aircraft from the ceiling. I hated that as I had to crane my neck to see them. I also could not tell which aircraft was which based on the sign that simply pointed "up". A series of catwalks would have solved the problem.<br /><br />Evergreen appears to have had a very different philosophy. Their aircraft are mostly shown at a ground level. In some cases, like the Spruce Goose, the aircraft still towers over you. But you can see smaller aircraft far more readily. In fact, most of the WWII piston powered aircraft had pans to collect any engine oil that leaked out. There is no reason to put oil into the engine unless you take the plane out and fly it periodically. I suspect they do just that. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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steve82

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I like getting up close and personal. Close enough to read the cyrillic printing in the wheel wells and what grade wiring was used. I like to count rivets.
 
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docm

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Me too, but I can see why museums would want to place them where looky-loo's or nutcases couldn't touch or harm historic artifacts like the Wright Flyer, Spirt of St. Louis, SS1 or the X1. Look at what happened to Monet's painting ‘Le Pont d’Argenteuil’ a few weeks ago; some moron put a fist through it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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billslugg

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I went into the Spruce Goose when it was berthed in Long Beach Harbor. Way cool. A plywood airplane. We could look into but not go into the cockpit. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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habue6

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I prefer to see a display aircraft in the wheels up, flaps up, as it would look in its flying position. These aircraft have served their time and should be remembered as they were designed, to fly like freedom birds soaring into the heavens. <br />Well design catwalks are a great idea. <br />Take the SR-71 Blackbird for instance. On the ground they look worn and dirty, If left outside, the elements take over and deteriorate this marvelous machine of national aeronautical pride. birds crap and nest wherever they can. <br />Anyone who has ever seen the Blackbird launch and felt the rumble of its massive J58's will tell you this bird needs to fly.<br />CIA Director Richard Helms, recalling a midnight test flight in the Nevada desert, later wrote: “The blast of flame that sent the black, insect-shaped projectile hurtling across the tarmac made me duck instinctively. It was as if the Devil himself were blasting his way straight from Hell.â€<br /><br />
 
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willpittenger

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Three things:<li>Both museums I mentioned have various aircraft outside. Seattle's outdoor collection includes a B-47, 747 (not tourable), retired Air Force One, and others. (Good luck hanging that 747.) Evergreen's outdoor collection includes a F-102. (It might have been a F-106. It was 2001 that I went there. So my memory may not have sufficed. Sorry.)<li>As noted, Evergreen's WWII piston engined aircraft were clearly kept in flyable condition. You can't do that and hang them up. Besides, if you go to Evergreen, instead of seeing simulated flight, you might be able to see the real thing.<li>I don't want to even think about trying to hang the Spruce Goose.</li></li></li> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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habue6

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You are surely correct. It is not practical to even try to hang large aircraft. I was just stating my preference. <br />1. A lot of our historical aircraft are being picked apart and vandalized when people are given direct access. <br />2. Some of these aircraft have hazardous materials in them that are eroding due to being exposed to the elements.<br />3. When US citizens have paid 34-50 million in 1963 dollars for one aircraft. And when aviation hero's died flying them. Those aircraft should be protected and preserved better.
 
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cdr6

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Gents,<br /><br />I recommend if your in the (S.F. Bay Area) a trip up to Santa Rosa and visit the Pacific Coast Air Museum. Not only can you get up close and personel, but once a month they open one of their aircraft up for the public to climb aboard (under the close supervision of the plane's captain/crew) and in July/Aug ALL of their aircraft are open during their air show. I have gone from the UH-1H to the A4 to the F4 to the F14 and finially the F16 all in one day. It is truely amazing to see the cockpit technology change from the 50's to present day by sitting in them. I highly recommend the place for all aircraft nuts (like myself)<br /><br />Regards,<br />Chuck
 
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CalliArcale

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Take the SR-71 Blackbird for instance. On the ground they look worn and dirty, If left outside, the elements take over and deteriorate this marvelous machine of national aeronautical pride. birds crap and nest wherever they can.<br />Anyone who has ever seen the Blackbird launch and felt the rumble of its massive J58's will tell you this bird needs to fly. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Amen. It was with great irritation that I learned that the US Air Force had decided to add an SR-71 to one of their museums. It was in beautiful condition, lovingly restored into flight-worthy condition by a collection of dedicated enthusiasts, working with private funds. Why does this irritate me? Because the team who did the restoration job were doing it so the bird could stay with the museum that had originally been granted permission to display it, at the Minnesota Army Reserve base at Fort Snelling, adjoining the Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport. The USAF apparently got jealous of the fine condition of this aircraft and wanted it back for their own museum. *sigh* The Air Force never does seem to like the Army having cool toys.<br /><br />It still shows up at Google Maps outside at MSP, centerpiece of a collection of historic aircraft. I believe they are all kept flyable, but I can't swear to it.<br /><br />See the SR-71 parked at MSP. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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When I visited those museums, I was living in the Portland, OR area. I have since moved back to my hometown in Illinois. San Fransico is only 4 days away by car and I can't afford to fly. (Ironic considering the topic.) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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vogon13

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The SAC museum was mostly outdoors until a few years ago when they finally received enough donations to build a nice indoor facility.<br /><br />I wouldn't be surprised if most museum's with (perceived) crappy display geometries all have plans for improvements but are all waiting for the $$$ to fix things.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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drwayne

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There is a Blackbird at the Air Armament Museum in Fort Walton that sits outside - it is somewhat forlorn. <br /><br />Interestingly, there are other craft like a B-17 that also sit out in the yard that look somehow better displayed on the ground outside.<br /><br />I do (personally) like being able to touch the aircraft. Of course, I would never harm one to save my life.<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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thalion

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I strongly prefer ground-level, so I can walk around them and really get a feel for the aircraft--however, I don't have a problem with maximizing the amount of aircraft for a give gallery space, if that means a combination of hanging and ground-level models (like the San Diego Aviation Museum, and the NASM, for that matter).
 
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willpittenger

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I don't have a problem with maximizing the amount of aircraft for a give gallery space, if that means a combination of hanging and ground-level models<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Me either -- as long as I can see the ones that are hanging from eye level somehow. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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juliemac

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At Lackland AFB they had a nice collection. I used to wander around reading the plaques and wondering about them. <br />The twin Mustang, the Hustler, B29. I can remember holding my hand to each of them, as if feeling for a heart beat, Eyes closed and listened for the sounds of life.<br />The USAF (in their wisdom) stuck me in a hole 90' underground to work on nukes. They were the first and last planes I saw in the military <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <sigh><br />
 
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