Tag Archives: aero

Port Townsend Aero Museum

B11I8252.jpgYou know your wife is special when, while on vacation and discussing what to do, she points out an aviation museum that you could visit.  Not only that, but when you say she can drop you and pick you up later, she says she would be happy to look around with you.  What a star!  During our trip to the northwest, Nancy suggested the Port Townsend Aero Museum.  I wasn’t even aware of it but I was willing to take a look.  To be honest, our schedule did not include a lot of spare time but we had an hour or too to look around.

B11I8188.jpgThe museum is a really nicely laid out establishment.  The hangar in which everything is kept is a really nice building and the exhibits are laid out well with some on the floor and others suspended from the roof.  The way everything is put together is really good.  There is space around each plane and the signs explaining what everything was were well put together.

B11I8171.jpgThe planes are all in excellent condition and some are still airworthy.  (My only minor gripe was that they all had a museum logo sticker on them which was not ideal from a photo point of view but this is hardly something to focus on.)  The aircraft are all vintage types.  Most are piston powered but there are some gliders too.

B11I8157.jpgThis proved to be a great surprise on the trip (including that Nancy enjoyed it so much)!  I’m not sure how many visitors they get (it was quiet when we were there but we were on a day when I wouldn’t have expected many visitors competing for space.  I hope the business is sustainable because it is a great little museum.

Oakland Aviation Museum

wpid9748-C59F4457.jpgThe aviation museum that is on the perimeter of Oakland Airport has been something I have passed a few times but never at a time when either I had enough spare time to visit or that it was actually open. Finally, I recently found myself coming by with some time in hand and decided to drop in and take a look around. The collection that they have is quite interesting and splits into a series of areas.

wpid9750-C59F4381.jpgObviously the aircraft are the major part of the displays. However, they do have a collection of aero engines, both piston and turbine, which span quite a period including a TF-30 from an F-14 Tomcat. There are displays of uniforms and historical sections on a variety of topics including individuals and airlines from the history of the area.

wpid9738-C59F4439.jpgHowever, it was the aircraft that I was primarily interested in. Part of the collection is kept inside. It is a selection of types from some relatively familiar light aircraft like the Ercoupe, a replica Wright Biplane, a Boeing T-5 which is a unique type which was developed locally, the only example of the Hiller Ten99 which lost out to the Huey in an Army competition and a MiG-17. The internal displays are reasonably spread out although light is a little limited.

wpid9728-C59F4393.jpgWhen you head outside, things are very different. A lot of more modern military aircraft are on display along with the flagship of the Museum, a Shorts Solent flying boat. The aircraft outside are quite close together although not very cramped. However, the combination of positions and the ever present overhead power lines makes getting an uncluttered shot a little tricky. Some imaginative angles are sometimes required. It was a bright day as well so the harsh light was not helping.

wpid9744-C59F4453.jpgWhile the F-14, the A-3 and the TAV-8A are worth a bit more time, it is hard to ignore the Solent. It is set facing the parking lot so it is striking as soon as you arrive. Internal tours can be arranged and, had I been able to stay longer, I would have been able to take a look around. However, I had to make do with external only this time. The rudder is currently missing and the wing floats are dismounted but the aircraft is still in great condition. The shaping of the nose is a feature of that era of flying boats and you can’t help but want to accentuate it when photographing her.

wpid9746-C59F4454.jpgEven events are held at the museum and some night photography might provide some interesting opportunities. I do want to see inside the Solent so I shall be heading back before too long.