In a previous post, I mentioned coming across a MiG 21 in Corvallis Oregon. When we saw this jet through the door of the hangar, we were surprised. However, we are polite types so I went in to the office attached the hangar to ask if we could take a look at the MiG. When I said this to the person on the desk, she asked if I wanted to see their Starfighter. I was confused but wasn’t going to argue about the type since I wanted them to let me in. She pointed me through the door to hangar and said I was welcome to look around.
I went through the door and looked to my right and immediately realized what she was talking about. Tucked in a corner to one side of the MiG was an TF-104G Starfighter. It was in bare metal but there was a hint of previous paint on it. I found a panel with markings on it which suggested the jet had seen service with Turkey. Mark advised that they had received jets from other countries so it might have served elsewhere before.
While it was tucked in the back of the hangar, the hangar doors had plenty of clear panels which meant there was some nice light illuminating the jet as it sat there doing very little. The Starfighter is such a fantastic looking jet. It is so dynamic looking and, when in bare metal, it looks even more cool. I have no idea the story that brought it to Corvallis but was so happy to have found it as part of a short diversion from the long drive home.
Paul’s visit also included a trip to Moffett Field. Neither of us had visited the museum there so we were both interested in having a look. To be honest, we had assumed it would be a relatively quick visit but the place was very interesting and a docent ended up chatting to us about lots of features in the museum and he was a great guy to talk to. He also took us outside to look at some of their more interesting aircraft.
There are a few preserved aircraft at Moffett. Some restoration work continues and their P-2 Neptune is currently across the field being worked on. A P-3 is a short walk away from the museum but they have a fenced off area with a few other exhibits. These include an F-104G Starfighter that NASA used to operate, an AH-1 Cobra from the US Army, a research wind tunnel model (Moffett has an interesting selection of wind tunnels even after the demolition of the biggest one a few years ago) and their centerpiece, a Lockheed U-2. It is currently awaiting reassembly so the wings are on supports alongside the aircraft awaiting reattachment. They have worked hard on restoring it and it looks really cool. The camera installation is inside the museum as well.
Moffett Field’s history as an airfield is an interesting one and they cover it well. Whether it is the early airship work and the huge hangars that are still on the field or the long presence the US Navy had, the current ANG rescue operations or the NASA research activity, they have it covered. Do pay them a visit and support the work that they are doing. They have a few cool aircraft that are on the other side of the field which are currently out of bounds to the public so I shall have to see if there is a way to get to see them at some point.