Tucson - Part E
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base - Pima Air & Space Museum>

Voyager RV Resort, Tucson, AZ, Altitude: 2,821 ft.
September 2-11
2007 Fall Trip - 37 days and 3,177 miles into trip

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Pima Air & Space Museum is the third largest military air museum in the world. It is only surpassed by the Smithsonian and Wright Patterson. It is the largest privately funded air museum.

The museum has a nice selection of aircraft. Some are inside well maintained buildings others are spread out outside around the museum grounds. Included in the collection are one of a kind prototypes which never made it into production. Many times the air force will ask two companies to each build their version of a plane which meets the requirements. Then a fly-off is held to determine which plane wins the production order. The air force owns both prototypes. The losing plane ends up here at the museum.

McDonnell F3H-2N Demon
I spent many long days and nights working on the Demon and teaching itís Fire Control maintenance. It was the first Navy plane equipped with Sparrow III air-to-air missile system which made it the first true Navy all weather fighter. The radar and analog computers (this was before transistors and digital circuits) were all built with vacuum tubes. The plane was a dog compared to the sleek Air Force planes, but itís Raytheon Sparrow III was far superior to anything the Air Force had.

Douglas F3D Skyknight
We had 3 of these planes modified to hold the radar for the Sparrow III system. It allowed training of a pilot sitting in the radar operators seat to get use to using the complicated radar controls while the instructor flew the plane.
I had the opportunity to fly in the radar seat while the pilot pointed out the sights in LA while we were flying upside down.

Lockheed T33.
This is the two seat trainer version of the F80 Shooting Star.
I stood many nights of fire watch over these while at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas while waiting for an opening at electronics school.

Gruman F11F Tiger.
This day fighter was flown by the Blue Angels while I was in the Navy.

One of many prototypes which never made it into production.
It has two sets of props each turns in a different direction.

NASA's Supper Guppy - Modified Boeing 377 Stratocruiser.
This plane was built for NASA to haul components of the
International Space Station to the launching site.

TWA's Lockheed Constellation.
The "Super Connie" was one sleek looking airplane.
Neither TWA or the Constellation are around anymore.

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