Flight of Blue Angels Suspended in National Naval Aviatiion Museum
Flight of Blue Angels Suspended in National Naval Aviation Museum

The museum has an IMAX theater with an eye-popping film of the Blue Angels training and performing. The team were not at Pensacola while we were there. We heard they practice at this airfield during springtime. The best place to watch the practice--we are told--is in the nearby lighthouse.

Twin-Engine Float Plane

This amphibious aircraft or one very much like it--is the first airplane that Jim has recollection of seeing. While living in Sassafras as a child, a plane like this flew low over his house. It probably had been landing on the nearby Ohio River. Because the event formed such an impression, he retains the image in his memory like it happened yesterday. It may as well been a close encounter with a spacecraft from Mars.

Flying amphibious aircraft like this one are still in use in places like Alaska. Note the retracted wheels which facilitate runway landings.

While Elizabeth was serving in the Navy, she taught instrument flying to pilots from around the world. She operated a flight simulator containing flight instruments found in a T-28 like this one.

T-28 U.S. Navy Trainer

Russian MIG-15 in U.S. Naval Aviation Museum

Not only does the National Naval Aviation Museum have U.S. Navy airplanes, but it also has some foreign aircraft like this MIG-15. It was one of the first swept-wing fighters. It went up against America's F-86 during the Korean War.

Jim saw one of these Navy F7U aircraft on the runway at Amarillo Air Force Base sometime in the mid-1950s where it was probably forced to make an emergency landing. He liked the style--better than what the Air Force had--and has liked their style since. It's outstanding characteristic is the length of the front strut which gives the aircraft a very nose-high attitude.

According to Wikipedia, advanced design of the F7U to utilize new aerodynamic theories and poor engines contributed to the death of four test pilots and 21 other U.S. Navy pilots. The aircraft was short-lived and very few have survived.

The aircraft earned the nicknames "Gutless Cutlass" and "Praying Mantis."

Modern fighter aircraft utilize several design features of the F7U including dual tail fins.

F7U-3M Cutlass

Elizabeth Talks Navy

Elizabeth discusses one of the displays in the museum. She is concerned that her job as TRADEVMAN (when she was a Petty Officer 3rd Class) wasn't represented in the museum's display. She wore brown shoes.

Also see: NavalAviationMuseum.org

Page created 12 January 2010