John and Diana are traveling around the country with a 37-foot RV and an 18-year-old cat. This is their story.
Monday, March 23, 2015
National Naval Aviation Museum
Wisteria and azalea bushes are pictured above, they are quite profuse all over Pensacola and presently in bloom. Sunday afternoon found us at the aviation museum. Our nephew Michael's flight lesson was cancelled because of inclement weather so he was able to join us. The museum is on the base of the Naval Air Station. At the entrance of the museum we came upon this very meaningful sculpture of five aviators from both World Wars, the Korean, Vietnam and Desert Storm wars. A sign near it notes:" in the universal language of all aviators a World War 11 pilot relives his flight with naval aviators from his past and future".
We joined a guided tour of the museum after our lunch at the Cubi Bar and Grill. The walls of that eating area are decorated with plaques from an officer's club which was once located in the Philippines during World War ll. That made for a fascinating dining experience. I thought that I was going to be bored to death with a guided tour, but our guide was a retired naval pilot from 1972 to 1992. He knew his military history quite well, in addition to the mechanical features of all the different naval aircraft through the years. I paid attention through the first hour, but after that I was not doing well with listening. What I did manage to pick up, however, was that after World War ll the aircraft certainly became more mechanically involved. And we had progressed from firing guns from planes to dropping bombs and missiles. After the Vietnam War many planes have a wider range of capabilities involving upgraded radar and electronics. Such an example is the E-2 Hawkeye, even I was impressed with its rotating radar dome and 8-bladed propellers!
Of course my husband John and Michael appreciated the tour more than I did, one being a retire aircraft engineer and the other a naval pilot in training. There are more than 170 historic naval aircraft in this museum, in addition to many exhibits as the Apollo Space,Women in Naval Aviation and the Coast Guard to name but a few. The Blue Angels, a precision flying team, practice some mornings at the museum. They are headquartered here on the naval base in Pensacola.
Pictured above is one of the team's planes currently residing at the museum, a FA-18 Hornet. The Blue Angels have been flying for 65 years, and over that time used 8 different aircraft types.