Monday, September 19, 2011

Hill Aerospace Museum on Hill AFB

 We arrived in Salt Lake City driving from West Yellowstone, Mt and spent a few days at the Pony Express RV Park (very nice spot) and had a bit of work done on the coach. Rick checked out the attractions in the area and lo and behold, there was an aircraft museum close by! Naturally, he wanted to visit the Hill Aerospace Museum located on Hill Air Force Base in Salt Lake. This turned out to be a great idea as this free museum was outstanding (even though Orinda choose to visit the local mall instead). There are aircraft everywhere, starting with this Wright aircraft of about 1910. This was a great exhibit and even displayed a reproduction of the engine used in the original 1903 Wright flyer (which was built by an Wright brothers bicycle shop employee!).

This P47 fighter was painted in the style of Glenn Eagleston, a famous WWII flying ace who came from Utah. Rick was drawn to this one immediately as he built a radio control model of this craft complete with the flying skull emblem.

 The aircraft were in outstanding shape and restored for exhibit by the museum volunteers. As you can see from this picture of this B17G (a BIG plane), there were planes everywhere. There is also a PT 13 training from the ceiling.

 Rick was in his glory here and greatly enjoyed learning about the planes. This B-24 shared a spot near the B-17 and allowed one to imagine how these huge bombers must have looked in the air almost 70 years ago.

 Of course, not everything was from the distant past. This B1 bomber is a current model and is an amazing craft capable of delivering 75,000lbs of armaments at well over the speed of sound. That is like two of our motorhomes at once! Yikes.

 Here is a rare B-29 from WWII fame. Interestingly, Hill AFB was used to repair battle damaged aircraft during WWII and saw hundreds of planes from all over. Today, the base is used for logistical support, AWACS operations and much more.

 It is always interesting to see how these planes are put together. This is in the nose gear compartment of a B-47 from the early 1950's. I was amazed at the number of wires running through the area as well as the boxes (one of which is in the upper right) holding relays, and servos. There are literally hundreds of moving components and miles of wiring. No wonder maintenance was such a critical issue -- and remains even with today's more reliable components.

Speaking of large planes, take a look at this C-124 Globemaster with it's 175' wingspan. Used from 1950's until the  mid '70's, this was a mainstream transport that moved gear world wide. 

 I was impressed with the excellent condition most of the aircraft were in -- not an easy thing to accomplish on 50 year old planes. Well, this is how it is done. A team of volunteers was working on this plane having already masked it and they were starting to paint it. It is nice to see this so folks in future years will be able to enjoy the planes as well.

Perhaps the best bomber of all time, this B52 has seen and done it all. Developed in the 50's, it still serves with distinction today. Commonly called BUFF -- Big Ugly Fat Fellow (although there are other variants for the last F), this is one of the great aircraft designs.

This is a great museum for anyone who is interested in aircraft. Well worth the time and trip.

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great tour. I love aircraft museums.