Friday, November 18, 2011

air museum

Yesterday we took a field trip with other homeschoolers to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT. We had a tour of the museum and time afterwards to explore a bit on our own. Here our tour guide shows us an early tri-plane which was a replica of the Red Baron's plane, and gave us a brief history of aircraft in World War I.

Moving on to WWII, he showed us the difference between and Army plane (only the wing can be seen), and a Navy plane (behind him). The Navy Plan is a Corsair that was build entirely in Connecticut.

This is a Pusher, built in 1912 by a CT teenager, around the same time the Wright Brothers were working on their planes.

Our tour guide had many amusing stories about the history of flight and the specific planes we looked at (both military and passenger planes), it's tempting to include them all in this post, but I'm trying to restrain myself. I was really surprised at how interested I was in the topic matter, since it's not really an interest area of mine. The boys were extremely engaged and asked a lot of really intelligent questions.

The highlight of my day was standing underneath this Boeing B-29 bomber, that actually flew 19 missions over Japan. This particular plane was nicknamed "Jack's Hack", and there was lots of information about the crew that manned it and it's missions, as well as some great stories about the B-29 bombers in general. One that made me really laugh was how the commanding officer justified overloading the plane by several thousand pounds over Boeing's recommended limits (making take-off extremely hazardous). His comment was "What does Boeing know about airplanes?"

They also opened the cockpits of several planes for the kids to climb in and get a taste of what it was like behind the controls. Here Zoo Boy checks out the cockpit of a navy fighter jet.

Great field trip, we'll go back again at some point, no doubt. There were flight simulators and other activities that we just didn't have time to check out, and I'm sure The Map Man would enjoy a visit there as well.

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