I’ll just put it out there. Scrapping old, historical planes sucks. Heck, scrapping any old airplane sucks. That’s why this story…well…sucks – sort of – it can still have a happy ending.
The Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, Illinois is closing permanently on November 1. The museum houses planes that used to be used for training, then later on display, at the old Chanute AFB. The museum ran out of money for operations and the city can no longer help with rent or utilities. Enter the Air Force who is determining where each of the planes will go – or if they will just be scrapped due to the costs of moving, etc.
Of the many planes in the collection is the only XB-47 survivor. The Flight Test Historical Foundation is trying to raise $200,000 to move the plane to Edwards AFB. I won’t get into the details on the plane but I’ll put in a request to my readers out there. I’ve donated a few bucks, now it’s your turn. Learn more on the FTHF GoFundMe page.
A few photos from my visit October 3, 2016:
Note the painted over windows in the nose
Just had to share this from the Edwards AFB Facebook:
#OTD 21 Oct 1956 at Edwards – Actor William Holden and other Hollywood personalities attended the opening of the new Base Theater and viewed a screening of “Toward the Unknown,” which had been filmed on the base. This marked the official opening of the new base theater. (Edwards History Office file photos)
Remember the photos I posted last year about Dave Schaefer’s 1/5 rocket-powered X-2 model? The model is back, but this time at home…at Edwards AFB.
Dave donated the model to the Air Force Flight Test Center museum in September. The model will help tell the seldom told story of the X-2 and also honor all who worked on the program.
But before it stopped at the museum, Dave and Tony Accurso took the model over to the X-2 rocket engine test stand on South Base. As close as a time machine as you can get.
Check out more photos in the photo album. Thanks to Tony for the update!
Head to the magazine store and pick up the October issue of Air Classics magazine. The issue features a 10 page article on Iven Kincheloe by Mike Machat. Plenty of photos, many in color.
I recently picked up some old plane parts and I’m trying to figure out if the note that came with it has any truth. Here’s what it says:
I got these parts “-?—” from Jim Rosten 9/25/14 – he claimed they were F-105 parts that I had given him – Since I never had more than a few F-105 pcs, that was impossible. Recently the # I scratched on them, it turns out they’re from WB-66D #55-0392 at the Robins AFB aviation museum that I went to often – I have other plane parts from there – But I have no recollection of how I got the parts (dumpster?). Got them out of the museum, or giving them to Jim!
To me it seems odd to have parts from a museum plane, unless they had some restoration efforts at some point. Anyhow, if you know anything about the parts (look familiar, etc.), drop me a comment!
Part A: Latch Front
Part B: Front
Part B: Back
Part C: Back – Note Someone Has Scratched in “F-105” and tail number
Part C: Front
Part C: Detail of scratch in
Part C: Close up of part numbers?
Did you know Mel Apt was a hero, too? He saved the life of a fellow test pilot who crashed on the Edwards lakebed. Learn more about this December 22, 1954 event, which feels like Toward the Unknown in a number of ways.
Dave Schaefer is out having fun again, this time flying his 1/5 scale rocket-powered X-2 at Black Rock, Nevada this September! Photos have also been added to the X-2 album.
Right outside of Escanaba, Michigan is Delta County Airport. Sitting gate guard is a Republic F-84F. I think it may be time soon to restore this jet!
Another stop on our trip to Upper Michigan was the 753d Radar Squadron site, just outside of Sault Ste. Marie right off of I-75. Heading north on I-75, you can see it easily – just look for the large building on top of the hill, west side of the interstate. The site is about a block off of the highway, right off of Radar Road. The old buildings are now occupied by local residents and the old dish tower is now home to cellular antennas.
Thought folks might find this article on the Mike Adams memorial interesting:
Mojave Journal: Memorial to a Forgotten Astronaut