Wednesday, October 27, 2010


DAYTON – Home of flight and aviation.

Another Rick blog  .....

Where the Wright brothers developed their first powered airplane, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is home to the US Air Force and the Air Force Museum. This is a huge facility with an Imax theater on the front, 3 enormous hangers full of historical airplanes and weapons and a huge silo at the back populated with full sized rockets. Starting with the first biplane all the way up to the latest F-22 fighter, it is a walk through history. The aircraft industry in the USA provided a lot of jobs for lots of people across the nation, including me. I worked for Lockheed from 1962 thru 1971 with a break for college.

Many of the planes that I admired in my youth are there in full size and some of the planes that I worked on, the SR-71 and the U-2 are there but not the L-1011. And planes that my son, Gary worked on in the Air Force, the F-111 swing-wing bomber and the F-117 Nighthawk “fighter” bomber are there. If you have any interest in aircraft, this is a must.

The history of amazing technological advancement there is stunning. Unfortunately, so is the fact that we, as a nation, have produced the most efficient machines and weapons for killing other people in the history of the planet. Necessary during WWII, fear and greed hav driven most of the development since then.  Eisenhower was right .. "beware the military-industiral complex !"  I’m afraid that in 50 or 100 years, history won’t treat us too well, recognizing us as the most violent society of our times… The technological advances are great; the weapons are not. I think the money would have been better spent on helping the people that needed it in our country and worldwide.

The SR-71 Blackbird ... fastest jet ever.

The SR-71 .. no weapons, just spy cameras.

The U-2 above a lot of famous airplanes. No weapons, just cameras. 

The giant B-36, successor to the B-29 that bombed Hiroshima.
I remember in my youth hearing these behemoths droning overhead.

Little Boy and Fat Man ... A bombs dropped on Japan.

F-117 Nighthawk .. stealth fighter/bomber Gary worked on.

F-22 ... the lates killing machine in our arsenal.

The B-2 Stealth Bomber

Apollo 15 Lunar capsule .. no weapons !

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