Sometimes the topics I write about are inspired by the blogs I read. Well, some of them at least. This evening’s offering is one of those topics. Several days ago I was reading the blog of friend who goes by the name of Cynical Bastard. In his article he was lamenting the fact that rarely do exotic aircraft land anywhere close to his local airport.
Imagine his surprise when a couple of F/A-18’s came screaming in for a landing at the Marine Corps Reservist air strip and he was there to catch all the excitement with his digital camera.
I could feel the childlike wonder he experienced with every single word he penned about the adventure.
The post had a genuine affect upon me and it inspired me to do something I’d not done since early childhood.
I went to visit the Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
One of the great perks of living in Dayton, Ohio is that we are home to the United States Air Force Museum. Yeah, it is kind of cool. Although I am not an authority on the history of aircraft or even much of a military enthusiast I still wanted to share a little bit of our local bounty with my friend, the Cynical Bastard.
It's freakin huge! How can I choose?
What is the very best to share with my friend?
"Wilber, come quick! I think I've figured out how to fly."
The first thing to greet me when I entered the hallowed halls of this amazing artifice was this gigantic statue of what I can only assume is one of the Wright Brothers. Chills ran up and down my spine as I tried to imagine the trials and tribulations as these two intrepid inventors dared to defy gravity and reach for the heavens.
The Wright Flyer; trembling I stood before one of the earliest experimental vehicles to reach for the heavens and read from the actual diaries of the two inventors who dreamed of soaring with eagles.
Dear diary: We have at last created a prototype of a vehicle capable of achieving the speeds required to break the shackles of gravity and leap forth into the skies above us. Alas, if only Wilber could develop the upper body strength necessary to generate the lift needed to propel our craft skyward. Although discouraged at the moment we are returning to the drawing board certain that we are close to cracking the secret of flight.
“Quickly, Wilber let go of the stabilizer bar and flap
your arms as if your life depended on it!”
One diorama that brought tears to my eyes depicted the terrible Pay Per Post tragedy of 1945. One of the early contest winners was offered the opportunity to take the controls of an airplane and enjoy the thrill of flying a few laps above the festivities of the Dayton Air show. Stunned bloggers watched in horror as the aircraft suddenly nosedived and crashed into the ground.
"Well maybe if someone had suggested opening my eyes before lifting off I would have known what was happening."
At first glance I actually thought this next exhibit to be some sort of elaborate joke. It just seemed impossible given the current Iraqi situation under the leadership of George W. Bush. Improbable as it sounds though, this airplane is supposed to have been involved in the actual ending of a war. (Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.) Apparently it dropped some sort of terrible weapon known as the Limbaugh upon a small island of society-destroying Liberals thus saving the world from democracy and allowing corporate freedom to continue flourishing to this very day.
"Are you ready to take the Bockscar up, Captain Willie?"
“One of two terrible weapons unleashed upon a world at war; one was called, The Little Boy (or the George W. Bush in certain Washington circles) and the bigger and by far more devastating bomb shown here known as the Lying Limbaugh.
"The Rush Limbaugh." Delivering megatons of truth destroying misinformation.
I'm not really sure what this next exhibit represents. It looks like a very early and primitive set of body armor for an Imperial Stormtrooper. Must George Lucas and Star Wars be a part of every exhibit depicting man's journey to the stars? Enough is enough already...
"Luke, I'm your grandfather."
The United States Air Force is never satisfied to rest upon the laurels of yesterday. Always preparing for the world of tomorrow the Air Force is developing new vehicles to insure the superiority of the American military machine. Imagine the awe that filled my soul as I stood in the middle of the Presidents Hangar and gazed upon the new and improved Air Force One.
Remember, you saw it here first...
"Hillary Clinton's Air force One."