Off to see what's new at the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum....Two years ago, we were there and thought it was one of the most fantastic aviation museums in the country that we had ever seen. We still think that. It's FREE, and not to be missed. So many cool planes, BIG, HUMONGOUS planes, with their engines displayed right next to them. Aircraft hanging everywhere! Wonderful exhibits to learn and videos to watch. Sparky especially enjoyed sitting in one little theater section and learning about how some of the ace pilots in Viet Nam outwitted the fighter jets chasing them.
There are some new things in the museum since our visit in 2010 that we were looking forward to seeing.
|Hangar One as you walk in the door....|
There's an aviation building called the "Ambition" on the grounds. It's part of the Navy Aviation Academy. It has 102,000 square feet of space devoted to a hands on approach for middle to high school students to teach science, technology, math and engineering. It's an immersive, role playing, serious game environment to help foster a superior learning environment in the sciences. Each "deck" or story replicates each deck on a modern aircraft carrier. We don't know if tours are offered, but it would be really cool to see the inside of this structure!
There were lots of interesting things to learn about how the POW's coped....
Remember the P.O.W. bracelets? These were started as part of a young student campaign back in 1970.
After seeing all the fabulous aircraft in both sections of the museum...
And reading lots of stories behind the servicemen, their tours of duty, the planes' years of service, the amazing qualities of each aircraft and performance stats, seeing the navy's dedication to their flying machines, we decided to take a FREE trolley tour of the "boneyard", where more aircraft are displayed.
|Personalized aircraft signs|
Dave was a HOOT! He was hilarious! Hard to understand, he talked so fast and slurred his words together, but after awhile, we figured out pretty much what he was telling us.
Dave saw Sparky trying to take some photos. So he proceeded to remind us about picture taking rules the museum has...(Uh-oh..Here's where Sparky gets into trouble, explains E.) Not exactly..The rules were:
1) You can take pictures anywhere you want, but don't take them off the walls.
2.) You are not allowed to take any Stealth bomber photos. Dave made a big deal of telling us there was a new prototype of Stealth bomber out in the field right beyond the trolley bus and under no circumstances were we to take a photo. ;-) Of course, there wasn't any Stealth bomber but he had a few people going for a minute. A couple of people actually did the swivel neck thing to see where the bomber was. And no, Sparky was not one of them! (Yes, she was, don't let her fool you for a minute. Sparky is VERY gullible, offers Eldo.) Geesh! Didja have to tell them that? (Sure! Sparky has told LOTS of stuff about me, turnabout is fair play, dontcha think?) Sigh......
He had another story about the PT-2 aircraft on an endurance flight from Perth, Australia to Washington, D.C. with a baby kangaroo on board. The kangaroo was a gift from the Australians for the D.C. zoo. The flight took 55 hours, and needless to say, the kangaroo wasn't potty trained. Dave made a crack about how "gamey" the flight must have been! Thanks, Dave, for a terrific tour! We will definitely go again on the trolley tour is Dave is running it.
The museum is an awesome place to spend hours to learn, watch, eat, shop, and appreciate our navy's aviation history...We love it and will go back each time we are here in the area.