Valle’s “Planes of Fame Air Museum”, AZ.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

On my way north a few days ago, passed Williams on 64, and about 20 miles or so before the South Rim, an airplane on my left, just sitting there, caught my attention.

I recognized , what I thought to be, a Super Constellation… When I was 5 years old and living in Paris, as my grand parents lived in Cairo, Egypt, I flew that round trip alone (well, the stewardess was most likely holding my hand!) and to this day remember it! My grand father owned a weekly newspaper that was published for… 50 straight years… and I think actually my mother still has the front page showing little Ara getting off the plane and waiving…

Doing more inquiries while here at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, I was told that there was a very impressive Airplane Museum inside the building next door… and even if it was just to see that plane again, I am sure would be worth the few miles round trip.

And so Spirit and I left mid morning, as soon as the temps felt good, for Valle.

Now I know that maybe having this whole Blog on antique old airplanes is not going to thrill everyone… but, even if you did not like airplanes, well this Museum is worth the trip!… and so is Captain Spirit ready to fly!

I end up spending quite a few hours there, meeting also a gentleman named Scott with some incredible photographic equipment and getting much tips on picture taking, something now always appreciated, as I am even thinking taking a Class!

As usual… yes, I am getting used to, I spend about half an hour in the parking lot with the exiting visitors. To them, the airplanes were not enough, Spirit in the sidecar was an added attraction.

At the entrance, the very pleasant lady that took care of the front desk, very knowledgeable too, also had to come out and snap a few pictures of Spirit, she has lost her dog recently and was thrilled to the sight. I even for the first time figured out how to take a picture with her phone camera… we bartered pleasantly and gave me a break on the entrance fee! Go Spirit!

All these planes fly!… the proof she said… some oil pans underneath their engine… some with leaks… and so I thought… do flying planes leak? Maybe old ones do…

I am sorry that you cannot see the planes in their whole span, the hangar was small for all those planes, mixed also with some cars… and RED TRUCKS!!! The “red truck” fetish started in Ft Davis, Texas, visiting, now friends, Jerry and Nalda Feldner who own the local Bookstore there… Some of you might remember… All I remember is the great Pizza we had the last night I was there!

Just kidding…

Way before I even arrived in Ft Davis, I was told by other visitors that had been there, to look for the red truck… and I did… and I did not miss it!!! Hope you remember it… and make sure you stop by his bookstore the next time you pass through the town… you can even tell him I send you… just so he does not give you a discount! Unfortunately they do not have a sign, so when it is closed… well, you just have to know where it is. I told him not too long ago to have a sign made up looking like the red ruck… a copy of it… their trademark by now. Lots of books by the way… of an incredible variety… Okay Jerry… you owe me now!!!

Back to the Planes!

This one is a Pits-2 Double Take, the most recognizable air show performer in the world.

This was has been modified very uniquely with a second set of undercarriage… to land either way!

Not me….

The Bristol F2 fighter designed in 1916 and very popular with the Royal Air Force.

The Siemens-Schukert D.IV, being the best German Fighter through WWI, but was too late to alter the course of the conflict. Built starting in 1916.

The Grumman J2F-6 Duck with its ability to land and take off on water. This one was on loan as still being used.

A suicide Japanese Bomber…

A Curtis Model Robin, built in 1928, to a production of only 750, put to halt in 1930, was used in many of World Record Flights.

… and one of your first Eastern Airline passenger plane!!!

And of course you get to climb aboard the Constellation, which I found out is not a ‘Super’…

This plane was ready to be dismantled, but the main organizer (for better words!) of this Museum managed to stop the process, they spend one year refurbishing it and HE FLEW the plane to Ville (1995). What a landing that should have been! More pictures from inside… My server is not going to be happy with all these pictures… but…

I have many more pictures and information taken as shots by the way. If anyone would like them, please e mail me and I will send you my SmugMug Gallery on all of this… I will be happy to.

This is where I would have been working if…

And I cannot finish without another picture of Captain Spirit!…

Hope you enjoyed this day…

You be well…

Ara & Spirit

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3 Responses to “Valle’s “Planes of Fame Air Museum”, AZ.”

  1. AV Says:

    I found you on Pirate4x4 and have posted a few times in you thread.

    I wish I had the money to set out right now. I shall try to do my best at a nomadic lifestyle for the time being. Seeing your comments about the conservation corp has opened my eyes to something which I now REALLY want to do. Spend a summer in the woods and spend a summer in antarctica working are both engraved on my list.

    And someone that likes airplanes. I encourage you to stop at the aviation museums you see. I myself come from a long line of pilots and mechanics, I myself am an aircaft mechanic.

    Happy travels.

  2. Cameo Says:

    I love love LOVE old prop planes! Every time I go to DC I stop by the air and space museum to see them. They have so much personality. It’s my dream to fly in one some day!

    In that photo, Spirit reminds me of Stubby (who I also visit in DC!) –

    http://www.ct.gov/mil/cwp/view.asp?a=1351&q=257892

    He also reminds me in that photo of “Famous Bud” another dog who’s famous for going on a trip across the US… Maybe it’s the doggles?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9e/Photo_bud_portrait.jpg

    Thanks for taking these photos and posting them, I really enjoyed them 🙂

  3. Kevin and Leigh Ann Says:

    Seeing Spirit “in” the museum… Priceless.

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