For aircraft enthusiasts: great museum in CT (B-29 content)

KokoTele

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A group of pilots on an aviation forum I visit came up with a list of aviation museums that you can fly to (i.e., within walking distance from aircraft parking)and this month I decided to start visiting them.

The New England Air Museum in Bradley, CT was a really nice surprise. The restorations, displays, and research at this museum are really spectacular, with quality comparable to the National Air and Space Museum. There's a heavy focus on WWII, as well as local contributions to aviation. Since Sikorsky was based nearby they have a huge presence (literally and figuratively, including a giant 4-engine transatlantic flying boat), and there's a big display for Kaman, who engineered several inovations in helicopters in the 50s and 60s before engineering Ovation guitars in his twilight years. (I also learned you pronounce his name like "command," without the D at the end.) Many of the planes have cockpits that can be opened, so with the supervision of a docent you can try them on for size. I was following my 8-year old around for the day and he got to sit in the cockpit of an F-100 for a good long time. There were also a P-47 (my favorite), a P-51, F-104, A-10, B-25, A-26, F4U Corsair, F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, a DC-3, and a few dozen too many others to mention.

The queen of their fleet is this gorgeous B-29. It was assembled from 2 different airframes, and later on they made a trade with the team that was restoring Doc to flying status. Doc needed some airworthy parts for the tail and traded a turret and some other parts for static display.

We were only there for about 2 1/2 hours before it was time to fly home, and I'd guess that you need at least 4 hours at this museum to take it all in. I was busy chasing my 8 year old son around so I didn't take many pictures, but I'll make sure to do that for the next trip.

If you're in the area, I highly recommend this museum.

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Before we departed, we were treated to a bunch of touch-and-goes by the VP's transport (callsign Venus when it's not Air Force 2) while I did the preflight inspection. I know, a Piper Warrior pales in comparison, but it did a good job of getting us where we needed to go.

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Bourbon Burst

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I saw the Enola Gay at the museum in Washington DC (Udvar Hazy museum). It was very impressive.

Vought was also in CT making the F4U Corsair. They would mock dogfight P47s from the Republic Aviation factory in Ling Island during WW2.
 

Old Verle Miller

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There are so many in Texas it'd be hard to get to them all in a month-long trip. Trying to drive to them would be out of the question nowadays. Y'all come on down (when avgas prices come back to earth)!
 

trapdoor2

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You remind me of my childhood. Dad had a Bonanza (and a J-3) and we went on vacation trips regularly throughout the 60s and 70s.

Anytime I go anywhere, I always search for air museums at my destination. Last year I got to visit both the Glen Curtiss museum in Hammondsport, NY and the nearby National Soaring Museum in Elmira.

I think we're going to drive up to DC in the fall. I've never been to Udvar-Hazy...

Miz Diane and I are planning a trip for 2023 that runs us out to Kansas (Sternwheeler Arabia Museum) and then loop back thru Dayton (Wright-Pat, etc).
 

Nightclub Dwight

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In 1979 that museum took a direct hit by an F4 tornado, which is very rare for Connecticut. It damaged and destroyed quite a few planes. I believe it was the costliest tornado on record at the time due to all the aircraft that it destroyed.
 

telemaster03

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I worked a few years in Liberal, KS and they had a decent air museum that was often visited by vintage aircraft. If I learned there was a visit planned or if I heard the aircraft I'd run over there and check them out.

I'm in Wichita and Doc flies over regularly on it's way to airshows, I love to watch it. You sure know by it's sound that it's not a typical aircraft. One of these days I'm going to pony up the $$$ and take a ride on it. Maybe I can get my wife to do it, a few years ago she sprung for an hour long ride on a vintage Stearman biplane for my birthday. That was a great gift and good fun!
 
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