Home Is Where We Park It: Timberlake Campground
June 6, 2019
Temperature: 82 Degrees
Light Rain Off and On, Winds Calm
A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That
National Naval Aviation Museum Re-Visited
The day dawned overcast, hot, and humid. The forecast was for thunderstorms throughout the day. Thankfully, this time the weatherman got it wrong. Though we had a bit of a light rain in the late afternoon nothing major ever developed.
Today we started our day by visiting the Natchez Parkway Information Cabin. Guess what? They are only open Friday and Saturday. Strike one item off our visit list while we are here. Maybe we can make it tomorrow. A trip to Camping World was necessary since we needed a new awning strap for our patio awning. Somehow, the one that is there ended up ripped part way through about half way along it’s length. No idea how a strap that simply rolls up can get ripped. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. Of course when we got there and began wandering the aisles we managed to find a few more things to buy. Grocery shopping was also a must. The cupboards were bare as was the freezer. This was the time to do it since all major stores are within a 30 minute radius of the campground. We were also going to travel the Trace part way back to Natchez, but by the time we got done with the must do’s it was late afternoon. Now, if we had gotten out a bit earlier in the day, but hey we’re retired and not much happens around here before 10 am.
Now we’re going to jump back in time, back specifically to when we visited The National Naval Aviation Museum. In past blogs I’ve shared with you many of the major exhibits that are there. At this time we’re going to take a look at some of the aircraft there that are on display. We can’t cover them all but we’ll look at some of the more notable ones on display.
The first plane is the A-1 Triad. This is not an original but a replica of the real thing. The actual plane was damaged beyond repair in October of 1912 after flying 285 flights. Triad means a group of three and the A-1 was designed to operate in three environments: wings allowed it to soar in the air, wheels allowed it to take off and land from the ground, and a single float enabled it to take off and land on water. It had two seats but only one control wheel, The wheel, though, could be swung back and forth between the two seats.
Next up is the JN Jenny. Over 95 per cent of WW I naval aviators from America and Canada received some or all of their flight instruction in this airplane. At the end of WW I this aircraft was available for purchase for just a few hundred dollars. Many went to so called barnstormers who brought aviation to the American heartland for the first time. Taking off from farmers fields they gave flight demonstrations and airplane rides in the 1920’s.
This is the Sopwith Camel. Mounting the machine guns in the nose created a hump on the fuselage which gave the aircraft its nickname camel.
Pilots loved the speed and agility of this aircraft but it came at a price. The aircraft’s power came from a rotary engine, in which the entire engine spun with the propeller, throwing castor oil all over the pilot.
This is the Curtis MF Flying Boat. This aircraft flew with the Navy from 1918 to 1922 after which it entered the civilian market. For a time it was used to give aerial tours of Atlantic City.
This is the Tommy S-4C. Most were equipped with wheels but some, like this example, had wooden floats. It is said that they leaked so bad they had to be emptied of water every night or the plane would sink when put into the water the next day! It’s military service was short lived but it flew later on the silver screen in Hollywood Movies Hells Angles and Dawn Patrol.
This is the Nieuport 28. The Navy obtained this aircraft from the Army. Unlike aircraft of today that have throttles to control their power, this aircraft had an engine with a blip switch which altered the number of cylinders that fired, speeding the aircraft up or slowing it down. One of the issues with the aircraft was the tendency when in a steep dive to begin shedding fabric from it’s upper wing.
In 1925 a revolutionary new aircraft engine came on the scene. It was an air-cooled engine that weighed less than 650 pounds and produced over 400 HP. It was the Pratt and Whitney Wasp. Unburdened by a cooling apparatus it was clearly superior to all of the water cooled engines that were then being used. It’s lighter weight also allowed for lighter aircraft. Its inherent reliability installed confidence in pilots who often had to fly long distances over water.
This is the Ford Tri-motor Aircraft that saw service with the Navy and Marine corp form 1927 to 1931. A commercial version was also very popular with the airlines and private collectors.
This is the engine that powered the Tri-Motor. It was the Pratt and Whitney R-985 and was rated at 300 HP. All total 39,000 engines were produced over its twenty three year production run.
This is PB 2Y-5R. The aircraft entered service in 1940 and primarily flew as a patrol aircraft during WW II. This particular aircraft was fitted with amenities for transporting high ranking naval officers during WW II. This aircraft also flew from Guam to Japan and was the first aircraft to land in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies. This aircraft remained in the Pacific theater where it endured a typhoon while at anchor and almost sank. It’s crew was able to patch it’s hull and ultimately fly it back to the States for repairs.
This is the perhaps the most famous of the big boats to serve the US Navy, the PBY Catalina. During WW II it was one of the most versatile aircraft flown by any nation. In addition to routine patrol flights, it flew night attack missions in the South Pacific, hunted German U-Boats in the Atlantic, and plucked many a downed aviator while on search and rescue missions.
This is the Navy’s last flying boat SP-5B. It had a height of 32 feet and a wingspan of 118 feet. In addition to anti submarine patrols it was also used during the Vietnam war to monitor traffic off the coast. The Navy retired its flying boat fleet in the late 60’s and the last flying boat was removed from service in July of 1968.
This is a display of an aircraft on a South Pacific Island during WW II.
This is the Neptune P2V-1 nicknamed The Turtle. In 1946 the Navy wanted to test the long range capabilities of this it’s newest patrol aircraft as well as test the effects of long distance flights upon an aircraft’s crew. The flight started in Perth, Australia on September 29, 1946. The plane carried 8,476 gallons of fuel, a crew of four and a stowaway in the form of a baby kangaroo. It was hoped that it would be able fly non-stop all the way to Bermuda but when it reached the western United States it encountered bad weather and consumed more fuel than expected. It landed in Columbus, Ohio having flow a distance of 11, 235 miles without refueling. It’s crew spent 55 hours in flight.
Since Vietnam the E-2 Hawkeye has served as the Navy’s Eye In The Sky. It is the Navy’s early warning platform tracking everything from Soviet airplanes to drug runners on the high seas. The circular rotating platform on top of the aircraft measures 24 feet in diameter and has a special cooling system to keep it within operating temperature during missions. It has been nicknamed the hummer by those who fly it because of the humming noise, like that of a swarm of bees, the 8 bladed propellers make.
This is the oldest helicopter currently flying on the front lines, the CH-46. It has often been likened to a flying bus with its ability to deliver troops to the front lines and evacuate the wounded.
This is the AH-1 Sea Cobra which provides front line support for Marine troops on the ground. It has a triple barrel 20 mm canon in the nose that can fire 690 rounds per minute and on either side of the fuselage it can carry a variety of missiles. During Desert Storm these gunships were credited with destroying 97 tanks and 104 armored personal carriers and vehicles.
This is the Venom 500 – Sea Hawk. It is used by Navy, Army and Coast Guard in search and rescue, antisubmarine and anit-ship roles, drug interdiction, cargo lift and insertion of special forces into hostile situations.
I’m sure we all recognize this, it is the President’s Own, a VH-3 Sea King. No one helicopter is designated Marine One until the President is actually onboard. The white top was originally designed to keep the inside cooler before AC was installed in later versions.
The President onboard.
Barbara landing on the South Lawn!
There are so many aircraft there, so many pictures, but we’ll call it quits for now. This is my new favorite place to visit and I can’t wait to get back down here and visit the museum again.
Time now to get busy with packing and putting things in order since we are moving on again tomorrow.
That does it then for us on The Road of Retirement. So many days, so many places we’ve already gone, so many new places we’ve discovered, so many new things we’ve learned and we’re just getting started. Stay tuned and we’ll take you with us to even more new discoveries.
These are the voyages of Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before
See you on down the road