TOUR AMERICA 2019: OHIO, THE BUCKEYE STATE

Home Is Where We Park It:  East Fork State Park, Bethel, Ohio

July 3, 2019

Temperature 89 Degrees

Tri-State Warbird Museum

Due to the total lack of other RV’s in our loop we were about to rename where we are The B & B RV Resort.  That all changed today.  Starting at 4 pm, probably after most of them got off of work, they began rolling in.  We are no longer the only kid on the block.

We had one more museum in this area that we wanted to visit and today was the day to do it since it is only open on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s.  Again, there was no rush to get out since like yesterday it only opened at 4 pm.

Late afternoon and we were on the road.  A short twenty minutes later we arrived at The Tri-State Warbird Museum.  

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The Tri-State Warbird Museum was formed in 2003 with a commitment to preserve the aircraft of World War II, educate visitors on America’s role in WWII, and to honor the veterans who fought and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Originally constructed as a 12,000 sq/ft hangar and 5,000 sq/ft museum display space at the Clermont County Airport, the Tri-State Warbird Museum was completed and opened to the public in 2004.

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In 2011 through a generous donation they were able to build an additional 12,000 sq/ft hangar and storage/shop space.  the Tri-State Warbird Museum aircraft collection now consists of nine significant WWII aircraft housed in two hangers with additional acquisitions planned for the future.

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Come on, let’s go inside and take a look.  This is the lobby and movie theater.  There is an extensive library about aviation during WW II along the back wall.

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There were two main exhibits in this area.  The first one was entitled Operation Carpetbaggers.  From 1943 to 1945 the British Air force delivered  supplies to resistance groups in France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Holland.

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The typical plane used was the B-17 usually painted flat black.

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The second main exhibit was about the Bloody 100th Hundred nicknamed The Reluctant Dragon.

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Time to move into hanger one.

 

First aircraft we’ll look at is the Curtis Wright P 40. The Curtiss-Wright P-40 Kittyhawk was the first American fighter aircraft to be mass-produced in large quantities at the beginning of World War II. It served on many fronts including the South Pacific, North Africa, the Mediterranean and in China, where it served with distinction as part of Claire Chennault’s Flying Tigers in battles against the Japanese Air Force

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Powered by a 1,125 hp Allison 12 cylinder V-1710 engine, the P-40 lacked high altitude performance and posted only moderate cruise speeds compared to later fighters.  Later engines had a supercharger added which improved their high altitude performance.

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Rescued from an aircraft scrap yard in the 1960’s by New Zealand native John Chambers, the plane on display was structurally rebuilt by Allied Fighter Rebuilds in Auckland, New Zealand and delivered to the Tri-State Warbird Museum in February 2008.  The restoration team at the Tri-State Warbird Museum completed the restoration in the spring of 2016

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 and took it to the EAA Airventure at Oshkosh where it won Grand Champion WWII and the Gold Wrench award.

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Next up is the North American P-51 Mustang which proved to be a successful long range fighter aircraft which set new standards of excellence and performance when it entered service in the middle years of World War II (1943) and is still regarded as one of the very best piston-engined fighters ever made.

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The P-51 Mustang was powered by a supercharged Merlin engine driving a single prop. The Rolls-Royce (Packard) Merlin V-1650-7 engine delivered 1,695 hp, and allowed a maximum speed of 437 mph, a service ceiling of 41,800 feet, and a combat range of 1,000 miles.  This engine has been completely overhauled to factory new specifications.  After the overhaul it was run on a test stand.  It is being preserved as a spare engine for the Museum’s Mustang.IMG_9272

And, yes, as with all the aircraft in the Museum this one is also air worthy and is occasionally taken out for a flight.

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Next, we have the T-6 Texan.  This was a single-engine, advanced trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation and used to train fighter pilots of the USAAF, US Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II.   This one was at the hanger door because it was due to be flown today, however, the pilot had family issues he had to deal with so had to back out at the last minute.

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The final aircraft on display in Hanger One is the Stearman model 75, widely known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman, or Kaydet.  It was a biplane built in the United States during the 1930s and used as a military trainer aircraft.  As such It served as the basic trainer for the USAAC and USN throughout World War II and after the conflict was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civil market. In the immediate post-war years they became popular as crop dusters and as sport planes.

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It had twin cockpits.

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A closer look at one of the cockpits.

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The engine.

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Moving over to Hanger Two this was my favorite, the B-25.  The B-25 Mitchell is a twin-engined, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation in the United States and used during World War II. While the B-25 was meant originally to bomb from medium altitudes in level flight, it was used frequently in the Pacific Theatre in treetop-level missions against Japanese airfields and for operations such as strafing and skip-bombing against enemy Japanese shipping. The B-25 is most famous as the bomber used in the 1942 Doolittle Raid, where the raiders took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, and bombed mainland Japan.

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This is not the first time I’ve seen this aircraft.  Each time I looked at it I stood and wondered what it would be like to sit in the cockpit.  I don’t have to wonder any longer!  The ladder leading into the plane was down, the door was open so up and in I went.

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Sitting in the captain’s seat looking out the windshield.

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This is the tunnel leading to the front gun turret – nope I didn’t try this one!

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The two mid guns on either side of the fuselage.

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The way back to the rear gun turret – it was blocked off.

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Last one up is the Grumman TBM-3 Avenger which played a major part in the sinking of over 60 ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Two features made the Avenger outstanding. It was the first single-engined American aircraft to incorporate a power-operated gun turret, and the first to carry the heavy 22 inch MK3 torpedo.  This plane was open also but try, try, and try again and I just couldn’t get myself through the small door in the side.  Phooy!

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Beside the planes there were several other exhibits.  Such as this one about flight training.

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There was an exhibit of the Link Trainer that was used to teach cadets how to fly with instruments alone.  Edwin Link built the first Link trainer in 1932.  It was interesting to note that the first Link Trainer was a wooden fuselage mounted on an organ bellows.  A vacuum pump operated the bellows and simulated flight motion.  Many refinements followed during the ensuing years.  In this picture the cadet sat in a fully equipped and functional cockpit.  The instructor communicated directly with the cadet and monitored their progress.  The instructor could also create unusual situations that would test the cadet on their problem solving skills.

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There was an exhibit about Bombardier training

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and the development of the Norden Bombsight.  Developed in 1930 it was credited with playing a large role in the Allied victory in WW II.  Prior to the development of the nuclear bomb it was America’s most closely guarded military secret.  Containing some 2,000 separate parts it was a marvel of engineering that was continually refined during the course of the war.  It was claimed that it was accurate enough to put a load of bombs in a 100 foot circle from 21,000 feet.

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There was an exhibit on what life might have been like for pilots living overseas.

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Finally, for Ford lovers everywhere (don’t know how or why this was here)

 

The Museum was small but definitely worth the visit.  I’m so glad I found it and we had the time to visit it.  Some may say, you’ve gone to so many similar museums is there really anything new to be learned?  Truth is, I learn something new at each one.  Hey, this time I actually got to sit in the cockpit of a B-25!

That was our day on The Road of Retirement.  Once again another great day filled with the joy of life.  Thank you Lord for the wonderful life we live.

Thanks again for joining us on our journey.  We’ll catch you again tomorrow.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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