Friday October 29, 2021
Temperature 82 Degrees
Finding New Places to Explore – Florida Air Museum
Yes, today is Sunday Oct 31st, but we visited the following on Friday, Oct 29th, thus the date above is correct. OK?
We’re constantly trying to find things in this general area that we can visit, be it a restaurant, a waterpark, a museum, or whatever. Several people have already suggested various places, some of which we will definitely be exploring in the months to come. This time, though, Ms. Barbara while surfing online discovered the Florida Air Museum.
It looked interesting so on Friday, off we went.
Before we even entered we discovered this most interesting aircraft. The concept was simple, at least in theory. The Navy wanted to develop a supersonic fighter that could takeoff and land on water. The idea was that it would be serviced and supplied by a fleet of submarines. Needless to say, a lot easier said than done. The whole project was quickly and quietly put to rest after only 5 planes were built. The aircraft above is the only seaplane that ever successfully broke the speed of sound.
The museum is housed in a main building and a hanger annex. The main building is small, houses a variety of aircraft and other exhibits, is well lit and organized; however, many aircraft have no accompanying description so you are left to wonder what you looking at it. This is an overview of the museum from either end of the building in which it is housed
A few aircraft, though, did have some accompanying information. Let me share with you some of what I discovered.
1934 Aeronca LB. This is recognized as the first low wing aircraft that was successfully built and marketed to the general public. It was fitted with a 90 HP engine and cost $2995.
This is a replica of an aircraft that was entered in The 1930 All American Derby. It was a 5,500 mile race that was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of long distance flying. The Derby started with 18 planes but by the end of the race only 10 remained. The original Little Rocket won the race and was awarded the first place purse of $15,000.
Neal Loving was the first African American to receive a pilot license. This is a beautifully restored replica of his 1949 racer. In 1953 he flew the original aircraft 4800 miles roundtrip and nonstop from Detroit to Jamaica.
This is a Boeing Stearman Model 75 from the Classic Red Baron Pizza Aerobatic Team. The Red Barons were owned by Schwans Foods and flew to promote the Red Baron brand of pizza and raise money for children’s charities. The team flew four fully restored Boeing Stearman open cockpit biplanes built between 1938 and 1943. In 1999, after 28 years of airshow performances, the Team was disbanded due to the companies change in marketing philosophy.
This is the Whitman Tailwind Series developed in the 1950’s by Steve Whitman. It was noted for it’s high performance, easy maintenance and economy. Whitman sold thousands of plans for this airplane and is often recognized as the master of the homebuilt. This particular plan was built in 1965.
An exhibit about air racing over the years. I found it very informative and interesting.
This was another exhibit on an outside wall that was informative and interesting.
In the 1950’s there was a push to develop vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and Lockheed produced the XFV-1. This aircraft is only one of two prototypes and the only one that ever flew. It was able to successfully transition between vertical and horizontal flight. Eventually, the program was cancelled by the Navy.
This is the annex building
which houses an interesting display of various types of aircraft engines.
A couple of interesting ones.
I never knew, until now, that at one time there was a diesel aircraft engine.
What I found interesting about this little engine was that it could either be started manually with a rope, or you could install an electric starter. However, without an electric starter if it stalled in flight, you had no way to restart it! I believe I would make sure to install an electric starter.
All in all, this is a museum I absolutely enjoyed visiting. Yes, I had to dig for some facts, but that’s what made it even more fascinating. For in digging I learned even more and that made it completely worthwhile. So, if you’re ever in central Florida I say by all means consider visiting the museum. You will not regret it.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. We always appreciate your company, your comments, and your suggestions. Remember, take time to stop and smell the roses and live each day that God gives you to the fullest.