Friday, March 16, 2012

National Airline History Museum - Power Partners - March 15, 2012

Yesterday, Sigrid and I joined our Power Partner Retirement Club friends on a tour of the Kansas City National Airline History Museum.  The museum is located at the Downtown Airport (Municipal Airport) in Kansas City.  The museum is celebrating its 25th year of operation.  They started with just one plane, a Lockheed Constellation, also affectionately known as a "Connie".  The original name of the museum was "Save a Connie".  They have now added a several more planes to the collection.  I am an old Aerospace Engineer who still loves to see the old as well as the new planes when on display.

 The tail end of a Lockheed L-1011.  I flew on an L-1011 on a trip to Hawaii in 1985.

 The above photo as well as the two below were part of a nice video presentation tracing the history of the airline industry.

 We watched the video from nicely refurbished airline passenger seats.

From the video, we went to a collection of airline documents, photos, uniforms, and other items used in the industry.

 We then moved to the hanger where all the aircraft are displayed.

 The pride and joy of the museum....a flyable Lockheed Constellation "Super G".

The above photo is of the Martin 404 which was used for passenger service by TWA.  This is a fairly rare airplane since just over 100 were ever manufacture.  Most of these were used by TWA.  Below is the tail of the Connie.  It is wide accepted that the Connie was a landmark in the aircraft industry because of its superior range, speed, and other advanced features.  On top of all that, many thought that it was one of the "sexiest" aerodynamic designs of all time.  The three vertical stabilizers at the tail of the plane were part of its beauty.  When I was a child,  the family used to park at the end of the runway on Lou Holland Drive and watch the planes land.  They would just skim over the top of the Missouri River levee and our heads.  I watched more than one Connie land.

The TWA Moonliner II rock ship.....used for PR and displayed for years at the Kansas City TWA training facility.

A Douglas DC-3....a workhorse for both the military and the passenger industry all over the world.  The propeller driven equivalent of the Boeing 737.  I rode on a DC-3 on a flight from Albany, Georgia to Atlanta in 1971.  I had a seat over the wing.  I watched as oil oozed from the seams in the metal covering the wing and screws holding the wing parts together slowly vibrating themselves out of their holes.  What a thrill.  We never got very high in altitude so I could really see the Georgia landscape and people on the ground very well....a flight to remember.

After the tour, we all gathered at Hickoks for lunch in the City Market area.

A great day.  I love the smell of old planes and jet fuel in the mornings.

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