Day 29, the
last full day of the 2013 Winter Oasis dawned clear and cold. Promptly at 9 am we lined up for our
ride-share trip to the Pima Air and Space Museum. This is one of the largest air museums in the
world and the largest that is privately funded.
We were met
in front of the museum by our volunteer guide.
After a brief introduction we proceeded inside the hangar. This hangar complex contains a wide range of
military and civilian aircraft and related exhibits. We were immediately introduced to a replica
of the Wright Flyer. Among the other
airplanes that the guide discussed with us were the Huey helicopter (a military
and civilian workhorse that has been flying now for the last 60 years) and the
SR-71 “Blackbird” which gained its fame as the spy plane of the cold war, until
replaced by satellites.
boarded a tram for a tour of the outdoor aircraft exhibit area. For his tour our guide became a
driver/guide. As he drove us around the
area he talked about many of the planes we were going by, pointing special
features in the design and or use of many of them. A few of the specials included two planes
that once answered to the call sign “Air Force One”. NASA’s “Super Guppy” (this one might qualify
as the strangest looking), and 3 B-52s (there are still B-52s flying).
the tram tour the group split up. Some
of us headed off to see more of the outdoor exhibit aircraft as well as those
in the other hangars. Others headed off
to the gift shop, some to the museum’s Flight Grill for lunch and a few took
the tour to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration facility (commonly known
as the “bone yard”) at nearby
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
reconvened at 5 pm at the resorts Catalina Room for our farewell dinner (a
south of the border menu). Following
dinner each member of the caravan spoke briefly on a favorite event or a specific
memory. The various shows and the
weather got a lot of attention.as did the friendliness, helpfulness, and
congeniality of the group.
#12 John and Marilyn McGrew