Monday, August 25, 2008

Strategic Air Command

The first day of a short trip to the Omaha area found me at the Strategic Air and Space Museum a few miles to the west. I've been in the major air and space museums in Washington and elsewhere, but this facility commemorating the Strategic Air Command has a unique problem -- many of its mementos are gigantic. It's not hard to put a bunch of space capsules in a room. Finding space for a B-52 is more of a challenge.

The museum has two huge hangers, yet there isn't enough space between the planes to get good photos. There is a B-52 of course, but I was a big surprised to see that it looks like a toy next to a B-36. The B-36 had 10 engines (6 piston and 4 jet), and had intercontinental range without refueling. Eventually it was replaced by the all-jet B-52.

Unlike WWII piston-driven warbirds which are kept flying by enthusiasts, you aren't going to see any B-36s or B-52s (eventually) outside of a few museums. Below is a left wing full of B-36 engines. (The propellers face backward.)

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