I had planned on going down south to visit Tubac today, and then tomorrow I was going to stop at the Pima Air & Space Museum on my way out of town for a few hours, and then head on towards Benson that afternoon. But the weather report this morning was calling for gusty winds tomorrow afternoon, so I made a quick change of plans and went to the Pima Air and Space Museum this morning, and tomorrow I will head for Benson early in the morning to hopefully beat the winds.
As you can see from the Google Earth picture there are a whole lot of airplanes at the Pima Museum. And those big buildings you see down there are full of their restored airplanes. So a person could burn up a pair of sneakers and a lot of camera media cards seeing everything so I decided I would just concentrate on the airplanes that had a lot of meaning in my life.
My dad was in the Air Force, he was a lifer, and that makes me an Air Force Brat. Not long after my dad retired I enlisted in the Air Force, put in my four years and got out. All of that means that I spent a lot of my life on Air Force bases around airplanes, and grew up with the "Sound of Freedom" ringing in my ears.
C 124 Globemaster
Of all the planes that I have been in and around, the C 124 globemaster occupies the biggest space in my heart because that's the plane that my dad was Crew Chief on and flew all over the world in. They were still in use by the Air National Guard when I was just a young airman so I would be loading or unloading a C 124 every once in a while.
C 124 globemaster being unloaded. I got this picture off the Internet, I hope no one minds.
One of the things my dad told me about the plane is that while they were flying there were things on the engines that he would sometimes have to check, and there was a small tunnel through the wing that he would have to slide through on his stomach to get to the engines. The tunnel was only about 2 feet high and was a conduit for pipes and wire bundles that went to the engines. So he had to share this little tunnel with fuel lines and high voltage wires.
C 124 wheel well, the screen wire is covering the tunnel that goes through the wing
He also told me that even with hearing protection the noise was almost unbearable. Those engines were really big and produced almost 4000 hp each, and I can't imagine what being in a little metal tunnel right next to that engine must've been like.
He use to tell me that getting to the first engine wasn't all that difficult, but sliding out to the far engine was always a problem because not only did the tunnel get a little smaller but the wing moved up and down more than you might think and he was bounced around inside the tunnel enough that if he stayed out there too long he would get seasick.
When I was a kid I always wanted to crawl into that tunnel, but my dad wouldn't let me because he said I might get stuck in their and it would be hard to get me out. Hearing those stories when I was 12 years old is probably the reason I'm claustrophobic.
This post is getting a little long and I've got one more story to tell about the C 124, and I will tell that one tomorrow.