National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida – Day 1

Jim says: It was time to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. Since the Blue Angels were practicing at 8:30 AM, I thought I go and watch them.

Before I even got into the Naval Air Station, I was already questioning my decision.

Several thousand people showed up to see the Blue Angels.

I figured there be some other people there, but not several thousand. Is no one working in Florida today? How come there are thousands of kids here?

Between the number of spectators, the low altitude and speed of the Blue Angels, it was next to impossible to get a photo.

In case you do not know who the Blue Angels are…they are a precision flying aerobatic team. Here’s their official website link…
Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about the Blue Angels…

The museum opened at 9:00 AM, so I decided to forget the Blue Angels as I had seen them before and I just knew all those kids were going to end up in the museum. So I went immediately to the second floor hoping all those kids would start on the ground floor. By 9:30 AM, the museum was crazy with kids. What was I thinking? Well, as long as I was there, I might as well stick it out. It ended up being a very long six hours. It took me that long to do the second floor. I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more without all those noisy critters.

Here’s a few photos of some of the things I saw yesterday…

A cut-away view of the intake of a jet engine.
The Museum is huge. A large open center area with two levels along the walls of the multi-sided building. There are more than 75 full-size aircraft and more than 200 models.
Here’s a Blue Angels poster depicting the different aircraft they’ve flown over the years.
There’s a wonderful gallery of naval aviation art.


Here’s another of the more than 100 paintings
After practice, the Blue Angel pilots signed autographs…one was a female.
This World War II aircraft had some ferocious teeth!
A World War II recruiting sign.
In 1961, Navy Commander Alan Shepard rode this (replica of) Mercury 1 spacecraft on a 15 minute sub-orbital flight.
A space shuttle is docked with a space station. The vast majority of the Astronauts were first Naval Aviators.

To see the other 180 photos I took, click this link…>

Here’s the National Naval Aviation Museum official website link…

Here’s a Wikipedia information link…

Here’s a Facebook link…

The second floor had the following exhibits…
* Home Front, USA,
* Cockpit Trainers,
* Flight Adventure Deck,
* Lighter Than Air,
* World War II Aircraft Carrier,
* Art Gallery,
* World War II South Pacific,
* Motion-Based Flight Simulator, and
* Space.

Well, I got the second floor done yesterday…so today I’m headed back to attack the ground floor. I’m hoping that since the Blue Angels are not practicing today that the only noise today will be that of other jet aircraft and not a herd of noisy kids. I guess I do not understand why parents do not keep a tighter rein on their kids. The atmosphere in the museum more resembled a playground with all the running around and screaming happening. All I know is that had my kids ( at their younger age) been there, they would not have been allowed to carry on in such a manner. It sounds like I’ve become a grumpy old man…which I don’t mind…as I’ve earned it!

Duh…it just struck me…the kids are out of school on Spring Break Week. How lucky can I be?

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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