In my opinion, there is no finer aviation museum for photography than the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson AZ. According to the Museum’s website, “The concept for the Pima Air & Space Museum began in 1966 during the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the United States Air Force. Earlier the commanders of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) the forerunner to today’s 309th Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG) recognized that the historic World War II and 1950s era aircraft stored on the base were rapidly disappearing into smelters and that the flames were consuming not just metal, but the aviation heritage of the country. On their own initiative, base officials began to set aside examples of the many types of aircraft stored in MASDC’s yards. These planes were placed along the base’s fence line so that the public could see them through the fence.”
When I first visited the Museum in the early 1970s, it was a fraction of the size it is today, and was little more than a collection of airplanes sitting on a patch of land. The one thing that left a lasting impression on me, aside from the variety, was the fact that nearly every airplane there was easily photographable. In the nearly 50 years since my first visit, of course, the collection of aircraft has grown exponentially. The Museum is now home to over 350 airplanes, of which over half are now housed indoors.to protect them from the elements. Still, at least 150 of these airplanes are displayed outside and, just as they were all those years ago, they are still all photographable. So massive is the collection that in five hours, I did not finish photographing the aircraft outside, let alone the collection inside. I could have easily used two full days there. Well, that gives me a reason to go back!.
Since I photographed over 140 planes atPima, I’ll add them a few at a time. Maybe this will give you a reason to start visiting this site again.
DOUGLAS A-4C SKYHAWK
It’s kind of cool to look at an airplane in a museum, take a look at the name under the canopy, and say, “Oh wow, I know him!” Val Diers is a member of the Southeast Region of the Redstar Pilots Association, whom I have flown with. I never realized I was flying with such a celebrity!