Lots of travel this year took us to lots of 2015 Airplane Fun.
We always look for aviation museums and air shows when we’re planning our trips…
…whether they’re domestic or international.
Squeezing in an aviation venue keeps trips from getting too lopsided with museums and sightseeing...
"No more Duomos," as one of our friends quipped once.
If you’re planning to travel anyway, why not find antique-airplanes too?
To see all of our 2015 Airplane Fun with larger pictures, click on any photo...
That will start a slide show for you to enjoy.
Casa Grande always has a fun little fly-in.
We go in years when we go to Spring Training baseball and visit friends.
Nothing really new or different this year, but many old favorites.
Always love the look of a Spartan Executive.
The Aviation Museum and Library at SFO says of the Lockheed brothers...
“Working in their garage near San Francisco’s waterfront at the corner of Polk Street and Pacific Avenue, they built a three-seat seaplane with financial backing from the Alco Cab Company. Named the Model G—to appear as if they had already built prior aircraft—Malcolm helped launch Allan from a ramp at the foot of Laguna Street on June 15, 1913 for its first flight over San Francisco Bay.”
Armed with that little bit of information, we went to find the site. There really isn’t anything left of the garage. We found a mechanic who remembered that there used to be a plaque… still it was a fun exercise.
We were headed for some wine tasting with friends, but we knew one of the Ford Tri-motors was going to be at Paso Robles Airport… so of course we had to stop. There were several old Ford autos to salute the old Ford plane.
Around on the other side of the airport you can find the Estrella Warbirds Museum. It restores and preserves “military aircraft, vehicles and memorabilia of those who flew and worked in the military aviation field.”
Mark loved the REO Speedwagon they had. Aircraft are from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
You know you're stuck in weekend get home traffic...
When you look up...
See a blimp flying in your direction...
And the BLIMP is winning!
We had a fun trip driving though the south of Spain. On our return to Madrid, we stopped at the Cuatro Vientos Airport to see Spain’s Museo del Aire.
I gotta tell you, this museum is not easy to find, but they have a fabulous collection in six hangars… with some planes outside. Wish we hadn’t gotten so lost so we could have had more time!
We actually moved our vacation to Spain forward a week so we could return and make it to Washington DC to see a special memorial flight.
It was a one time event that took place on May 8, 2015…
that was the 70th anniversary of VE Day…
Victory in Europe at the end of World War II.
See more on our Arsenal of Democracy Page.
We were passing through Florida on our way to Brazil, so we made time to get down to Key Largo.
No, this was not 2015 airplane fun…. we went to ride on the African Queen…
...as in the boat that was in the movie with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.
This historic little steamboat has been restored and takes tourists on rides along the Port Largo Canal.
Alberto Santos-Dumont was born in Brazil. He was an early aviation pioneer. Most of his flights were done in France, but he is a hero in Brazil. There are two great aviation museums… both have replicas of his early heavier that air aircraft… Santos-Dumont 14-bis "Canard".
TAM stands for Taxi Aereo Marilla. The airline started as a small air taxi service. The museum chronicles that and aviation in general.
It's located about 4 hours northwest of Sao Paulo, but if you're adventurous enough to get there... it's worth the trouble.
We love going to Oshkosh every couple of years. There were some great planes again this year. Lots of WWII warbirds because it was 70 years since the end of WWII. Mustangs all over the place. And some really rare planes... like this one-of-a-kind Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer. This was 2015 airplane fun at its finest.
You might be surprised how many aviation related places we found to visit in Ireland.
We landed in Shannon, rented a car and drove immediately to the little town of Foynes where we visited the Foynes Flying Boat Museum.
Foynes was the port for flying boats. There is a full size replica of a Boeing 314 Flying Boat.
We included Portrush in our Irish itinerary because they were having an air show and the British Vulcan was making a flight over the show in one of its last flights ever.
We were lucky enough to see her fly years ago at a British air show, and Mark wanted to see her one last time. I was skeptical, wondering how they could have an air show in a city with no airport, but it all worked.
The weather was beautiful. Everyone was there to say goodbye to the Vulcan.
When early aviators were attempting flights across the Atlantic, they were aiming for the western shores of Europe… and Ireland was one of those targets.
British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first non-stop Trans-Atlantic flight June 14-15, 1919. They flew a modified WWI Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland.
There is a monument on a hill hear Clifden, but you must look way off into the bog to see where they landed. It was not possible to drive to the spot when we were there.
Amelia Earhart made her crossing May 20-21, 1932 in a Lockheed Vega 5B. It was the first solo Trans-Atlantic flight by a female. She landed in a field outside of Derry (Londonderry). We found a building and a plaque commemorating the even, but no one seemed to be able to tell us exactly where she landed…. just “out in that field, beyond the trees…”
(In an interesting little bit of aviation history, that was five years to the day after Charles Lindbergh did it.)
Got in so much 2015 airplane fun because we traveled a lot this year. Feel free to go to one of our "Help Us Out" pages and tell us about 2015 airplane fun you had. We'd love to hear about it.
Looking for more shows and museums to visit next year.
Find 'em, See 'em, Fly,'em! And have a great flight!
Judy and Mark
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Our 2018 airplane fun includes a little in the air, a little on the ground, a little on tour and… and Oshkosh again.
Word from the museum is the primary mission of the Vintage Flying Museum is to preserve America’s flying heritage. They recently Upgraded hangar lighting to help visitors’ experience.
I think the Aeronautica Militare Museo Storico on Lake Bracciano is a place your readers should know about. It is only about an hour from Rome. I'm a