Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wings over the Rockies - Air and Space Museum on the former Lowery Airbase

Lowery airbase in Denver was shut down in 1993. Most of the area was part of a massive real estate development but some features were maintained. One of those features were two of the original aircraft hangers. Hanger 1 became the home of the Wings over the Rockies museum. I was there years ago when it first opened and it was till going through some growing pains. I was reading in the Sunday paper that there was a new sculpture exhibit there created by a former WWII P-38 pilot to honor his fallen comrades. I decided that it would be a good time to go again.

There is not a huge museum and except for the B-52 out front everything is housed within the hanger including the aircraft restoration area. While I was there to see the sculpture exhibit I had to take a complete walk around the facilities to see how it had changed. They have done an impressive job. Not only with the variety of aircraft but with historical displays (the Colorado Air National Guard exhibit is exceptional) and flight simulators as well. It was a very enjoyable couple of hours.

So of course I left and discovered that my camera batteries were died and that my phone was on the tail end of a charge. I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked because of battery issues, but then it is close and I imagine I'll be going back a lot sooner this time.

The Entrance!

A B-52 out front. I think there is a B-52 and almost every major air museum in the US!

From the "control tower" over the front entrance

"Lest We Forget: The Mission" - A bronze exhibit memoralizing the aviators of WWII.

Sculpted by WWII Aviator Major Fredric Arnold USAAC (ret), to honor, preserve and promotes the heritage of the American combat pilots for future generations.

The statues were sculpted by Major Arnold and fellow artist Sutton Betti, using 3000 pounds of clay and then cast in bronze. The process took more than 4 years to complete. The figures depict a group of fighter pilots - inspired by the deaths of 12 fellow pilots in Arnold's class of 42-J, they represent the 88,000 airman who died in WWII combat - in a pre-flight briefing before yet another of the war's seemingly endless critical missions.

F14 Tomcat, thoroughly fenced off!

F-111 Aardvark

Open bomb bays in the B1 Lancer

Yes, that is a pod racer

The Dream Chaser currently under development by Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems

X-Wing fighter

F-86 Sabre

F-105 Thunderchief. A family friend flew two tours in Vietnam in this aircraft

F-100 Super Sabre

F8 Crusader, a navy plan flown, in its later years, by the Colorado Air National Guard out Buckley Field in Aurora CO

F4 Phantom II, I knew it was a big plane but you don't realize how big till you are standing next to it.

I think this is a B57 Canberra

B1 Lancer from the catwalk

F-111 from the catwalk, check out those swing wings

E6-B Prowler


Colorado's own; Jack Swigert, command module pilot on Apollo 13. there is a wall listing all of the Astronauts from Colorado. While most flow on shuttle missions (STS), there were a representatives on Mercury (Scott Carpenter from Boulder), Gemini, Apollo and Skylab.

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