Gems can be uncovered everywhere – even in the most unexpected places (such as Texas). And so, on my final day of the Southern Exposure Tour we visited the Frontiers of Flight Museum which is located next to Dallas Love Field (as I was flying out of Dallas Love Field back to California it made sense to visit before departing from the nearby airport).
The museum was not at all crowded when we went, but don’t take that as a sign of a lack of quality – they have a very impressive collection. The first thing you’ll notice out in the parking lot are this Lockheed T-33A “Shooting Star”…
And this massive rocket…
Which Katelyn and Duane (my niece and nephew) provide some scale for.
The entrance to the museum:
It’s difficult to tell in the above picture, but the museum is housed inside a cavernous, hangar-shaped building of which the picture below is only a small part – That’s a Learjet 24D hanging in the middle:
Below the aircraft affixed to the ceiling are numerous additional aircraft and related aerospace equipment:
Such as this A-7 Corsair II
Or these cruise missiles
Or this Beech E-17 “Staggerwing”
Or even this Bell TH-1L Huey
Another good one was this Regulus II (pictured below), but I just couldn’t get a good picture of the real thing inside the museum, so I am using this image from the display sign next to the Regulus II.
Also on the floor is the nose of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-200 (Dallas Love Field is the hub for Southwest Airlines)
Which one can climb into to explore the cockpit
Mixed in with all of the aerospace hardware are a number of display items such as these vintage aviation posters
Or this fan of ejection seats
One of which my nephew tested
And, of course, more missiles
And an array of photographs
As well as flight suits
And World War I flight gear
This is an interesting story… Charles McKinley (pictured below) decided that he was tired of living in The Bronx, New York and wished to return home to Texas. Thinking he would save some money, Mr. McKinley equipped himself with a mobile phone and crammed into a box to ship himself to his parents’ home in Dallas (a friend dropped the box off at FedEx). The box ended up weighing over 400 pounds and so the cost of shipment worked out to over $500 for the 18-hour journey. When Charles McKinley was delivered to his parents’ front lawn he pried himself out of the box, much to the astonishment of the FedEx deliveryman.
This is the box Mr. McKinley made the journey in:
A newspaper article on the journey…
And the shipping label that was affixed to the famous box.
Also on display are such items of interest as this model airplane exhibit
I thought this poster of extinct airlines was quite interesting.
One object of childhood fascination for me was polar explorer, Admiral Richard Byrd. During his first Antarctic expedition, Byrd and his crew, flying the Ford Tri-motor Floyd Bennett, became the first to fly over the South Pole on the early morning of November 29, 1929. So, I was pleased to see an extensive exhibit on Admiral Byrd.
However, I have to say that the crown jewel of the collection for me was the SR-71 paraphernalia, including an SR-71 cockpit and engine. I’ve always had a fondness and fascination for the SR-71 since I grew up watching them in action at nearby Beale Air Force Base.
Even the cockpit canopy looks cool to me:
SR- 71 ground control equipment:
A picture of the SR-71 at takeoff:
These are the incredible engines that got the SR-71 up to Mach 3:
A very impressive museum enjoyed by children and adults alike