Thursday, August 13, 2015

Airpower Museum near Blakesburg

St. Louis Trip, Day 1 - Friday, July 24, 2015
After leaving the courthouse, we drove to the Airpower Museum just outside of Blakesburg, Iowa.  The museum wasn't open yet (it opens at 9 A.M. on weekdays), so we played Frisbee beside the airfield.  Then we read our Bibles together on a picnic table.  At 9:00, one of the trustees, Brent Taylor, son of Robert Taylor (founder and chairman), drove up and opened the museum for us.
The museum and office building are shown above, along with a couple hangars in the background.  There is no admission fee, but freewill donations are accepted.  After opening the museum, the Mr. Taylor told us to go ahead and browse, as long as we didn't sit or stand on any of the aircraft.  His son would be in the office if we had any questions. 
The main room of the museum was packed full with model airplanes and airplane parts.  We saw a twin-row rotary engine built for a 1919 Multi-X aircraft, a 1918 Hispano-Suiza cutaway engine, lots of propellers, the remains of a propellor from a plane that "cracked up" in World War 1, World War 2 bombay doors, a radiator, and much more. 
A balloon basket is on the left along with an early balloon basket parachute bag.  In World War 1, men in observation balloons were issued parachutes, but Allied airplane pilots were not.  Many, perhaps unnecessarily, lost their lives because of this policy.  Officials were concerned that the aviators would bail at the slightest sign of trouble.  Toward the end of the war, German airmen were issued parachutes.  
Above is a flying suit and a flight trainer/simulator.
There were many prints of airplanes and such on the walls.  You can see on the upper left a display on aviation radio programs.  On the upper right are photos of many types of old planes.  If I remember correctly, the object on the lower left is something used in the bomb bay.  The lower right shows another room in the museum, devoted exclusively to memorabilia.  There are trophies and awards, photos of notable people, and a collection of newspaper clippings.

The adjoining hangar was filled with aircraft.  The piece of an aircraft tail on the wall with the  South Vietnamese flag on it is from a plane that was damaged during a rocket attack in the Vietnam War.  

Some museums are heavy on explanations and weak in artifacts (i.e. some have a wall full of history I could just read online for every one little artifact--or worse, replica of an artifact--in a huge, new, beautifully organized building with a stiff $10 admission fee).  This museum is just the opposite.  It is filled with the real deal--plenty of artifacts--viewable for free! But, as Papa noted, everything, well, does seems old.  Ha!  I'll leave it to you to decide whether that's a good or bad thing for a museum.

I'm glad we stopped by the Airpower Museum.  It was a neat place to visit, and I'd like to thank the Taylor family and all those involved in keeping this very interesting collection open to the public.
Linking with:
(There is a fence in the first photo.)

34 comments:

  1. chock full o' history, seems like. sad about the no parachutes for pilots. (terrifying, actually.)

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    1. I'm glad by the time WW2 rolled around the Allies had amended their policy!

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  2. My hubby and I like museums like this! Old (AKA historic) is awesome:) I didn't know about the WW1 pilots not being issued parachutes though--that's pretty awful.
    Blessings,
    Aimee

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    1. Agreed! In one of his books, Eddie Rickenbacker told of some of the stunts his fellow airmen had to pull to land their damaged planes and survive. Some of them are amazing! But he did have some pretty sad stories as well about those who didn't make it.

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  3. My husband and son would love this place. I can't tell you how many airplane museums and events I've gong to with them. :)
    The parachute thing is really sad.

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    1. Yes, it is. It's neat to have family members with varied interests; we learn about more topics just by being around them! :)

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  4. Q: What's new at the Museum?
    A: Nothing, but that's the whole point!

    Looks like a great museum, lots of exhibits and antique aircraft, I could see spending a few hours in a place like this to be sure!

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    1. Ha, right!

      There is plenty to see. I think they have a yearly antique aircraft fly-in...now that would be really neat to watch!

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  5. This looks like an interesting place! I'm glad that there were actual artifacts instead of tons of text. ;) I didn't know that aviators weren't allowed parachutes. How sad!

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  6. Hello bethany, what an interesting museum. I think it was awful they did not offer parachutes to the pilots. I do like teh old airplanes. Great post, thanks for sharing. Have a happy weekend!

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  7. I'm with you Bethany - I like my museums heavy on artifacts. This one looked like it did not disappoint and would be so fun to look through and learn more about that time in our history. It's always so fun to see what you're going to share with us next, plus I love that I always learn something from you when we "hang out".
    Thanks for sharing and God bless for a wonderful weekend little Lady. xo

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    1. God bless you with a great weekend as well! Take care, Carrie!

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  8. A very interesting post with loots giong on there. Loved seeing the planes.

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    1. Glad to hear. I enjoyed seeing them! :)

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  9. Bethany I would like to visit it . It is very interesting place which shows the history of our civilisation

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  10. It looks like the kind of 'old' museum that's worth a visit! Chock full of exhibits!

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  11. Bethany, what a wonderful museum. My son would love to visit here.

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  12. What a fun museum! So many interesting things to see and photograph. And that no parachutes part...so frightening!

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  13. Hi Bethany, Another neat place to visit! Yes, it looks full of the real stuff and that's what I want to see in a museum. I am sorry but I had to download and save one of your pictures ... the one with the sign Golden Age of Aviation Radio Programs. Hopefully you will understand my weakness. Enjoyed this post thoroughly!

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    1. I thought that photo might have a chance at capturing your attention :) No problem! Thanks!

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  14. The Airpower Museum does look like a neat place to visit. I love that it's free and everything looks in good order. I thought the explanation about how pilots weren't given parachutes to be fascinating.

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  15. What a wonderful experience this must have been!
    I am with you on the balance between information and artifacts, Bethany.
    Your photos (and the mosaics) are very nice and well laid out in the post.
    It makes for enjoyable and easy reading.
    Have a Wonderful Week!
    Peace :)

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    1. Thank you Chandra! Have a wonderful week as well!

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  16. I think this would be a great museum to visit. There was a lot there to look at and see. Loved the shot of the airplanes hanging from the ceiling. Also that old aviations suit was pretty cool.

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  17. This looks like something that Breanna and Travis would love to see!!! I will definitely take them when they are back in the area visiting!!!! Love, Aunt Diane

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    1. I'm sure it would be a fun trip for them! Thanks for leaving comments, Aunt Diane! Love you!

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