Regular reader Wolfie started peppering my text app with photographs this morning, with the question “where am I?” Nothing unusual in that but after a couple of interesting airplane bits I was able to guess that he was far from his usual Michigan haunts. He’s in Dayton, Ohio, visiting the National Museum of the US Air Force on Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Lucky pup. I immediately recruited him as a guest photographer for the blog.
At the Air Force Museum you will find (among many other treasures) one of the 4 surviving examples of one of the iconic objects of my inner life: the Convair B-36 Peacemaker bomber, the largest land based aircraft to ever enter series production. I have loved the B-36, and especially this particular aircraft. since I was a kid in elementary school. Six turning, four burning.
As you see from these phone camera shots, the Dayton B-36 is kept in a large hangar (well, obviously– you wouldn’t keep it in a small hangar) that is mostly dark and lit with a jillion tiny little spotlights. It’s a challenging photographic environment as I well know, and Wolfie has done a decent job managing it from behind his phone, which I think is a Samsung. With his permission I have given the shots a bit of a tweak in FastStone– crops, sharpening and adjustments to highlights and contrast, mostly. Thanks very much to Wolfie for sharing his visit to the B-36 with the blog.
He got the whole thing into one phone camera shot! This is an excellent use of a wide angle lens on any camera. Plus if you squint at at this image you can easily imagine that the B-36 is outside, on the tarmac of a busy airport at night. That’s a nice thing to imagine.
And of course there is this shot. Everyone who has ever visited this museum with a camera has taken this shot of the SAC insignia on the Milky Way “sash” on the port side of the B-36’s nose. It’s a very, very long way up.
(For those who are trying to figure it out, the silver aircraft under the Big Guy’s wing in the first image is a Lockheed F-94 C Starfire interceptor, the final version of the Lockheed Shooting Star first generation jet fighter.)
More from the Air Force Museum tomorrow.