Selfridge Surprise or The Last Thing An AlKaeda Courier Sees On His way Home
Apr 2010 I just managed to snap off a couple of shots (hey,I didn't say my name was Leibowitz) of these two A-10 Warthogs as they passed over my car on approach to their airfield at Selfridge ANG the other day. I subsequently found out from the gaurd at the entrance to the base that it's forbidden to take photos there but I suspect that aviation nuts are exempt. Selfridge is the largest and certainly one of the oldest (operational since 1917) ANG bases in the US and even Charles Lindbergh spent time flying out of here back in the day. If you're in the neighbourhood, the airbase is just off I-94 on the way to Detroit from Port Huron and worth stopping by the aviation museum there, which has over 26 aircraft on permanent display.
There's actually a nice airforce museum at Selfridge airbase and I recall visiting it as a young boy with my dad as well as attending the annual airshow on the nearby airbase. Unfortunately, after 911, Canadian visitors have been lumped into the same homogenous group of "foreign nationals" who are greeted with wary suspicion and a months long pre-approval process to come and have a look at their museum and even asking politely by email a week in advance to tour it, my visit was deemed to big a logistical nightmare . Sad.
March 2019 The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn (suburb of Detroit) is an eclectic collection of planes trains and automobiles and this DC-3 is one of the centrepieces of the collection, hanging from the ceiling of the main hall.
Charles Lindbergh was good friends with Henry Ford and apart from the airplanes designer, the Ford Flivver was only ever flown by these two men. Apparently, the plane's size was dictated by Henry's request that it's dimensions be small enough to fit in his office.
The Ford Trimotor is probably the most iconic Ford aircraft design but Ford was ultimately never successful in developing an airplane empire with the same degree of success as he'd enjoyed with the automobile.
This plane (Dayton-Wright RB-1) was revolutionary when it made it's appearance at the 1920 Gordon-Bennett race- at a time when most entrants were flying biplanes with open cockpits and wire braced wings, this plane featured retractable landing gear, a full cantilevered wing (no wires) and enclosed cockpit. Although it did not win the race (a cable snapped forcing the pilot to exit the race early), the design was a harbinger of things to come. This aircraft never flew again.
This is a 1929 Lockheed Vega, identical to the one made famous by Amelia Earhart.
When I was a kid, Robert Byrd was acknowledged as the first person to fly to the North Pole in this Fokker. In the intervening years, evidence has come to light that while he may have come close, he likely did not make it and may have faked his journal to look like he actually did. The museum's display explanation has not caught up yet to the general historical consensus and seems to suggest he likely did make it.