Saturday, December 08, 2012

Aviation Heritage Park

Back in September I visited one of our local parks. I have meant to post the pictures before now, but just haven't. Since I haven't been out with the camera lately to capture any shadows or birds, I thought I would share this wonderful park with you.

Aviation Heritage Park honors South Central Kentucky area pilots by finding and restoring aircraft that tell their stories.

The first plane to be displayed at the park was a U.S. Air Force F4D Phantom II in honor of Brigadier General Dan Cherry of Bowling Green. 

The second plane was an F9F-5 Panther in honor of Lt. Commander John J. Magda Jr., a Western Kentucky University graduate from Oldham County.

The T-33 is in honor of Glasgow native and Western Kentucky University graduate, General Russell Dougherty, who flew a T-33 plane from Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb., to Washington, D.C., while he served as commander of the Strategic Air Command. Dougherty served 35 years in the military and retired a four-star General.

A month or so ago there was an event at the Park and the planes were opened. You could actually climb inside the cockpit of the planes and have your photo taken. I wish I could have gotten out there for that event!

The park is still growing, with plans to not only add more planes but to also have an indoor facility.  

A General Dynamics F-111, the “Aardvark”, has been rescued from storage in the Arizona desert, and following restoration, will take its place in the Park. In October the plane was disassembled, loaded on flatbed trailers and shipped from Tuscan to Bowling Green.

“This is the largest aircraft we've ever restored,” said Aviation Heritage Park President Arnie Franklin. “It’s over 73 feet long, with a wingspan of 32 feet when the wings are fully swept". 

(Aardvark photo courtesy of AHP website)

In 1986 Park President Franklin, then Lt. Colonel Franklin, piloted the lead plane in Operation Eldorado Canyon, in Libya. The actual aircraft that Franklin was flying that day is on display at the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton Ohio. The aircraft that is being brought to Aviation Heritage Park was flying on his wing. 

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  1. I have a blogger friend: Bill L ( who would love this post. I am going to send your link his way.

  2. This is interesting. I enjoy finding new aviation museums. Even small ones can tell a story. I've been to Kentucky many times. Most often the north and east parts. I will keep this place in mind in my travel.
    Hey what else is very cool is having another blogger think of me and let me know about your post. thanks Tami

  3. So interesting - and your photos are just great!

  4. Planes in the air or on the ground fascinate me! Love the different styles and colours! This park is such a wonderful way of preserving the history of flight!

  5. Shhhhhh, don't tell Bud about this. He would go absolutely bonkers over it!! I bet it's very very interesting. And I thank you for sharing the photos and your walk around the park.

  6. Looks like a great show and you did get some great shadow shots as well!! Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful week!

  7. My hubby would love love love this park! He collects die-cast models of planes, has remote control helicopters and tanks,and loves to visit the two aviation museums we have in the lower mainland. He would be like a kid in the candy store here! Thanks for sharing! I will show him later when he ends his Sunday sleep in!!
    And thank you as well for visiting my blog!!

  8. I like airplanes of course, but these older fighters are favorites. A couple of decades ago, I was on the flightline at an AF base in Germany as an F-4 took off, those GE jet engines glowing - it was LOUD and you could feel the power. I liked it! The swing wing F-111 is an amazing plane too, and the pilots sat side-by-side instead one in back. Nice museum and I have been ar the SAC museum at Offett AFB in Nebraska. Very cool post!

  9. great shadows; happy Sunday

    much love...

  10. That last shot is gorgeous!

    Sea Horse Shadow
    Hope you'd come and see when you get a chance.

  11. Great shots! It looks like a great place to visit.


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