Friday, 2 January 2015

DAY 23 - The Half-Way Delta Of Our Holiday

Hi all, welcome to today's blog.

This morning kicked off with a sleep-in till around 0830 h, breakfast...etc. We then headed off to Marietta, to the north of Atlanta. To anyone interested in aviation, Marietta is famously recognised as the birthplace of historic transport aircraft such as the C-141 Starlifter, C-5 Galaxy, C-130 Hercules aircraft, all made by Lockheed Martin. From me you would receive special bonus points for highlighting that Australia was the World's first export customer for the C-130 Hercules, way back in December 1958. We intended to visit the Marietta Museum of History's Aviation Wing, noting that our research indicated that it would be open today. However...

It being Friday 02 January 2015 at 1245 h, what we have here is a failure to communicate
Nonetheless, Schuyler and I persisted as we weren't going to travel 9300 miles / 15100 km to Marietta just to miss out on photographing aircraft at this Museum. So we took photos through the fence and thankfully it's an all outdoor display. However, the downside is that many of the aircraft are in a terrible state of repair having been exposed to the elements for far too long. It is interesting that not too long ago, the Museum became accredited with the National Museum of the US Air Force, which will allow them to loan and display aircraft of the USAF. I only hope that there are strict criteria to the amount of care they need to place on any future loaner aircraft. Here's some shots taken from outside the fence:

Welcome to the closed Marietta Museum of History Aviation Wing

Grumman F-14A Tomcat

Douglas A-4D-1 Skyhawk

Lockheed S-3B Viking

Republic F-84F Thunderstruck

Lockheed C-141B Starlifter

Lockheed 1329 JetStar 6

Lockheed C-141B Starlifter

Lockheed AC-130A Spectre Ghostrider (Note the Gatling Guns on the side)

You can't mistake the tail of the Lockheed C-141B Starlifter

Lockheed C-141B Starlifter

Lockheed C-141B Starlifter
We then headed back to our Hotel to off-load some non-aviation fans whilst Schuyler and I headed to one of the must-see points of interest on our travelling agenda; that is, the Delta Flight Museum located near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

This Museum has two relatively large hangars and only a small number of exhibits, but boy, what exhibits they have. The two key aircraft on display are Delta's Douglas DC-3 'Ship 41' and Delta's Boeing 767-200 'Ship 102' - Spirit of Delta. There are also some other aircraft including two that are outside. To get to the museum, you have to be signed into the area as it is actually in the grounds of Delta Airlines Worldwide Headquarters.

Delta's 'Ship 41' is housed in Hangar 1 'The Propellor Era'. DC-3 'Ship 41' came about when a group of retirees started a campaign to find one of Delta's Douglas DC-3's in 1990. After some searching, the employees struck gold when they found 'Ship 41', Delta's first DC-3 to carry passengers, in Puerto Rico performing cargo services. The group bought the plane from the cargo airline and the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum was started. From 1993 to 1999, the plane was painstakingly restored to its 1940's condition by active and retired Delta mechanics. 'Ship 41' is considered the most perfectly restored passenger transport DC-3 in the world. In 2001, Delta 'Ship 41' was the winner of the first National Trust for Historic Preservation award presented to an aircraft.

Delta's 'Ship 41' Douglas DC-3

Delta's 'Ship 41' Douglas DC-3

Delta's 'Ship 41' Douglas DC-3

Delta's 'Ship 41' Douglas DC-3

Schuyler and I in front of Delta's 'Ship 41' Douglas DC-3

Delta's 'Ship 41' Douglas DC-3

Delta's Boing 767-200 Spirit of Delta is housed in Hangar 2 'The Jet Era'. It was the company's first Boeing 767-200 and was acquired in 1982. It was paid for by voluntary contributions from employees, retirees and Delta's community partners. The effort, called Project 767, was spearheaded by three Delta flight attendants to show the employees' appreciation to Delta for "solid management and strong leadership during the first years following airline deregulation". They actually raised $30M and bought the aircraft for Delta. It's not very often, especially in this day and age to see employees putting their hands in their pockets to support the companies for which they work.

Boeing B767-200 'Spirit of Delta'

Boeing B767-200 'Spirit of Delta' - RH Main Landing Gear

I had to lay on the floor for this shot

The aerobridge leading to the Boeing B767-200 'Spirit of Delta'

Front view

Boeing B767-200 'Spirit of Delta'

Remember when your air vents looked like this?

Checking out the Safety Card in Business Class

The Boeing B767-200 Cockpit. It was really dark, so I needed to take a 15 second exposure for this shot

Schuyler exits the Boeing B767-200 'Spirit of Delta'

There were a number of other aircraft and displays in the two hangars as well as two large aircraft outside.

The 1929 Delta Air Service Travel Air S-6000-B

One of the model displays in cabinets

Dedicated to my friend Don, the Weight and Balance Engineer supremo

Stinson Reliant 8E

The cockpit section of a Delta Convair 880-22 Serial Number 01, once the World's fastest airliner having broken the sound barrier

The forward fuselage of the prototype Lockheed L-1011 was closed to the public which was quite disappointing

The Prototype Lockheed L-1011's forward fuselage

Delta's new low cost / small jet

One of the outside aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (?)

The other outside display aircraft sits outside the perimeter fence and is a Delta Boeing B757-200

Reflecting on a great museum
After being wowed by the Delta Flight Museum, we decided to head back to the South Terminal Carpark for one last opportunity to check some airline traffic. As you may have noticed by the outside shots, the weather was very poor today with rain pretty much all day. Here's some shots from Level 4 of the Carpark:

A Boeing B757 being followed by a Boeing B767

A FedEx Airbus A300-600R

A pair of Delta Boeing B717-200s

Unfortunately we didn't get the opportunity to visit the Cyclorama as suggested by Peter. Well that's it for another day. Tomorrow we leave Atlanta with fond memories of this place.

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