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Pima Air & Space Museum

Feb 20, 2017 Monday – Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona

2017 Southern Arizona & Astronomy

After having breakfast, I drive over to pick up my friends who want to see the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson. We spend most of the day exploring the huge number of aircraft on display inside, have some lunch onsite, and then take a tram tour of the many aircraft displayed outside. We have some time to wander around outside, so some of us check out the TWA Constellation and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I also check out the Boeing B-17 bomber, which has a building all to itself. Before returning home I buy a nice lightweight jacket from the gift shop as a keepsake for this wonderful aviation museum.

JoeTourist recommended!

Since the skies are nice and clear, we make good use of my friend’s observatory. I have a wonderful time with visual observing tonight, using the 25″ Newtonian operating at f3.3 – what a treat! I also shoot a two hour time lapse of the night sky. My observing log

Pima Air Museum
Solar panels on the parking lot roofs
Solar panels on the parking lot roofs
Closeup of an electrical box for the solar panels
Closeup of an electrical box for the solar panels
Wiring and electrical boxes for the solar panels
Wiring and electrical boxes for the solar panels
A white Model S 90D parked beside my Model S75D under the solar canopy
A white Model S 90D parked beside my Model S75D under the solar canopy
Diane Bell, Matt Watson and Reg Dunkley in front of the Space Shuttle booster and Pima Air Museum sign
Diane Bell, Matt Watson and Reg Dunkley in front of the Space Shuttle booster and Pima Air Museum sign
Reg Dunkley and Matt Watson in front of the Space Shuttle booster rocket with the infamous Morton Thiokol  o-rings
Reg Dunkley and Matt Watson in front of the Space Shuttle booster rocket with the infamous Morton Thiokol o-rings
Joe's selfie at the Pima Air Museum
Joe’s selfie at the Pima Air Museum
Bell UH-1C *UH-1M) Iroquois (Huey) helicopter
Bell UH-1C *UH-1M) Iroquois (Huey) helicopter
Engine in the Bell UH-1C (UH-1M) Iroquois (Huey)
Engine in the Bell UH-1C (UH-1M) Iroquois (Huey)
McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
Canadair Sabre Mk. V
Canadair Sabre Mk. V
Lockheed Model 10A Electra
Lockheed Model 10A Electra
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird engine
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird engine
Consolidated B-24J 'Liberator'
Consolidated B-24J ‘Liberator’
Consolidated B-24J 'Liberator'
Consolidated B-24J ‘Liberator’
Looking up inside the bomb bay of the Consolidated B-24J 'Liberator'
Looking up inside the bomb bay of the Consolidated B-24J ‘Liberator’
Inside the bomb bay of the Consolidated B-24J 'Liberator'
Inside the bomb bay of the Consolidated B-24J ‘Liberator’
Consolidated B-24J 'Liberator'
Consolidated B-24J ‘Liberator’
McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A 18A Hornet figher bomber
McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A 18A Hornet figher bomber
Boeing B-52D Stratofortress bomber
Boeing B-52D Stratofortress bomber
Vickers 744 Viscount airliner
Vickers 744 Viscount airliner
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VI-R
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VI-R
Douglas VC-118A
Douglas VC-118A
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Boeing B-52G Stratofortress bomber
Boeing B-52G Stratofortress bomber
Landing gear of Boeing B-52G Stratofortress bomber
Landing gear of Boeing B-52G Stratofortress bomber
Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe (Skycrane) heavy lift helicopter
Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe (Skycrane) heavy lift helicopter
Fairey AEW.3 Gannet
Fairey AEW.3 Gannet
Sepecat Jaguar GR.1 fighter-bomber
Sepecat Jaguar GR.1 fighter-bomber
Boeing B-17 bomber
Boeing B-17 bomber
Bomb bay
Bomb bay
Front guns and gunner
Front guns and gunner
Cockpit and top gunner
Cockpit and top gunner
Side gunner & inside fuselage
Side gunner & inside fuselage
B-17 bomber
B-17 bomber
Boeing 787 Dreamliner nose-on
Boeing 787 Dreamliner nose-on
Wing against the Sun
Wing against the Sun
Rolls Royce engine
Rolls Royce engine
Rolls Royce engine
Rolls Royce engine
Petal engine cowling of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Petal engine cowling of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Landing gear
Landing gear
Lockheed L-049 Constellation airliner
Lockheed L-049 Constellation airliner
Lockheed L-049 Constellation airliner
Lockheed L-049 Constellation airliner
Airline cabin service memorabilia
Airline cabin service memorabilia
Rationing memorabilia
Rationing memorabilia
Joe inside a Boeing 720B cockpit simulator
Joe inside a Boeing 720B cockpit simulator
The Crescent Moon between three blades of the Sikorsky CH-54A helicopter
The Crescent Moon between three blades of the Sikorsky CH-54A helicopter
Sikorsky CH-54A heavy lift transport helicopter
Sikorsky CH-54A heavy lift transport helicopter
Engine, blades and winches
Engine, blades and winches
Gunner's nacel beside the M-25 Mitchell
Gunner’s nacel beside the M-25 Mitchell
Sighting scope on a B-25 Mitchell bomber
Sighting scope on a B-25 Mitchell bomber
Engine from a SR-71 Blackbird
Engine from a SR-71 Blackbird
McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/a-18A Hornet figher bomber
McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/a-18A Hornet figher bomber
Andrew Schoultz Spy Tiger, 2012 - acrylic on Lockheed VC-140
Andrew Schoultz Spy Tiger, 2012 – acrylic on Lockheed VC-140
Budd RB-1 Conestoga Transport
Budd RB-1 Conestoga Transport
Douglas DC-10 with Orbis markings
Douglas DC-10 with Orbis markings
Douglas DC-10 with Orbis markings
Douglas DC-10 with Orbis markings
Douglas A-24B Banshee
Douglas A-24B Banshee
Consolidated Model 28-5AMC Canso A (PBY-5A Catalina)
Consolidated Model 28-5AMC Canso A (PBY-5A Catalina)
Consolidated Model 28-5AMC Canso A (PBY-5A Catalina)
Consolidated Model 28-5AMC Canso A (PBY-5A Catalina)
Consolidated Model 28-5AMC Canso A (PBY-5A Catalina)
Consolidated Model 28-5AMC Canso A (PBY-5A Catalina)
Spitfire in the foreground of Hanger 5
Spitfire in the foreground of Hanger 5
Spitfire
Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire FR. XIVe & Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 engine
Supermarine Spitfire FR. XIVe & Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 engine
Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 engine
Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 engine
Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane tail markings
Hawker Hurricane tail markings
Douglas A-24B Banshee
Douglas A-24B Banshee
Lockheed VC-121A
Lockheed VC-121A
Jacobs J-755 Radial Engine, 1943
Jacobs J-755 Radial Engine, 1943
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-28 Fulcrum A Interceptor
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-28 Fulcrum A Interceptor
Avro AEW Mk 3 Shackelton airborne early warning
Avro AEW Mk 3 Shackelton airborne early warning
Boeing VC-137B VIP Transport 'Freedom One'
Boeing VC-137B VIP Transport ‘Freedom One’
ITEK KA-80 optical bar camera
ITEK KA-80 optical bar camera
Grumman F-14A Tomcat
Grumman F-14A Tomcat
Hughes OH-5A Cayuse helicopter
Hughes OH-5A Cayuse helicopter
Bede BD-5J "Microjet"
Bede BD-5J “Microjet”
Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial
Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial
Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial
Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial
Phoenix Mars Lander scale model
Phoenix Mars Lander scale model
Mercury capsule
Mercury capsule
X-Plane
X-Plane

Helicopter tour of Kaua’i, Hawaii

January 19, 2001 Helicopter Tour – Lihu’e, Waimea Canyon, Na Pali Coast, Hanalei, Kawaihau

Jack Harter Helicopter Tours

Jack Harter Helicopter Tours

Jack Harter Helicopters started the helicopter tour business in Kaua’i, and they came recommended by the B&B I was staying with. They use six passenger Eurocopter AStars custom-equipped with the largest windows and a unique cabin layout, giving passengers the best views possible. They also offer doors-off flights with their Hughes four passenger helicopters for those who want an extra thrill, or for dedicated photographers who want to avoid window reflections in their photos. I learned from my trip to the Grand Canyon that helicopters are an excellent way to see the country, so I decided to spend the money on this tour.

Jack Harter Helicopter tour map

Jack Harter Helicopter tour map

The tours start at the Lihue heliport, which is adjacent to the main airport, but you need to check in at the Jack Harter Helicopter office, which is located very close to the airport. You will be briefed on safety procedures and then driven to the heliport. Takeoff was smooth – an indication of the rest of the flight. We flew around Kaua’i in a clockwise direction.

South Coast

Looking over Ha’upu (Hoary Head) Ridge from the air offers a gorgeous view towards Kipu Kai, Kawai Point, and the Menehune Fishpond. The spectacular Mana Waipuna Falls is next on the itinerary, and as we proceed toward Waimea Canyon, we fly over Olokele Canyon and can see the irrigation ditch which supplies the fields in this normally arid area with water for the sugar cane crops.

Waimea Canyon

Driving to Waimea Canyon by car presents some spectacular vistas, but seeing this canyon from a helicopter is a whole new experience. As we approach the canyon from the south, we catch glimpses of the colors and water courses that make this canyon so interesting. The red rock and soil that makes up so much of Kaua’i is laid bare in this area of high erosion. The vistas from the head of the canyon looking back south show the way the layers of mountain ranges fades into the sea, and we get an excellent view of Barking Sands from high atop the ridge just before we dip over the top and catch our first glimpse of the Na Pali Coast.

Na Pali Coast

Our first glimpse of the Na Pali coast as we clear the ridge line wows us with the view of the Kalepa Ridge cones on the  Na Pali coast. Streaming sunlight over the mountains is simply magical; the high surf makes the Na Pali coastline stand out. This is simply awe-inspiring. There is no substitute for seeing the Na Pali coast from a helicopter.

Hanalei & Central Mountains

Maniholo Bay & Ha'ena Pt looking toward Hanalei

Maniholo Bay & Ha’ena Pt looking toward Hanalei

As we leave the Na Pali coast and head past Ha’ena Point, the beautiful Hanalei Bay comes into view. Maniholo Bay & Ha’ena Point frame pretty Hanalei Bay, with Princeville further down the coast. We fly close to falls in the mountains behind the valley, which are the source of the Hanalei River. In quick succession as we cruise down the coast towards Lihue: the Makaleha Mountains, fantastic Keana’awi Falls shrouded in cloud , beautiful Kohalalele Falls, showing us the wettest place on earth are the central peaks of Kaua’i – Wai’ale’ale and Kawaikini.

East Coast & Lihue

As we approach Lihue and the end of our tour, we see Wailua Falls and look north along the east coastline over Hanama’ulu Bay, productive farmlands, the upper Wailua River, and glimpse the Sleeping Giant. We float down on the helicopter pad and reluctantly return to our land-based existence.

What was the highlight of the helicopter tour? The Na Pali Coast was a clear winner, although seeing the Waimea Canyon from the air was interesting after having driven there the day before. The Hanalei Valley is even more beautiful from the air. Incidentally, the narration from the helicopter pilot was amazing. He had facts, figures, answered our questions, and had some very interesting stories to tell the whole time we were airborne. He even knew when to be quiet, and let us enjoy the amazing views!

I enjoyed this helicopter tour immensely – this is a vacation highlight you should not miss!