In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff


We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.







Try Advanced Search


  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...


CultureBlogs
Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
PhilosoBlog
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Gregdotorg
BookSlut
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Cronaca
Plep
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Seablogger
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette


Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Samizdata
Junius
Joanne Jacobs
CalPundit
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Public Interest.co.uk
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
Spleenville
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
CinderellaBloggerfella
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
InstaPundit
MindFloss
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes


Miscellaneous
Redwood Dragon
IMAO
The Invisible Hand
ScrappleFace
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz

Links


Our Last 50 Referrers







« Critics Vs. Bloggers | Main | Pejman on Nietzsche »

June 01, 2007

Missing Models

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

One part of the Smithsonian I almost never fail to visit while in Washington, DC is the Air and Space Museum. Until a week or so ago I hadn't been to DC and the museum in six years, so I was curious about any changes that might have been made since 2001.

I turns out that work was underway in the passenger transport area and that some older military planes such as the Boeing P-26 "Peashooter" fighter were no longer on display at the west end of the main floor.

One exhibit that hasn't (yet?) been moved is on the balcony of the room where World War 2 fighters are displayed in the southwestern corner of the second floor. Let me switch to photo / caption mode to tell my tale.

Display%20setting.jpg
This is where WW2 recognition models are displayed. These models were made of hard, black rubber and usually hung on strings or perhaps thin wires from ceilings of rooms on Army Air Force bases. The models were scaled so that relative sizes of the actual aircraft were preserved. Models were of both allied and enemy aircraft because pilots needed to be able to distinguish one from the other.

German%20models.jpg
Here is a section of the display of models of German planes. Note that there is an empty space: no model and no key number (25). A nearby wall plaque has both the missing number and the name of the aircraft type -- a Junkers Ju 86 bomber.

Ju86.jpg
The actual Ju 86 looked like this. Here and here are links related to the aircraft.

British%20models.jpg
The same situation is found over in the British section. Here the missing model is that of a Westland Whirlwind fighter.

Westland%20Whirlwind.jpg
A nice, informative link dealing with the Whirlwind is here

Interesting. Interesting because I know that those models used to be there. And I know this because I had good reason to pay attention to them.

DBP%20models.jpg
Here is a photo showing examples of the two missing models along with another recognition model, that of a Blackburn Skua (a British Fleet Air Arm plane). The Skua is on the left, the Ju 86 is in the center and the Whirlwind at the right.

This photo was taken in my living room this afternoon . These models have been in my family for 61 years. My father worked for the Army Engineers during the war and had some business to attend to in Spokane early in 1946 when the war effort was rapidly winding down. Many things, including recognition models, were being disposed of or discarded because they were unneeded. There undoubtedly were other recognition models at the Spokane facility at one time, but the good stuff -- Spitfires, Messerschmitts and so forth -- had already disappeared into the hands of souvenir hunters, so all that was left for my dad were models of obscure, yet interesting, planes (go to the links above if you're interested).

Why were the models removed from the museum display? I haven't bothered to find out.

But I have a suspicion. I notice that my Ju 86 model is starting to deteriorate slightly; the surface isn't as smooth as it used to be. Perhaps something to do with the rubber. My other models still seem okay.

If anyone knows that name of the curator who deals with recognition models or has an email address for that unit, let me know.

Later,

Donald

posted by Donald at June 1, 2007




Comments



Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:



Remember your info?