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Road trip - Calgary to Santa Monica

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Road trip - Calgary to Santa Monica

Old 25th Aug 2015, 07:18
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Movie screen grabs from my helicopter flight

Better than a fair ground ride.

Altitude 7500', 500' AGL


Altitude 7500', here we go over the cliff!


Altitude 7500', 4500' above the Colorado River

Last edited by India Four Two; 23rd Feb 2022 at 05:21. Reason: Removed Photobucket logos.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 07:44
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Day 6 - Grand Canyon to Kingman

I got up at 5:00am for a 6:30 departure from the airport. My first flight in a Caravan (Grand Canyon Airlines)


We zig-zagged across the canyon as we flew to Page, at the south end of Lake Powell.

Movie screen-grabs:

Horseshoe bend


Glen Canyon dam at the south end of Lake Powell


We drove to Antelope Canyon near Page in one of these very suspect trucks


Antelope Canyon is a "slot canyon". Very narrow but over 100' high. During flash floods, the water level can rise over 50'




We then went to the dam and drove down the two mile, unlighted access tunnel to get to our rafts


Glen Canyon Dam





1500' cliffs


Stop to view pictographs


Pronghorn antelope


Some people went for a swim - I declined - the water is 7 C, because it comes from the bottom of Lake Powell



We docked at Lee's Ferry at about 3pm and then took a bus back to the Grand Canyon airport arriving at 5pm. I then drove 160 miles to Kingman and overnighted. A long day.

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Old 25th Aug 2015, 08:45
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Day 7 - Kingman to Barstow

LFH,

I wondered if those objects in the intakes of the Ajeet might be related to cannon, but I thought nobody would be stupid enough to mount a cannon in the intake! I expect the firing trials were interesting.

Spooky 2,

I took up your suggestion and went to the Kingman airport, but before that, I went to Locomotive Park

[Network problems - to be continued]
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 08:59
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Thank you for taking the trouble to post these wonderful pics IFT.

My wife and I looked at them all and feel as if we have had a nice holiday !!!
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 10:55
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I would also like to express my thanks for this vicarious road trip courtesy of mr IFT

Some of the places I've had the good fortune to visit in the past, many others not. All the same very interesting.


SHJ
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 04:41
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Day 7 - Kingman to Barstow - continued

SHJ et al,

Thanks for the feedback. I was a bit concerned that I might be overdoing the thread drift by including too much geology. However, the remaining posts are firmly, if not exclusively, in the AH&N camp.

vt,
If you've had such a nice holiday, perhaps you would like to contribute to my expenses? Gasoline is cheap here, by comparison to the UK!

As I posted earlier, before Motel 8's network frustrated me, I went down to Locomotive Park in Kingman. Here are a couple of pictures for PPRuNe's ferroequinologists (I love that word. I have only just discovered it, so much nicer and more erudite than gricer)

AT&SF 4-8-4 Mountain


The scale of these locomotives is hard to gauge from a distance. Here's a close up:


The drivers are 6' 8" in diameter and the conncting rod is about a foot high. The walkway from the cab to the front of the boiler (I forget the technical term) was about 10' from the ground.

Afterwards, based on Spooky 2's suggestion, I drove out to Kingman airport. On the way, I saw a sign that reminded me I was in the US, just in case I had forgotten:


The first thing I saw as I drove into the airport was the WWII tower:


The museum was shut - "due to the temperatures and lack of airconditioning" but I was able to take several pictures of the modern boneyard:

DC-4 on the right?





A couple of more interesting types:


I had to carefully pick my way through 50 m of grass and bushes to get this shot, just in case there was a rattlesnake basking in the sun. Unlikely but you never know.

My pictures don't really do justice to the size of this boneyard, so here's a GE picture:


I then set off on I40 again, heading to Barstow. While still in Kingman, I passed this great example of a normal fault, which I had to stop and take a photo of - it is a textbook example:



On the way, I made a detour to Lake Havasu City to see John Rennie's London Bridge:




The last time I saw this bridge was in London, when I was a lot younger, there were no palm trees and it wasn't as hot:


Prior to reaching Lake Havasu City, I had experienced temperatures between 80 and 90 F for nearly a week, but the humidity was so low, that I didn't notice any sweat. Not the case when the temperature was 109 F!

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Old 27th Aug 2015, 05:21
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Day 7 - Kingman to Barstow - continued part 2

While at the Visitor Center by the bridge, I picked up a brochure which I couldn't resist and I drove here:



I wanted to try a Lanchester, but unfortunately, it wasn't operational, so I had to settle for a Thompson, a BAR, an Mp. 41 and a Sten Mk. V. Great fun, but quite expensive. I was firing on an indoor rifle range and the guys next door on the pistol range, commented that it sounded like WWIII had broken out!

I had a good look at the Lanchester - quite heavy and very nicely made, but very complex. I can see why the Sten was developed.

Here is about one-quarter of the store - note the pink rifles!



Having got the aggression out of my system , I crossed the Colorado River into California and headed west for Barstow.

Last edited by India Four Two; 23rd Feb 2022 at 16:00. Reason: Removed Photobucket logos
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 05:44
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Day 8 - Barstow to Santa Monica - Part 1

Barstow is home to a Marine Corps Logistics Base. I passed a compound that looked like it had enough Humvees to equip the whole British Army!

This is where I left I-40 and headed NW towards Edwards AFB. Over the past three days, I had traveled about 400 miles on I-40, which follows the route of, but has replaced Route 66. However, the highways into each town that I-40 bypasses are called Historic Route 66, in order to attract tourists. In each town that I drove through (Winslow, Flagstaff, Kingman and Barstow), I felt as if I was in a time warp. A lot of motels, gas stations and restaurants appeared to have changed very little from the 50s. It was also obvious that the economies were suffering - many closed businesses and For Sale signs, particularly in Winslow, which is almost a ghost town.

Before I arrived at Edwards, I made a detour into Boron, "the Borax Capital of the World":


I went there to see this (and visit the Saxon Aerospace Museum):


Unfortunately the museum was closed, but this was an unexpected bonus - my first SAAB Draken:


Back on the highway, I turned off here to Edwards AFB North Gate:


The museum at Edwards is not accessible to the public these days, for security reasons, but there is a B-52 at the North Gate and several aircraft at the West Gate, that can be viewed:


This is not just any old B-52, this is B-52B "008", which was NASA's mother ship for all air-drop tests, starting with the X-15 and ending with the X-43A:




See here for the history: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/n...emembered.html

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Old 27th Aug 2015, 07:05
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Day 8 - Barstow to Santa Monica - Part 2

In order to get from the North Gate to the West Gate at Edwards, I had to make a detour of 18 miles. However, the detour took me past Mojave Airport, so I stopped there to have a look. Lots of interesting aircraft.

The first one, at the gate, was a Convair 990:


N801NA - originally an American Airlines aircraft that ended its days with NASA.

Next was another Draken :



An L-1011 N140SC, used to air-launch Pegasus rockets:



Note another Draken lurking in the distance.

A very sad-looking Canadian Chipmunk, a DHC-1B-2-S5:

In the background is an Experimental twin, N9760A. Does anyone know what this is?

A Dove:


and another dismantled Dove:



Plenty of Aermacchi MB-326 spare parts (ex-South Africa):


Anyone want a 747?


Rotary Rocket:


An-2:


Sawyer Skyjacker II


The Skyjacker II was designed to explore ultra-low aspect ratio wing designs and in particular the stability, controllability and capability of the configuration.
The blunt trailing edges are interesting.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawyer_Skyjacker_II


I had lunch in the Voyager Restaurant "Aviation Spoken Here" and had a good view of this civilian ex-RNZAF A-4K starting up and departing


Draken International is basically a "Red Air Rental" company with a fleet of over 50 jets: Aircraft Inventory | Draken International

"Nothing to see here - move right along!"


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Old 27th Aug 2015, 07:15
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Day 8 - Barstow to Santa Monica - Part 3

So I moved on to where the natives are slightly more friendly - Edwards AFB West Gate - Century Circle

YF-100 - the second of the two Super Sabre prototypes:


F-101B Voodoo:


TF-102A Delta Dagger - side-by-side trainer, used for its whole career at Edwards for testing:


I had to do an Internet search to remind myself why the F-103 is missing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_XF-103



F-104A Starfighter, also an Edwards test aircraft:


This is the leading edge of the wing, NOT the trailing edge:


F-105D Thunderchief "Thud" (the biggest single-seater I have ever seen - it's 64' long, 9' longer than a Lightning):


F-106B Delta Dart:


YC-15:


I only saw this sign, AFTER I had finished walking around :

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Old 27th Aug 2015, 07:54
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Day 8 - Barstow to Santa Monica - Part 4

I had hoped that I might be able to go and see the remains of the Happy Bottom Riding Club, but unfortunately, it is within the base area.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Bottom_Riding_Club

So I drove west back to Rosamond and then south to Lancaster, where I went to the campus of the Antelope Valley College to see a special aircraft, the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket - the first aircraft to exceed Mach 2, flown by Scott Crossfield. This is the third and last example:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_D-558-2_Skyrocket
I nearly gave up on this one, because I had difficulty finding somewhere to park, but I'm glad I didn't.

Then on to my last aircraft stop at Palmdale on the south side of the airport. There are two open-air museums, side-by-side, the Blackbird Airpark and the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark. Both were closed, but I had reasonably good access, looking through the fence.

Lockheed A-12 "OXCART":


This is the first A-12, which was known as "Article 121" for security reasons.
See this website for a lot of interesting information on the A-12 and SR-71: Declassified Legacy of America's Secret Heroes of NASA and Area 51

Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird:



Spot the differences:


Lockheed D-21B Drone:


Lockheed U-2D Dragon Lady:

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Old 27th Aug 2015, 08:04
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Day 8 - Barstow to Santa Monica - Part 5

Joe Davies Heritage Airpark

Curtiss C-46 Commando:


Thunderbirds F-100


Scaled Composites Triumph twin-jet - built for Beechcraft in 1988:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites_Triumph

NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier (I didn't know this was here):


AGM-28 Hound Dog:


One last geological picture. This is a road-cut on the Antelope Valley Freeway, south of Lancaster, showing the distortions created by the horizontal motion of the San Andreas fault (which runs at right angles to the road orientation):



The San Andreas fault is about 100 m to the right (south) of this location and is not visible in the road cut, but is marked by an abrupt change in the surface elevation. The rocks on the south side of the fault have moved hundreds of kilometres northwestward, relative to the rocks in this picture.

There were no more aviation or geological stops for the remaining 60 miles of my drive and the traffic was relatively light by Los Angeles standards, considering it was the beginning of the afternoon rush hour. At the first traffic light in Santa Monica, I pulled up behind a Tesla Model S. It felt like I was entering a parallel universe, compared to the towns I had driven through in Utah and Arizona!

Last edited by India Four Two; 12th Feb 2023 at 18:37. Reason: Removed Photobucket logos. Fixed directional error.
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 09:33
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The aircraft in the background in the picture of the Canadian DHC-1 Chipmunk is a Wing Derringer. A two seat twin from the 1970's.

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Old 27th Aug 2015, 10:47
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IFT,
here in cool wet England your pictures of a/c and scenery are a real tonic.
Thank you for posting them and I look forward to the return journey !
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 19:01
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C2j,

Thanks. I thought it looked familiar. I vaguely remember a picture on the cover of Flying.

aa62,

I'm glad you enjoyed them. The return journey will be up the coast and so I plan on seeing the Spruce Goose, Mt. St. Helens, Seattle area museums and the Victoria airport museum, including the Mosquito if I am lucky.
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 19:24
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Hi I42, really enjoying this travelogue, fancy another trip out there myself!

Cheers

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Old 27th Aug 2015, 21:04
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I42:

This is great stuff! Aeroplanes/steam engines/geology - I'm thoroughly enjoying your postings. Even the sad-looking DHC-1B - what did they do to the wing?

Now, about the naked ladies...

Cheers.
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 21:14
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Great pictures! You were at the cradle of American military aviation and had you stopped at a few watering holes between Mojave and Palmdale you have seen some incredible memorabilia on those walls.

There are a number of wreck sites just outside the perimeter of Edwards that date back as far as WWll.


Great trip and excellent reporting
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 23:45
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Even the sad-looking DHC-1B - what did they do to the wing?
The leading edge is stove-in as far as the spar. I think they hit something with the wing and then went up on the nose - note the bent prop. It's an NTPS aircraft. They also have a T10.

About the naked ladies, I thought you could just nip down to one of your local Sunshine Coast beaches!
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 00:57
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That would be a nip slip, wouldn't it?

Ok, ok, I'm leaving...

C2j
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