Category Archives: Transportation

B-29 Superfortress FIFI

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress saw active military duty from 1944 through the late 1950s.  “FIFI” was acquired by the Commemorative Air Force in the early 1970s and after extensive restoration travels across the US for air events and to share a piece of history.

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
Commemorative Air Force’s FIFI in Charleston – click image for larger view

FIFI flew into Charleston, SC this week where she is on display for tours and rides are available for the brave. I’ll be staying on the ground!

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
B-29 FIFI’s nose – click image for larger view

The most well known B-29s were the ones outfitted to drop atomic bombs at the end of World War II, including the Enola Gay.

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
Commemorative Air Force FIFI- click image for larger view

The size of this airplane’s parts is impressive. I was standing fully upright below one of the propellers for this shot:

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
B-29 Propeller – click image for larger view

After several days of rain we were also treated to some blue sky today, adding to the B-29’s presentation. You can see the feet of folks waiting their turn to climb up into the cockpit area in the shot below.

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
Commemorative Air Force FIFI, B-29 – click image for larger view

“The CAF was founded to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat aircraft which were flown by all military services of the United States, and selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans.”

http://commemorativeairforce.org

Will It Fit?

I always take a breath when I see cargo ships pass under the bridges around Charleston. The prospect of not fitting is an optical illusion at certain distances from the bridge.

Loaded Cargo Ship Leaving Port
Loaded Cargo Ship Leaving Port -click photo for larger view

MSC Karlskrona loaded and leaving port, has passed under the Ravenel Bridge on a gorgeous spring day. The SPA Wando Welch Terminal is visible in the left background.

Charleston, SC 05/05/2017.

Birds on the USS Yorktown (CV-10)

The USS Yorktown (CV-10) is covered with attractive nooks and crannies if you are a bird. This includes the twelve historic aircraft on display on the flight deck.

Grackle Sitting on Helicopter
Grackle Sitting on Helicopter – click photo for larger view

Grackles were particularly abundant this week, using all openings for their homes.

Grackle Nesting in Aircraft
Grackle Nesting in Aircraft – click photo for larger view

An Osprey nest is perched in the tower. I hope it is a little sturdier than it appears here, at the top of the ladder.

Osprey Nest in Top of USS Yorktown – click photo for larger view

A small flock of House Finches was perching off the edges of the flight deck on safety netting. I wasn’t able to see where they might be nesting as they zipped back and forth, somewhere below the edge of the deck.

House Finches hanging off USS Yorktown
House Finches hanging off USS Yorktown – click photo for larger view

The USS Yorktown (CV-10) is the centerpiece of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Mount Pleasant, SC. Towed to this spot in 1975 the Yorktown itself is a museum and additionally houses a number of exhibits associated with its history dating back to World War II.

USS Yorktown (CV-10) – Engine Room Dials

Decommissioned in 1970, the USS Yorktown started service in World War II and is now the centerpiece of the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Way down in the ship an amazing array of dials that monitored and controlled a complex and massive engine system.

Click on any photo for slideshow or larger view.

531A7060

The Yorktown from the Mount Pleasant Pier. Learn more about the Yorktown.

Adventure

We had driven all around Sedona, Arizona, seeing the red rocks from all the tourist spots at various heights  from the top of the airport mesa down to the water at Red Rock State Park. Anywhere you looked there is some size “rock” jutting up into the sky.

The ultimate adventure was to see it from above, where the pace was slow and the air quiet, at the whim of a hot air balloon. I was a little nervous but the skill the crew from Red Rock Balloons demonstrated as they unpacked, rolled out, and inflated our balloon eased my fears. The pilot was clear in his instructions to us, including how to climb into the basket -I’m not that nimble- and what was going to happen when we came down.

The heat from the dancing flames took the chill off the early September morning.

531A8640

There were three balloons in our group . We were the first to lift off and saw the other two complete their final preparation.

531A8697-3

You really couldn’t feel movement as we drifted out into the valley.  The sun rose and the light changed rapidly.

531A8753

In just minutes the entire valley was lit.

531A8784

We startled a few small groups of mule deer.

531A8968

In about an hour we were back on the ground.  The pilot discharged the end of the fuel to cool the tubing, the balloon came down, and the crew packed everything back in the trailer.

531A9003

Yes, I would do it again!

531A8807

Classic Chrome

The sparkle and shine on a car can prove to be a photography problem, especially on a sunny day.  Reflections of the clouds, other passers by, and the photographer appear in every shiny detail.

531A5474

The 2015 Middletown Cruise on Main was a great opportunity to learn how to navigate some of the challenges. Some photos with too much glare just can’t be corrected.

531A5600

Leaning inside a car (NO TOUCHING ALLOWED) was one option, which is how I got this image that shouted out  “The Jetsons” to me. Their theme song is now stuck in my head along with a vision of George zooming home from Spacely Space Sprockets above the ground in his  aerocar.

531A5547

Leaning in the open window also got me this fabulous console and the bonus fuzzy dice.

531A5527

Sometimes the reflection makes an opportunity.

531A5662

According to the Middletown Press thousands of spectators turned out to see the cars this gorgeous May evening. Going early turned out to be a great idea; the crowd thickened as darkness approached. I waited quite awhile to get this hood ornament.

531A5680

This was a fun event that we’ll put on the calendar for next year.