Air Force Armament Museum

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Air Force Armament Museum
MOAB glide bomb.jpg
GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon on display at the Air Force Armament Museum.
Air Force Armament Museum is located in Florida
Air Force Armament Museum
Location within Florida
Established 1975
Location Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Coordinates 30°27′59″N 86°33′42″W / 30.46625°N 86.56154°W / 30.46625; -86.56154
Website http://www.afarmamentmuseum.com

The Air Force Armament Museum, adjacent to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the only facility in the U.S. dedicated to the display of Air Force armament. Founded in 1975, it was originally located in a converted gymnasium on the northeastern edge of the Eglin main base, adjacent to Valparaiso, Florida.

Visitors can view a variety of historical Air Force planes, from a World War II B-17 bomber to an F-4 Phantom II jet. A wide variety of bombs, missiles, and rockets are exhibited, including the newest air-to-air missile, the AMRAAM, and the GBU-28 bunker-buster developed for use during Operation Desert Storm. Other missiles include the Paveway series, Falcons, the Tomahawk, Mace, Hound Dog, radar-controlled, laser-controlled and several guided by a TV camera in the nose. Also on display is the GBU-43 MOAB, Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or by its nickname, "Mother of All Bombs", the world's largest conventional explosive weapon. A predecessor, the T12 38,600 lb. demolition bomb, is displayed outside, while a Fat Man casing is indoors.[1]

A gun vault displays a variety of weapons ranging from a 1903 Springfield rifle to the GAU-8, which is capable of shooting 6,000 rounds per minute. Featured here is the Sikes Antique Pistol Collection, with over 180 handguns, including flintlocks, duelling pistols, Western six-shooters, Civil War pistols, and a wide variety of early military weaponry.

History[edit]

Discussion of the founding of a facility dedicated to the history of the development of armaments took place at Eglin Air Force Base as early as 1972 with manpower considerations being circulated in early fall, but it wasn't until 1974 that it was conceived and approved. A former World War II-era gymnasium turned Enlisted Club near the old Main Gate to Valparaiso was adapted in 1975-1976 for the infant collection. The earliest exhibits gathered included the CGM-13 Mace missile, the F-84F, the F-101B, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-25 Mitchell that had been displayed in Valparaiso-Niceville since 1960. Also popular was a Ryan Model 47 Firebee painted as a shark. An early-model F-102A-15-CO, 53-1799, displayed in Fort Walton Beach since 1962 and donated back to the new museum, was found to be too corroded for preservation. A SPAD S.XIII, one of six survivors of the type, marked as '1', flown by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker of the 94th Aero Squadron, on loan from Dolph Overton's Wings and Wheels Museum, Santee, South Carolina, was displayed from 1976 until the original building was closed.[2] The museum occupied these wooden quarters until the structure was condemned in 1981 and the museum closed in October. The AFAM Foundation, incorporated in 1976 as an IRS 501(c)(3) philanthropic non-profit organization, then embarked on a lengthy search for a new site and began raising funds for a new building. By mid-1985, $1.2 million in private and corporate donations had been raised and construction of a new 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2) Museum was underway and in November of the same year, the new Museum was deeded to the United States Air Force and opened to the public. The Foundation is currently engaged in raising $1.5 million for a new educational annex.[3]

The Air Force Armament Museum Foundation[edit]

The Air Force Armament Museum Foundation is a volunteer body that runs the fund generating programs of the Armament Museum and decides how funds donated to the museum are spent.

The most constant of these programs is the gift shop, which offers moderately priced souvenirs to visitors.

The Friends of the Museum is a membership program in which members' dues, starting at $25 a year, help fund the museum. Members receive discounts in the gift shop and notice of special events.

The Foundation sponsors the education program Engineers for America, which involves a school classroom tour of the museum with basic engineering experiments led by teachers and volunteers. The goal of the program is to stimulate in young people a desire to pursue a career in engineering.[4]

Aircraft displays[edit]

Indoors[edit]

Outdoors[edit]

Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, Air Force Armament Museum

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doman, Joan, compiler, Savoir, Timothy and Jones, George, editors, Air Force Armament Museum, Air Force Armament Museum Foundation, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Reprint rights 2010 by The Creative Company, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, 47025, page 9.
  2. ^ Museum News, "SPAD-13 and Air Force Armament Museum", Aerospace Historian, Air Force Historical Foundation, Manhattan, Kansas, Spring/March 1976, Volume 23, Number 1, page 50.
  3. ^ http://afarmamentmuseum.com/history_foundation.shtml
  4. ^ Doman, Joan, compiler, Savoir, Timothy and Jones, George, editors, Air Force Armament Museum, Air Force Armament Museum Foundation, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Reprint rights 2010 by The Creative Company, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, 47025, inside back cover.
  5. ^ Baker, David, Flight and Flying: A Chronology, Facts On File, Inc., New York, New York, 1994, Library of Congress card number 92-31491, ISBN 0-8160-1854-5, page 328.
  6. ^ http://www.millionmonkeytheater.com/P-80.html
  7. ^ P-47 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  8. ^ "P-47N Porno Page", Replica In Scale, San Antonio, Texas, November 1972, Volume 1, Number 2, page 49.
  9. ^ Thompson, Scott A. Final Cut: The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress, The Survivors: Revised and Updated Edition. Highland County, Ohio: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 1-57510-077-0.
  10. ^ http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_2.html
  11. ^ B-17 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  12. ^ Thompson, Scott A., Final Cut - The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress: The Survivors, Revised Edition, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana,2000, ISBN 1-57510-077-0, page 148.
  13. ^ Knaack, Marcelle Size. Post-World War II Bombers, 1945-1973, Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1988, ISBN 0-16-002260-6, page 154.
  14. ^ Lloyd, Alwyn T., Boeing's B-47 Stratojet, Specialty Press, North Branch, Minnesota, 2005, ISBN 978-1-58007-071-3, pages 209-210.
  15. ^ Forst, Lee, "B-52G comes home to Eglin", Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Wednesday 17 July 1991.
  16. ^ C-131 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  17. ^ http://www.utdallas.edu/library/collections/speccoll/Leeker/kc47.pdf
  18. ^ Olausson, Lars, Lockheed Hercules Production List - 1954-2009 - 26th ed., Såtenäs, Sweden, April 2008. Self-published. No ISBN, page 2.
  19. ^ C-130 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  20. ^ F-104 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  21. ^ Doman, Joan, compiler, Savoir, Timothy and Jones, George, editors, Air Force Armament Museum, Air Force Armament Museum Foundation, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Reprint rights 2010 by The Creative Company, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, 47025, page 21.
  22. ^ Crickmore, Paul F. "Lockheed's Blackbirds: A-12, YF-12 and SR-71", Wings of Fame, Volume 8, AIRtime Publishing Inc., Westport, Connecticut, 1997, ISBN 1-880588-23-4.
  23. ^ http://www.reynoldsarchives.com/james-henry-reynolds_1.htm
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ http://www.rotorheadsrus.us/documents/Last%20flight%20for%20the%20Pave%20Low%20near%20Shalimar.pdf
  26. ^ MiG-21 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  27. ^ Davies, Steve, Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs, Osprey Publishing, Botley, Oxford, UK, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84603-378-0, page 328.
  28. ^ Davies, Steve, Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs, Osprey Publishing, Botley, Oxford, UK, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84603-378-0, photo cutline, page 347.
  29. ^ Fort Walton Beach, Florida, "Doolittle Park Will Have AF B-25 Bomber", Playground News, Thursday, 10 March 1960, Volume 15, Number 7, page 10,
  30. ^ Special, "B-25 Makes Last Flight During Ceremony at Eglin", Playground News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Thursday 26 May 1960, Volume 15, Number "17" (actually No. 18), page 2.
  31. ^ http://www.af.mil/information/heritage/milestones.asp?dec=1960&sd=01/01/1960&ed=12/31/1969
  32. ^ F-100 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  33. ^ F-84 Registry at WarbirdRegistry.com.
  34. ^ http://www.millionmonkeytheater.com/F-84F.html
  35. ^ http://www.aircraftplans.info/f-84.html
  36. ^ Knaack, Marcelle Size. Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Volume 1, Post-World War Two Fighters, 1945–1973. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1978. ISBN 0-912799-59-5, page 46.
  37. ^ http://www.rotorheadsrus.us/documents/Last%20flight%20for%20the%20Pave%20Low%20near%20Shalimar.pdf

External links[edit]