Last Saturday me, Ezzy, Levon and Uncle Ron (retired U.S .Airforce Colonel) spent a cold and windy day at Peterson Airforce Base in Colorado Springs. We toured their Museum of North American Civil Defense Aircraft. It was really cool. There were dozens of jets, planes, rockets and even some surface to air missiles.
The displays were very cool, focussing mostly on "cold war" related aircraft. Lot's of 1940-50's era warplanes and trainers. Totally logical since we were just outside of the headquarters for NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) which is tasked with domestic protection and early warning. Just across the valley is Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC). This is the mountain that houses all the high-tech monitoring systems looking for any nuclear threats from the Soviets. I'm thinking they have updated their mission over the past couple of decades, but it's an interesting slice of history.
One of the best things that day was a personal private tour of the Lockheed EC-121T "Warning Star". This is one of the early predecessors to the AWAC plane that is currently in use. And when I say we got a personal tour I mean the retired pilot of that actual aircraft was our guide. It was really cool to hear some of his stories and experiences piloting that plane. The boys were very engaged and got to check out all the radar and communication equipment. And there was a lot!
We had a great time and got to see something very unique. The museum is a beautifully restored art nouveau building from the 1920's. It was the first commercial passenger terminal in Colorado. Too much stuff to include. Here's the link to the museum: http://www.petemuseum.org/