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US,Nov'13-3: Midway, from Midway, to USS Midway

 
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:39 pm    Post subject: US,Nov'13-3: Midway, from Midway, to USS Midway Reply with quote

US,Nov'13-3: Midway, from Midway, to USS Midway


The previous parts of my reports, describing the chronologically
earlier parts of my November 2013 US trip are as under:
73. US,Nov'13-1: Tailwinds to the Windy City!
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14179.html
74. US,Nov'13-2: Winds/Sands of Time..Windy City-Sandy Ego!
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14198.html

This is part 3 of the same, and can be found art the following URL:
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14215.html

75.1 Introduction: the lame title pun, first

The name `Midway' comes from the Battle of Midway, in World War II.
The term `Midway' has a literal significance attached to it,
which renders my lame attempt at a pun above, quite redundant.
The Midway Atoll is indeed almost mid-way between Asia and North
America, and was probably named so. It was a decisive battle in
the Pacific theatre, which emphasised the Allied supremacy and
changed the course of events in World War II.

I had done the tourist circuit in San Diego in 2005. The USS
Midway as a museum had not opened way back, then. I had
half-a-day on my hands this time, so I decided to make the most
of it, from an aviation point of view. The conference venue was
bang opposite the San Diego International airport, otherwise
known as Lindbergh Field. The airport was nearly midway between
The USS Midway museum, and my hotel. This report describes the
third part of my Nov'13 US trip: the third of a 5-part series.
Exactly midway.
Hence, the lame attempt at a pun on `Midway'!

75.2 Heading towards the Midway museum

I set out well in time, for me to arrive at the Midway museum,
just as it opened. I had to pass by the San Diego International
airport. The airport does not see that much of wide-body traffic.
The Fedex MD-11 departure was in the morning, and I failed to
catch it on camera, though the plane was visible from my hotel
room balcony for quite some time. I was able to capture a United
A319 coming in to land from over the Little Italy side, over the
sloping hill, a feature that characterises both sides of the
runway at San Diego.


There was an attractive Hawaiian A332 waiting to turn, and take off.


There was an impressive schooner parked at the bay.


The Maritime museum had a submarine, and an interesting sailing
ship named `The Star of India'.


The super-yacht `Invictus' was anchored, nearby.


After walking for a good distance, the Midway museum came into view!


The USS Midway was the longest-serving carrier of the twentieth century.
The tour was very well-laid out, with perhaps the exception of
multiple pathways on the `city as sea' on the lower decks.
The tour starts from the hangar deck (which is below the main
flight deck), and which also leads to the lower levels.
The first step was to acquire an audio guide, which was
very informative. However, I did not end up having enough time for it.
The first aircraft on view was a replica of a light aircraft, which
landed on the deck of the USS Midway the day which marked the
defeat of the US forces in the Vietnam war: the day Saigon fell
to the North Vietnam troops, and the day South Vietnam ceased to exist.


There were two panes to the left, an F4U Corsair with its
characteristic gull-wings (pictured below),

and an SNJ trainer.


To the right, there were two more, an SBD Dauntless bomber (picturised below)
and a TBM Avenger.



The next step was going up the steps to the flight deck.
The flight deck featured an impressive line-up of aircraft from
the days of its last active days, in the first Gulf war, circa
1991. After climbing the stairs to the flight deck, one sees two
planes parked against the end of the deck. The first of the duo
was the A-3 Skywarrior (christened `The Whale' as it was the
largest aircraft on the carrier). Here are two views of this large aircraft.




A Grumman F-14 Tomcat was parked nearby.


Beside the F-14 Tomcat, was a McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet, the
standard US Navy equipment for a long time.


Beside it, was another iconic aircraft of US carriers, the F-4 Phantom.


The F9F Panther came next.
The T-2 Buckeye trainer was said to be a docile aircraft with
pleasing operating characteristics.


By this time, we were called over to a presentation on one of
the most difficult operations on board a carrier, the landing.
This was explained by a veteran with a F-4 Phantom with its
arrestor hook extended, and a piece of an actual arrestor cable
attached to it. There were three positions at which arrestor
cables were placed, and an aircraft could catch at most one, during
the course of a landing. If it missed it, on an angled-deck carrier,
the pilot would have to apply power, and go up again.
We were told that the angled-deck carrier was a British concept,
to allow enough leeway to an aircraft to go up safely in the event
that it was not able to make a safe landing. The Midway was
originally constructed as a straight-deck carrier, which was later
changed to an angled deck configuration. The veteran explained
the working of a Fresnel lens, the lights, what the landing pilot
would see, and the arrangement prior to that, where a pair of
two-coloured flags were waved as directions.

Here is a picture of the Lights:


On the starboard side beyond the Phantom landing exhibit, was a
McDonnell A-4F A4F Skyhawk.




Also on the desk was one of the most graceful carrier-based aircraft ever,
the Rockwell RA-5 Vigilante.



Right next to the hangar deck elevator was the F9F-8P Cougar.
Slightly ahead of this on the starboard (right) side was an A-1 Skyraider.


Just prior to the bridge was an A-6 Intruder.


On the port (left) side, the next plane was a C-1 Trader.
Next was the somewhat ungainly-looking S-3 Viking.


The line-up of helicopters was next, with a H-34 Sea bat. I
apologise for the pictures taken against the light, and that too,
from the tinted glass of the carrier's command centre.


A Kaman SH-2 Sea Sprite, with its rotors folded:


The easily-recognisable SH-3 Sea King was parked beside it. The
basic platform originated in a British design, the Westland Sea King.


A Huey gunship is one of the most recognisable attack helicopters
in the world.


A Boeing Vertol HH-46 Sea Knight stood next.


Two aircraft with their noses in the forward direction towards
the forward part of the ship were the A-7 at the catapult launch
position,


and an F-8 Crusader parked parallel to it.


Both the above aircraft originated from a common initial design,
which makes me more than confused, more so, when I see the two together.

The iconic E-2 Hawkeye was the last aircraft to be parked on the
star-board side.


The USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, was berthed
in San Diego. Some time earlier, this was involved in the
Afghanistan operations, when Osama bin Laden was given a burial
at sea from this very aircraft carrier.


As I was leaving, I took a picture of the Midway bridge, and command centre.


Visible to the port side, on the ground inside a small park, was
a statue representation of the famous `V-J Day in Times Square'
photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, taken with his Leica camera.


There was a lot of the non-aviation part during my visit, when I went
inside the different parts of the ship, at many of its levels, to
have a glimpse of life aboard the ship. I did not have that
much time on my hands, since I had to go for the conference. I
quickly rushed out of the massive ship, and headed towards the
conference venue. On the way, I saw a beautiful B752 in the new
Delta colours, coming in to land:



The next part of the trip from an aviation perspective, was my
trip from San Diego, back to the Midway airport, Chicago, on
Southwest airlines. This and more, will feature in the fourth
part of this 5-part series:
US,Nov'13-4: San Diego-Midway, Chicago
---
Links to my 75 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra, this is really a good example of nice photo journalism. Perhaps you have heard in New York City there was (is ) a , Intrepid Air Sea museum with many deactivated aircrafts on its deck. Visitors were allowed to go inside the flight deck. I donít know whats going on over there now but there was a diesel submarine and a deactivated Concord aircraft also for display. It was really enjoyable for the kids.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
...Intrepid Air Sea museum
Sir, this was one trip report which I knew you would really appreciate, since you have a fascination for ships as well, especially aircraft carriers! Thank you very much. The Intrepid museum is still around, and on my last visit to the city (Dec'08), I had very little time on my hands (one afternoon), so I had re-visited the American Museum of Natural History and the `Met' - it was a really hurried visit, which was just to re-live memories of my 1978 visit to these places. I may have a NYC visit this year: I will try to check out the Intrepid museum (which is just across the Hudson for you, so to say!), and possibly the Statue of Liberty. The Concorde: I have seen it face-to-face at Heathrow in 1978 itself, and the Concorde at the Udvar-Hazy centre next to Dulles, 2005. I now look forward to seeing one on the Intrepid!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing to add except one word - Splendid

Great pictures Sir
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Nothing to add except one word
Thank you Ameya Sir! Your regular presence on this section is always reassuring for all of us.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
sabya99 wrote:
...Intrepid Air Sea museum
Sir, this was one trip report which I knew you would really appreciate, since you have a fascination for ships as well, especially aircraft carriers! Thank you very much. The Intrepid museum is still around, and on my last visit to the city (Dec'0Cool, I had very little time on my hands (one afternoon), so I had re-visited the American Museum of Natural History and the `Met' - it was a really hurried visit, which was just to re-live memories of my 1978 visit to these places. I may have a NYC visit this year: I will try to check out the Intrepid museum (which is just across the Hudson for you, so to say!), and possibly the Statue of Liberty. The Concorde: I have seen it face-to-face at Heathrow in 1978 itself, and the Concorde at the Udvar-Hazy centre next to Dulles, 2005. I now look forward to seeing one on the Intrepid!
Cheers, Sumantra.

May be I will meet you on the flight deck or the bridge but make it summer time please.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
May be I will meet you on the flight deck or the bridge but make it summer time please.
That will be simply awesome, Sir: let us see how it works out.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is some absolutely AWESOME stuff, thank you for sharing! Seeing the picture of the aircraft carrier instantly got me memories of 2010 - when I visited the INS Vikrant. That was something truly spectacular! Lovely composition of each and every photo, sir! Truly amazing stuff, and then informative details to go with it.

Regards
Jish
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
Seeing the picture of the aircraft carrier instantly got me memories of 2010 - when I visited the INS Vikrant. That was something truly spectacular!
Thanks a lot, Sir, for the kind words! I was never able to do the IMS Vikrant tour, since that had so much of history around it. It would really be awesome if you could have a TR on the Vikrant visit!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great report Sumantra. The pictures did all the justice.

Sri_Bom
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Srinivas...I am glad you liked it
sri_bom wrote:
The pictures did all the justice.
in my case, the credit goes to the camera: I do not know much about the nuances of photography!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another great introduction.
The Hawaiian 330 looks gorgeous .... I hope to fly her this summer.
Too bad you didn't have time for the audio guide, im sure you could have spent a whole day exploring every inch of that ship.
F-14 Very Happy
F-4 ... always loved the tail
The choppers look amazing.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stealthpilot wrote:
The Hawaiian 330 looks gorgeous .... I hope to fly her this summer.
stealthpilot, do we get a whiff of yet another exotic routing for you and your wife? Wow!
stealthpilot wrote:
Too bad you didn't have time for the audio guide, im sure you could have spent a whole day exploring every inch of that ship.
Yes, spot-on: it was really fascinating!
Thank you for the read once again, Sumantra.
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