Andria and I went down to Tucson and visited the Pima Air and Space Museum and the Titan Missile Museum it was a fun trip with plenty of photos good weather I’ll break my review down into two parts one for each Museum. Originally we were supposed to go to Tombstone but since it was just a day trip and the ride to Tombstone is about 3 hours Tucson
The Pima Air and Space Museum has over 300 Aircraft spread over 5 Hangars, 80 acres of land. It includes aircraft from the Massive Aero Spacelines 377-SG “Super Guppy” viewable from the highway to the tiniest “Starr Bumble Bee” in Hangar 1. There is really fascinating stuff all over the property. We went on Saturday 8/31 and the temperature was in the upper 90’s with a nice breeze that made walking the 80 Acres outside really nice and even better when we were walking under the larger aircraft’s wings. The easiest way to explain the differences between outside and inside hangars is the stuff outside is partially restored while the aircraft inside is fully restored. The biggest downside of this entire excursion was you couldn’t go into any of the aircraft like Andria and I did on the USS Midway in San Diego. Regardless of that fact we still had a great time walking and seeing some really unique airplanes Such as the SR-71 Blackbird (with a drone), Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, a few MiG’s (Soviet Fighter Jets), and a replica Phoenix Mars Lander.
With all that walking eventually we got hungry and stopped at the flight grill as per usual the prices were a bit high but the food was matching in quality and it was really clean and it overlooked the outdoor displays which was really neat, we also found out this museum is pet friendly Andria wants to go back and bring Dexter.
This is the entrance to the museum and has the Visitor Center, Gift shop Children’s area, Flight grill and houses some of the more rare aircraft such as the rare Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird”, the only remaining Martin PBM-5A “Mariner”, and the very rare North American F-107.
390th Memorial Hangar
We didn’t get to go in here as it was under remodeling. but it has a Fully restored B-17 according to the Tour Map
Hangar 3 is Dedicated WWII aircraft and equipment inside we found a B-24 “Liberator” heavy bomber, a Mitchell B-25 of the type used in the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, an A -25, and suspended overhead some rare combat gliders. A particular area Andria and I liked was cutouts of Nose Art that were saved from the scrapper it was really cool art.
Another WWII Dedicated Hangar in here it has a restored B-29 “Superfortress,” along with a rare P-63 “King Cobra,” an F4U “Corsair (My Favorite), the workhorse C-46 cargo plane, a Navy TBM “Avenger” torpedo plane
We didn’t get to visit Hangar 5 which is where the Museum restores older aircraft
Dorothy Finley Space Gallery
This has all sorts of NASA & Soviet Space race stuff inside. interactive lander exhibits and even a replica Command Module!
After we were exhausted from all the walking and trying to decide what to do next in Tucson as we went there with an open agenda there was a sign at the exit of the Pima Air and Space Museum for the Titan Missile Museum. Andria and I have never been to a Nuclear Launch site and thought this would be a good wrap up to our Tucson trip. This Titan II missile site, known as complex 571-7, is all that remains of 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across Arizona, Kansas and Arkansas from 1963 to 1987. We got there just in time for the 3pm Tour and entered through the Visitor Center / Gift Shop. We poked around and saw some cool things like a time capsule that can be opened in another couple years and plenty of chintzy souvenirs.
The tour began with a 20 Minute safety briefing and history video on the Titan II missile program and also showcased some of the tools used and getting into the bunker with a bunch of security. Then if you were over 5’10 you get a hard hat and we walked outside went down a flight of stairs and entered the bunker, then went down another 50 steps and got to the Blast doors which were 3000 lb doors that were reinforced and reinforced walls that were a continuous pour from a vendor on site (So no seams or different quality of concrete) and they were 3′ thick and 8′ thick in different areas. Then shuffled to the control room and then down a long umbilical hall and into the actual Silo with the Missile still sitting there. the entire facility was on shock absorbers which could go about 18 inches horizontally or vertically.