N A S
A 8 2 0
NASA #820. Served with USAF (56-934)
AFB May 1959 to July 1967; later deployed to Spain and Viet Nam. Final
as a Space Re-Entry Trainer with NASA at Edwards AFB. Decommissioned
1973; on static display George AFB December 1973. To Museum of Flight
1992. This airplane was moved to the Great Gallery at the
from the Restoration Center in March 1998. It is now hung in flight
F-104 was always one of my favorite airplanes. Geez, I have
many ! I remember building a model of one when I
kid. It's hard to believe -- looking at it -- that
really that old! As Chairman of the Museum's Acquisition
Committee during the 1980's, I was pretty free to wander around the
candy store and pick up what I wanted (well, not totally free!)
Thus I was involved in the acquisition of this aircraft.
One of the conditions laid down at the time, was that it
its NASA paint job. That was fine business with me, since I
it much better than the USAF silver, or camo drab. I do
miss the six years it spent at the Restoration Center in Everett, where
I could walk around it and give it many love pats
swipes with a polishing cloth.
called this airplane a "Missile with a Man in it" Wonder why?
Engineer as an Artist.
Engineers really are artists. Don't believe
it? Check out the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State
Queen Mary. And, of course, a whole lot of airplanes.
one of my big heroes, was an Artist. There are many reasons
Kelly, but his airplanes were all
"good lookers." That's a heck of a
good reason, all by itself. I've never seen it mentioned
elsewhere, but Kelly was a
Check out some of his other
David Best photos at George AFB, or Joe
Davies Heritage Airpark which is adjacent to Blackbird Airpark in
There is a distinction
between the Blackbird Airpark and the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at
Palmdale Plant 42 (formerly Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark). The
Blackbird Airpark is affiliated with the Air Force Flight Test Center
Museum at Edwards AFB (an AF Museum). Although the Joe Davies Heritage
Airpark is adjacent to the Blackbird Airpark, it is actually a City of
Palmdale operated facility, separate from the Blackbird Airpark, and is
dedicated to preserving and displaying the history and aircraft of Air
Force Plant 42. The Joe Davies Heritage Airpark website is
www.palmdaleairpark.com, and the site is open to the public Thurs-Sun,
11 am - 4 pm (same hours as the Blackbird Airpark).
Joe Baugher - History of the
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2007 by Robert Bogash. All Rights Reserved