Mount Pleasant, Nevada
07/14/2011 @ 21:28 [ref: 18817]
| Patrick J. Dunbar|
After having seen the Windecker Eagle 4196G sitting in the warehouse with the wings removed, I was so grieved. I had the privilege of flying that very plane, while at EagleAir,LTD. in Boulder, Co., when it was new. What a beautiful and magnificant plane it was. It was so responsive,fast and a pure joy to fly. During many airshows and flight demos, I also had the privilege of flying with Frank Tallman. He spoke very highly of the plane and had a great time flying it. It should be restored to fly again at OshKosh or Sun-N-Fun. It should not be tucked away or forgotten. Dr's Leo and Fairfax Windecker along with all the team in Midland, Tx. worked so hard to produce this incredible plane.
In 1970, there was nothing like. In 2011, it still would stand alone. I will always thank the Windecker organization for letting me be a part of the history, of this marvelous airplane.
Patrick J. Dunbar
The first sale rep. at Boulder Valley Aviation
07/10/2011 @ 12:39 [ref: 18309]
| Tony Wessel|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I visited the museum last spring and have some pictures posted on Facebook, just copy this link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2328995&id=17126934&l=daca0d38e7
04/03/2011 @ 20:04 [ref: 14384]
I graduated from Ft Rucker in 1968, and have been back many times over my career - I retire next month. Last night I happened to be going through slides, and find I have photos from the museum from '68, '81, '95, and '01. The Army has done a fantastic job of obtaining prototype aircraft that fall into their 'domain'. It has done a less than steller job of 'preserving' them.
Manpower and $$$ enter into the preserving aspect. The Army Aviation Museum originally got launched as a private tax free organization to care for these aircraft. Unlike the USAF and the USN the majority of the army's flight program were 'high school' graduates, not 'college graduates' as the other services. Hence the loyalty, and earning potential of those that moved on or even stayed in the service was considerably less than the other services. So donations didn't roll in like the other services. That and Dothan Alabama is not a trourist destination like Pensacola or Dayton is, so the number of "walk in's" and donations is less.
In the 90's I was there twice and did some research while there. There was a full time staff of 4-5, two maintainers, and two admin and a historian who did all research and correspondence. You could not watch a "Wings" episode on cable without seeing the museum and their historian listed as a contributor. Gift shop workers are 'volunteer' worker. In the 90's, the museum foundation turned the museum back over to the US Army to keep from going bankrupt. The army took it back but then when their budget was cut, they cut the museum's budget and they went to a staff of 2. The historian moved over to the Safety Branch.
Space: Originally all the old prototypes were spaced in the old WWII wood hangers and you could request it be opened to you. Lighting wasn't the best, but there was space between the aircraft and placards telling you its significance. More currant types such as the T-37, and P1127 were sitting on concrete pads between the hangers. As more aircraft arrived they had to be squeezed into the hangers or the fence area and access was restircted. Ultimately it became as crowded as my closet. And in general aircraft outside got no care.
The last time I gained access to the hangers I wanted to cry. With no proper equipment (handling wheels) to move skid equiped aircraft, ropes and tractors were used. For manpower, WOC candidates were gotten from the WOC program across the street. The second Lockheed XH-51A compound aircraft was moved in next to the McDonnell XV-1. Ropes were thrown over the horizontal stabilator and it was towed backwards (skids, no wheels). The ropes cut through the stabilator on both sides til stopped by the spar. The aircraft was towed/pushed back until the wingtip broke through the nose bubble of the XV-1 and left to sit like that. Elsewhere the early helicopters like the Jovair and Lockheed CLwere under a thick blanket of dust with blades overlapped or removed with perhaps two feet between airframes
The HLH was once the gate guard, then moved back to the fenced area. There it slowly disintegrated. At one point it was nearly ready to fly and those that say is was a mock up are wrong. Boeing manufactured a dummy head and other dummy componenents for it prior to shipping it to Ft Rucker, and kept the real components at the factory. It was lack of personnel and $$ in maintaining these aircraft at least in a survival mode. The post commander felt he needed to either remove or fix up the HLH as he had a major post anniversary scheduled. After checking with Ft Eustis, the owner of all these aircraft, it was decided the HLH had never flown, hence was never a true prototype and could be struck. Hence the demolition. What is a shame is that other museums were not notified. There are several that would have taken part if not all the aircraft if notified.
Now that the WWII hangers are being removed and the aircraft being dispersed around base in other buildings I can only hope that there is a plan to ultimately build a hanger big enough to protect them and utimately restore them to display standards. The staff have done there best for years against lack of interest from higher ups, lack of funds, space, and help. The volunteers who keep the museum moveing slowly forward are to be congratulated. I keep hopeing to win the lottery so I could donate a building big enough to move the US Army Aviation Museum up to the league of their bigger brothers. Help if you can.
01/27/2009 @ 07:20 [ref: 8642]
Being a pilot in training here and have ing graduated college with a degree in history i truely enjoy the museum here on Ft. Rucker. I Do sympathize with all the motorcyclists who ride in to visit it becase the DOD has strick regulations about riding equipment and if you for get any of it you don't get on. Other than that the museum is amazing and if you take the time to drive around the post you will find seveal storage building and many of the aircraft parked outside then surrounded by chain linked fence. not the best veiw but it does enable you to see many of the experimental stuff that mother Rucker won't put up. I highly recomend visiting this museum even though it is small.
09/08/2008 @ 13:58 [ref: 8410]
| Rockie Belken|
I must admit that I too was quite disappointed in the ARMY AV Museum. The small size of the building limits the number of aircraft available to be seen. Perhaps the army should open the storage hangers for visiters and use the actual museum as an awards presentation area to our fine solders who have distinguished themselves, as it was on the day I visited.
Also I too made a 950 mile,one way,trip by motorcycle, although I wasn't allowed to walk on base. After about a total of 2.5 hours spent at the Enterprize and Daleville guard shacks the MP's were called. Thank God someone with a higher IQ realized if I could drive 950 miles down there I could probibly make the last 100 yards safely, which I did. Thank You Miss MP.
Sadly I cannot even give the museum a single star. Whoever set it up I prey is not responsible for any lives and is working at Del Taco as we speak.
07/02/2008 @ 12:57 [ref: 8155]
| Dennis Hansen|
, North Carolina
I was a bit disappointed. The scrapped the large Boeing Helicopter that was on display outdoors, The Stinson inside the front door has the horizontal tail mounted upside down (drain holes belong on the bottom). Most of all I was on a motorcycle and the gate guard stated that motorcycles were not welcome and I had to show proof of having attended a safety course to enter the main gate. I had traveled over 600 miles and did not have the documentation. I parked outside the gate and walked to the museum. Not a big problem but my handicaped wife was not able to.
Also most of the unusual and rare aircraft were not on display and are impossible to view.
12/25/2007 @ 13:40 [ref: 6625]
| Luc J.R. Martini|
Please note that the Dornier or CASA 127, are NOT transport type aircraft, but a UTILITY type.
12/01/2007 @ 23:41 [ref: 6551]
| Reginald Hall|
Swindon Wiltshire England,
I write to you regarding the current state of Ch347 s/n 65-7992. Please would you forward to me any information that you may have of this aircraft.I am compiling as much information as I can gather on this fantastic airframe any recent Photos would be most welcome, I live in the United Kingdom and Served with the Royal Air Force on Chinook Hc Mk1 and Mk2 Aircraft for 19 years,and if it hadn\'t been for 347 we may not have purchased the Chinook for the UK Please reply! if you can supply me with any details I would be most grateful.
03/01/2007 @ 16:20 [ref: 5668]
| Reginald Hall|
Swindon Wiltshire England,
I write to you regarding the current state of Ch347 s/n 65-70992. Please would you forward to me any information that you may have of this aircraft.I am compiling as much information as I can gather on this fantastic airframe any recent Photos would be most welcome, I live in the United Kingdom and Served with the Royal Air Force on Chinook Hc Mk1 and Mk2 Aircraft for 19 years,and if it hadn\'t been for 347 we may not have purchased the Chinook for the UK Please reply! if you can supply me with any details I would be most grateful.
03/01/2007 @ 15:33 [ref: 5666]