Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Day Twenty Two - Los Angeles and surrounding areas

Day 22 was our penultimate day in the USA. Noting the lack of airplane action on day 21, I thought I should make amends. First stop was the Western Museum of Flight at Torrance. Last time we were here, this was the first place we visited.This time, we were in for a treat because they had the YF-23 on display (which was missing last time). To me, this is the aircraft that should have been chosen over the YF-22 in the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition on sheer looks alone. One thing I also noted this time was the research library that they have at this Museum, there are thousands of books on aircraft, just a staggering collection. 

Also, about half a mile South of the Museum site stands a YF-17 Cobra, which was a contender in the original Light Weight Fighter competition against the YF-16; and a F-14 Tomcat. Here's a selection of pics:

The fantastic YF-23.

Schuyler getting a feel for the Pilot's seat.

...and again.

The one-of-a-kind YF-17 Cobra, which ultimately led to the development of the F/A-18 Hornet

Next stop was about 60 miles to the North to a place called Camarillo to a Confederate Air Force Museum. We intended to visit last time we were here on our drive down the West Coast between San Francisco and LA, but unfortunately, we passed through on the only day of the week that they are closed. This time, we did our research. We met up with a fantastic Docent called Jim (not as fantastic as Ted, though) who gave us a guided tour. The standout exhibit from my perspective was the Curtis C-46F Commando and we were given an up-close tour inside and out. We had a great discussion about the aircraft's fantastic capabilities and how some are still in operations around the world. The aircraft in question hasn't flown for around a year due to funding issues, but they are hopeful to get it up in the air soon. I would loved to have stayed and chatted longer, but even aircraft Museums have closing hours. Here's some pics:

Some of the stuff inside.

The C-46 Commando.

The Commando Cockpit and our great Docent Jim.

Another inside view.

Next stop was Hollywood, past the walk of fame for a whistle-stop visit. Strangely, our names weren't there, there must have been a mix up somewhere. Dinner was back in Torrence at a Restaurant called Pho '99 (soon to be changing its name to Pho Kobe (as in the Beef, not Mr Bryant from the Lakers). This Restaurant was good enough for me to make a special mention on this Blog, because price-wise, friendliness and food quality-wise, it was fantastic. LA residents or visitors should take note. 

Day 22, concluded with much packing and weighing of suitcases and boxes.

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