Saturday was the annual Palo Alto Municipal Airport open house, so D. and I went and I took some pics of stuff that caught my eye.
The U.S. Army Air Corps used L-3 planes for observation during WW II. They also sloshed the gas tanks for aromatic fuels. Don't ask, I don't have a clue what that means.
Some planes come with handy-dandy, helpful caution messages.
NASA Ames Research Center has their SIERRA aircraft on display. This unmanned plane performs remote sensing and atmospheric sampling missions in isolated and often inaccessible regions, where the flight duration would be too long or the conditions too risky for a manned mission. It's a very small craft (20' wingspan, gross weight 400 lbs.), and yes, it has that odd peaked tail structure seen in the logo.
NASA brought some mini-cones with them, to go with their mini-plane.
Hazmat signage on hangar.
How much do you pay for fuel?
This is a Lockwood AirCam amphibious floatplane. It can take off from and land on either land or water. For some reason its engines have no cowlings. I would imagine this lack of protection makes them more vulnerable to damage, but what do I know of aircraft engine design?
This is another amphibious aircraft, a Lake Buccaneer. It has retractable landing gear and a pusher engine mounted on a pylon over the hull.
A duck decal on another amphibious plane.
Free engine inspection: get that frayed thing looked at before your next take-off, okay?
Here's a big yellow WACO biplane. (The manufacturer's name is an acronym and is pronounced wah-co, not way-co.) It's for sale. It has a big impressive engine. Its current owner seems to be a bit of a smart-ass.
Here's a Navy bomber.
The Civil Air Patrol has one of their planes here today.
This behemoth is the Palo Alto Police Department's new mobile command center, a 40-foot-long, RV-like vehicle that cost the city $400,000. It is fully equipped to take over all police communications if the police department's existing dispatch and command center is incapacitated by earthquake or fire.
Reportedly this vehicle has inside it a kitchen, a bathroom, approximately 30 radios, numerous LCD screens and computers, an external video camera and a generator. In case local connections go down, Internet and phone service via satellite will be available. Reportedly there is also a radio to communicate with local ham radio volunteers, but it lacks a video hookup with overhead helicopters due to cost.
Planes and cupcakes, a natural pairing . . . Not. They go together like . . . planes and cupcakes.
Bell 47G-3B helicopter. Its rotors are almost 38' across and its top speed is over 100 mph.
PAO = FAA Airport Identifier for Palo Alto Municipal Airport.
This plane has a Rolls-Royce engine. Fancy-schmancy.
I wonder whose plane this is?
Fasten you seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy flight.
An aeronautical time was had by all.
I knew nothing about planes or aviation before the airport's open house. And you know what? I still knew just about as much immediately after! I had to look up a lot of stuff later on on Google.