pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Hiller Aviation Museum, Part 1

Hiller Aviation Museum, Part 1

It has been really cold here this week and D. and I needed an indoor activity to do over the weekend, so on Sunday we spent a couple of enjoyable hours at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos.

Here is Part One of the pics I took (the rest will be posted in a couple more days).

Here we are.

Santa delivers his presents in San Carlos by helicopter, I guess.

In back of the museum is the restored cockpit and first class section of a scrapped Boeing 747-136, so we go see that first.

Its engines are huge.  And dependable.

A display case inside the plane has a model of a Boeing 747 Swingtail cargo jet.

The first class section.  The spiral staircase on the right goes up into the cockpit.

The cockpit is full of dials, gauges and switches.  And it is not a playground!  Parents, keep your kids off!

Back inside the museum building, we see the wreckage of the Thaden 1928 T-1 Argonaut, the first corrugated metal-skinned plane.

A replica of the Wright Brothers' 1903 Flyer hangs from the ceiling, with a mannequin of a Wright Bro at the controls.  (A single wing from a 747 is bigger than this entire little plane.)

Some of the early gliders look very uncomfortable to fly.  That's gotta be downright ouchy. 

The Avitor is a steampunk-looking airship from 1869, intended for transcontinental travel.  (The railroads wound up usurping that role, though.)

Stanley Hiller Jr., for whom the museum is named, was a Bay Area helicopter guy.  He built his first one at age 15 and soon after founded one of the nation's premier helicopter manufacturing companies.  He was enthusiastic about making the dream of flight available to ordinary people and envisioned a helicopter in every garage.   Here's a replica of his 1944 experimental XH-44.

Hiller J-10, the first helicopter without a tail rotor.

This is a Hiller UH-12 helicopter flight simulator.  D. and I both crashed, he in San Francisco's Financial District, me near the Golden Gate Bridge.

This is a 1979 NASA/Ames AD-1 Oblique Wing swing wing aircraft.  The wing pivoted to the most efficient angle for the speed at which the aircraft was flying, whether slow or ultra-fast.

This is a Messerschmitt Kabinenroller, or Cabin Scooter! 

After WW II, former German aircraft manufacturers were forbidden to build planes anymore.   So Messerschmitt AG chose instead to build little cars with cockpit-like interiors that were basically wingless planes on wheels.  This one got 100 MPG (but could only go up to 62 mph), and it is just so gosh darn cute. 

Scoot!  Scoot!  Scoot!  Scoot along in your little Cabin Scooter! 

G'wan, scoot!  Scooooooooot! 


A toy replica of a 1930s Granville Brothers Aircraft Gee Bee R2 racing plane appears to have El Chupacabra as its pilot. 

The Hiller Rotorcycle was a minimalist helicopter produced in 1956.  It was packaged in a canister and could be parachuted to downed Navy pilots.  Fighter planes could provide protection while the pilot assembled the helicopter in less than 5 minutes using no tools, allowing for a successful self-rescue.  Only 12 were ever produced, six of which are unaccounted for.

Why do they put these tempting, shiny, spinny things in arm's reach and then say don't touch? 


Stay tuned for the rest on Saturday.  

Tags: airport, field trip, hiller, museum, plane, san carlos, sign

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