Sunday, August 2, 2015

Oakland Aviation Museum

One of the things I did while working on Legendary Locals of Oakland was visit the Oakland Aviation Museum in search of the bust of Feng Ru, the "father of Chinese aviation" and the first person to pilot an airplane on the West coast. I found the statue, but I found a lot of other interesting stuff, too.

The museum has numerous vintage aircraft on display, mostly inside what was the Boeing School of Aeronautics. There are also various displays showing uniforms, memorabilia, and even a Norden bombsight. There are exhibits on women in aviation, black Americans in aviation, and Oakland's part in "Operation Babylift" during the Vietnam War.

The pride of the aviation museum is a Short Solent Mark III flying boat. It stood in for a larger Boeing China Clipper in "Raiders of the Lost Ark". A copy of Life magazine marks the seat where Harrison Ford sat as Indiana Jones. The plane can be viewed any time the museum is open, but you can only view the interior on special occasions.

It's a very cool museum, definitely worth checking out, even if you're not particularly into airplanes. There's a lot of history on display there.

Lots more pictures from the Oakland Aviation Museum:

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