It was an overcast day (I don’t have my Instrument Rating yet) and my wife wanted to go see the California Poppy Preserve. We had flown over it once before three years ago but she wanted to be able to walk around, and with the stormy skies this would be a great Saturday to make that trip, by car. We didn’t have any rain while we were there, although it started right as we were leaving, and it was cold, windy, and deserted. For me, it was perfect. We were able to wander the trails, taking pictures with nobody else in them.
My wife decided to see what kind of museums there were between the Poppy Preserve and home that we could stop by. She said there was an outdoor one called “Blackbird Airpark” over near the Palmdale Airport. I told her it has to have an SR-71 there. The Palmdale Airport is also known as United States Air Force Plant 42.
We were not disappointed. Some of the planes are in good shape, other’s show the signs of sitting outside, but it is great to be able to just wander around them. There is no fee, you just pull into the parking lot and get out and wander around. They have lots of aircraft on display, aircraft components, bombs, engines, etc… There are tables to sit down and have lunch under the wings of a C-46 Commando, a B-52 Stratofortress, or a 747 that was used as a Shuttle Transport. The two parks are right next to each other and you can easily walk from one to the other. I could talk about everything that you will see there, but I think the pictures tell a better story. (I think the pilot in the T-33 has been in that cockpit for a long time…)