April 5, 2017 - Beechcraft Heritage Museum - Tullahoma, Tennessee

My son-in-law Don and I were on a road trip from Severna Park, Maryland to Alamogordo, New Mexico, ferrying my daughter's car to her.  She is now in the Air Force and is stationned at Holloman Air
Force Base.  In a Tullahoma, Tennessee motel, Don spotted an advertisement for the  Beechcraft Heritage Museum, so we stopped on by.

Good thing we got here early before the parking lot fills up!


Outside the museum which looks very nice from the outside.

The museum is located at the Tullahoma Regional Airport (KTHA) which has two asphalt runways and two grass runways!  I'll have to land here some day.  AOPA had one of their regional fly-ins here; I don't know why I didn't go.  Should have.

The inside was even better.  Of course, you can't go wrong with an immaculate Beech Staggerwing in the main lobby.

Some really neat planes in here, the Walter Beech hangar.

The first plane on the right is the most treasured airplane in the museum:  “Serial Number 1 Staggerwing.” It is the first aircraft built by the Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1932. Officially designated as the Beechcraft Model 17R-1, NC499N became affectionately known to pilots as the Beechcraft “Staggerwing.”

This is Travel Air No. 1 which was built in 1925 by a some guys named Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, and Clyde Cessna.  Wow!
This is a Travel Air Mode R "Mystery Ship"  which I recognized immediately as one of the planes in my Dad's Wings of Texaco display case down in the basement.  Only five were built and this was the first.
The Mystery Ship's cockpit.  The plane was used in the 20s and 30s for both commercial and personal flying.
This is a 1929 Travel Air 4000.    During the period from 1924-1929, the Travel Air Manufacturing Company produced more aircraft than any other American manufacturer, including over 1,000 biplanes
A beautifully polished Twin Beech Model 18D.  My Dad flew the Twin Beech and liked to call it the "bug smasher".  I wish my RV's polish job looked this good!
  The U.S. Army's  first King Air, LM-1, also known as the U-21, or “Ute.”  The U.S. Navy flew King Air's as well.
The U.S. Army's  first King Air, LM-1, also known as the U-21, or “Ute.”  The U.S. Navy flew King Air's as well.
A Staggerwing without its fabric covering.  It was interesting to see the plane like this.
I marvelled at the beautiful welding on the tube clusters.
Just like our old Citabria, only bigger and with lots more wood stringers.
Beech build T-34C trainers for the U.S. Navy.  My Dad flew it.  I flew in one once, as a passenger, when I was at Pensacola.
Beechcraft Bonanza, one of the great general aviation airplanes.

Bonanza with the fuse and wing skins removed so you can see what's going on underneath.  My RV doesn't have stringers like this.  Maybe the RV's skin is thicker to make up for it?

This "cutaway" Bonanza was on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in D.C. at one point.

Bulkheads and stringers.  More stringers than my RV.
The all-composite Beechcraft Model 2000A Starship.  Beech built it with the help of Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites.  It was supposed to replace the hugely successful King Air (50%) market share but never caught on.  Only 54 were built.  There ar enine or so still flying.  I used to seem them occasionaly fly out of BWI.
Don pretending he is boarding his own private business plane.
A Starship would be perfect for him.
If you are still looking for something to do after visiting the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, just down the road a few miles is Lynchburg, Tennessee.  That's where a man you may have heard of -- a Mr. Jack Daniels -- started making whiskey back in the 1880s!  His whiskey has sold pretty well since then and they have a very interesting distillery tour that's worth visiting.  Take the sample tour.