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USA West Coast Aircraft Spotting Trip

Where? USA South-West
When? 26/10-12/11/2007

The big trip this year was a tour to the US, framed by the airshows at Holloman and Nellis, and two weeks time for photography at airports and scenic locations along the route.

As the south-west of the United States has so much to offer for the aviation and nature enthusiasts it was really hard not to overload our planned schedule, but after some scheduling the travel plan was settled and on October, 29th we boarded the LH flight at Munich to fly to El Paso via Denver.
American style...During the flight the movie "Surf's Up" was quite amusing and we got what seemed to be the last pieces of Lufthansa's Oktoberfest meal: Bavarian Sausages, Bretzels and a nice dessert. After the arrival in Denver the dreaded immigration procedure was passed without problems and I had the first decisive encounter for the rest of the trip: a big and very tasty Burrito, which was really necessary after the long flight. Inside the Terminal a Curtiss Jenny was hanging under the ceiling and we took some taxi photos before boarding UA Express flight (Emb 145) to El Paso. The women sitting right next to me crossed herself before take-off, so I was quite confident that nothing would happen on this flight!

Denver Airport

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NASA Space Shuttle Trainer T-37In El Paso, a city very close to the Mexican border, we were welcomed by a stored NASA T-38, that was parked in front of the terminal, and in the far distance we also saw their Super Guppy. It is parked there due to the better storing conditions than in humid Florida, and the T-38 Talon is a sign for the future Space Shuttle pilot training, that starts here in New Mexico. Though the airport is quite small and not a lot of flights arrived at the same time – actually none – baggage delivery took ages. In the meantime we took over our rental car, a tiny small SUV, which would be our 'home' for the next two weeks. I also installed my TomTom Navigation System with the newly purchased map for America, but didn't get it to work properly, and shouldn't do so during the next two weeks, either…
Sunset at AlamogordoAnyway, we had an appointment at the Santa Theresa War Eagles Museum as the museum would usually already have closed. The exhibition was really interesting, with many exhibits FJ-2 Fury, AT-19 Reliant or a East German MiG-21. Some of the warbirds were even in flyable condition. But the highlight has most possibly been the Tu-2 stored on the outside.

 

Santa Theresa War Eagles Museum

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There we also discovered a stored DC-6 not far away that gave some nice photos with the setting sun. An A-26 Invader was also stored further down, but too far away to go there, and the guard dogs that suddenly appeared from nowhere also finally kept us from going there. The sun was then already gone when we left to Alamogordo and checked in quite late at the Motel6.

 

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