Scott Field Heritage Air Park   Leave a comment

Spring break for 2014 is low key, but we did spend a few days in Saint Louis, Missouri. On the way, we stopped near Bellville, Illinois. This is the home of Scott Air Force Base. In honor of the men and women who serve there, just outside the gate is Scott Field Heritage Air Park, a collection of the airlifters that were based at Scott.

The first aircraft you encounter is a C-141, a heavy airlifter.
C-141

Next to it was a KC-135, a plane specializing in mid-air refueling of other planes.
KC-135

The C-130 is perhaps the most successful transport aircraft ever produced. New models are still rolling off the factory line.

An example of each of these aircraft at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, in Dayton, Ohio. Typically, they have greater significance than the examples here. Their C-141, for instance, is known as the Hanoi Taxi, which brought the last of the US POWs back from Vietnam. However, one aircraft they lack is a C-9A Nightingale. A version of the McDonald Douglas DC-9 airliner, it was optimized for areomedical evacuation–it was practically a flying hospital.
C-9A, Front Two-Thirds

What is significant about it, to me, is that my father flew the C-9. Scott AFB was his last posting while in the Air Force, and we lived there when I was in the first and second grade. He didn’t fly the example on display (it was in the Pacific Theater when we were at Scott), but definitely flew the type.
C-9A Nightengale, Side View

We didn’t spend terribly long there–if it wasn’t right off the Interstate, we probably wouldn’t have gone–but it was definitely good to show my daughter this bit of family history.

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Posted 2014-04-03 by Mr. Guilt in Aircraft, Spring Break 2014

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