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Every aviation museum worth its salt these days can boast of classic warplanes, military fighter jets here and there, and perhaps a pre-jet-age Lockheed Constellation, but few go the extra mile to secure and preserve the rarest, most historic, and, in some cases, most expensive airplanes nearly lost to history as does the Museu TAM.
The museum is the baby of TAM Airlines and is now the largest museum in the world maintained by an airline. Unfortunately it isn't the easiest daytrip destination; the Museu sits in a spacious pair of hangars just outside the town of São Carlos, an hour's drive from the city of Ribeirão Preto (location of the nearest commercial airport), which is itself an hour's flight (or 3-hour drive) from São Paulo. You'd never expect to find one of the world's most important aviation museums way out here, in this part of rural Brazil better known for sugarcane plantations, but here it is.
The museum opened to the public in 2006 with only around 32 aircraft, but they've been quite busy since and the collection now numbers 89 vintage and rare flying machines (49 of which are incredibly still in flying condition).
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Twitter user @nycsouthpaw was onboard the notoriously lengthy Hawaiian Airlines nonstop flight from New York-JFK to Honolulu yesterday, when he noticed a little something special within the seatback entertainment moving map:
I like that the airbus maps show notable shipwrecks. Edgy move. pic.twitter.com/21kiYAojjL— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) August 27, 2014
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Everyone always talks about taking "the road less traveled." Well, just in time for prime summer road trips, have we got a barely traveled road to suggest: the route to Wyoming's ghost town of Kirwin.
Just outside Cody, known as the gateway to Yellowstone, is the Shoshone National Forest. it's here you'll find the abandoned mining town nestled in an alpine meadow. Originally incorporated in the late 1880s by William Kirwin and Harry Adams, the village saw its heyday in 1902 when the population reached about 200.
Mark the date on your iCal: the Delta Flight Museum at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reopens after major renovations on June 17. The buildings and Delta's historic 1940s maintenance hangars have been updated with fresh exhibits, new displays and cases, improved public spaces, an expanded store, and three more aircraft for the collection.
Furthermore, the museum boasts the US' only full-motion, official flight simulator open to the public (a 737-200). Actual aircraft on display include a DC-3, Waco 125 bi-plane (last in existence), Travel Air 6B Sedan, Stinson SR-8E Reliant, an L-1011 prototype section, and the Boeing 767 "Spirit of Delta," which was the airline's first 767 delivered after Delta's own employees banded together in the 1980s' tough times to raise money and fund the purchase.
Thanks to the renovation, three more aircraft are coming to join the fun: a DC-9, a Huff-Daland Duster, and a Boeing 757-200.
When one of our contributors visited Berlin for the first time a few years ago, he made a comment about the large number of construction sites he saw throughout the city. On my visit this past weekend, I witnessed a similar scene, cranes towering high above the buildings in almost every direction. A casual observation on the surface, for sure, yet it provides deep insight into the state of the city when investigated further.
After the fall of the Wall in November of 1989, visitors to the former East Berlin would experience what I like to refer to as nothing short of a beautiful disaster. Communism was over, and no one was really sure what that meant in terms of property ownership, government jurisdiction, and social outlook. What transpired was a heavy counter-cultural scene, one filled with squatters, street art, and modern-day speakeasies. It became known as the party capital of Europe, where everyone would go to let their hair down. You can see glimpses of the scene in the photos that follow.
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Last week, we shared the story of the time we traveled just to visit Southern Germany's Zeppelin Museum. Today, that tale continues as we switch back to first person and head inside Zeppelin HQ.
Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?
My great-grandmother was born in 1900. She lived long enough that I actually got to know her well, and her presence in my life made 1900 seem like not so very long ago. Of course it most definitely is, as humanity has managed in the last 114 years to progress from the first flight of a Zeppelin (1900) to that of an airplane (1903), and from the dawn of the jet age (1958) to that of Mars exploration (2004).
What brought me to southern Germany was the temptation to experience a bit of that extremely early aviation magic, thanks to what lives in a massive hangar near Friedrichshafen Airport.
You see, Zeppelins do still exist...and they still fly passengers.
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Would you travel half-way around the world to visit a museum? If you've answered "yes" or "maybe," then we like you already, and perhaps you'll enjoy this first-person tale of a trip for exactly that purpose.
Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?
In April 2011, Retronaut posted a series of vintage color photographs of the infamous Hindenburg airship. In mid 2012, I discovered there was an entire museum dedicated to it. Needing only one good reason to justify any of my travels, it was only a few months later I walked through the doors of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany and climbed into the belly of a 1:1 scale model of the LZ 129 "Hindenburg" Zeppelin.
You may remember the Hindenburg from the tragedy of May 6, 1937, the one which forever impressed the phrase "Oh, the humanity" on, well, humanity. For all intents and purposes, that is the day the Zeppelin died, as flames engulfed the airship while docking at NJ's Lakehurst Naval Air Station and squelched any hope of a future for airships as reliable commercial transportation.
For a time, these hydrogen-filled, diesel-powered balloons were, nonetheless, the wave of the future...above the waves. They had novelty and stability on their side; whereas an ocean crossing could be a prescription for one week of mal de mer, a Zeppelin sailed along smoothly at a few thousand feet up, free from the motion of the ocean.
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This year you can get a taste of ancient Rome on the big screen and in person.
Pompeii, starring Kit Harington as a slave-turned-gladiator trying to save his true love as the Roman city crumbles around him, open in theaters today. Or, if you'd rather get up and close and personal with the ruins of Pompeii, there are several Italian tour companies offering day trips to the city and the area around the volcano that buried it.
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Whether you're prepared or not, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This mean's it's high season for crowded airports, full flights, and flaring tempers. Still, let's take a moment and think about what happened at the end of the ultimate journey that resulted in the original Thanksgiving.
Before the fourth Thursday of November was known for copious amounts of turkey and fixins, football, and the Macy's parade, it was a peace-offering meal between the Native Americans and Pilgrims who traveled from Europe and landed at Plymouth Rock (allegedly) in what's better known today as Plymouth, Massachusetts.
If you're planning a little trip to pay homage in Plymouth this year, here's what to see and do:
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If Warsaw's been on your bucket list for a while now, be sure to line up your visit with the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Easily one of the most hyped-up museum openings in Europe right now, the box-shaped structure has been in the works since the early 90s, and is said to contain eight multimedia exhibitions and galleries spanning the entire Jewish-Polish history (1,000 years), plus a concert hall and educational facilities—not to mention the reconstructed roof of a 17th century synagogue.
The TImes of Israel recently reported on the ornate frescoed roof, which was unveiled on Tuesday to a very enthusiastic response:
"The ceiling is a rich panoply in milky blues and brownish reds of zodiac signs and animal symbols, along with inscriptions in Hebrew…The animals include a red bull and a leviathan — a serpent-like sea monster — wrapped around Jerusalem."
And if sea monsters and ceiling frescoes don't get you excited, then keep this in mind: the museum's opening (no date has officially been announced, but certainly within the next few months) this year is timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a historic act of rebellion by the Jews against the Nazis in 1943. In one of many such commemorative events taking place all throughout April, hundreds of volunteers will take to the streets and hand out paper daffodils to passersby.
Right about now, you might be day-dreaming of a beach vacation or somewhere the sun shines all day and the people are hot, hot, hot. Come with us on a Spanish adventure, more specifically to Barcelona. The city is known for fine beaches, partying until the wee hours of the morning, tapas and lots of sangria. While we partook in a little of eachmaybe more than a little when it came to the sangriawe brought a little history and culture into our days with a castle visit.
Montjuïc, historically speaking, was the the area that the medieval Jewish community buried their dead, thus the Catalan translation of Jewish Mountain. Now it sits to welcome cruise and cargo ships from the Mediterranean, all the while keeping a watchful eye on the city below. The park area is not easy to reach; either by climbing the steps on the front or riding the funicular from the port, it takes some sweat or fears.
It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like New York City’s newest memorial is finally ready for the masses. It may be decades overdue, but yesterday officials cracked the champagne bottle over the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, right in the middle of the East River.
Designed by Louis I. Kahn long before his death, the project was kind of in an off-again-on-again situation for many, many years. The finished park sits right at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island—of course—smack dab between Manhattan and Queens. In total the new memorial takes up a good chunk of real estate, as it’s about four acres surrounded with around 120 trees.