Specials

Pima Air & Space Museum

By Gostar den Daas | March 2020
World’s biggest aviation museum.

Pima Air & Space museum is one of the worlds biggest aviation museums, featuring over 350 military and civil aircraft. Existing for forty years and located next to the David-Monthan “Boneyard” it has a constant flow of aircraft ranging from the beginning of flight to the Boeing 787.

The majority of the collection is located outside on a 80 acres area. A selection of aircraft are housed in five hangers.

On a beautiful day in October we walked the outdoor exhibition ground first. The majority of the collection is displayed outside. Some aircraft can be found in the hangars. The indoor collection changes from time to time.


70-0973 / AZ, A-7

58-6971, VC-137

150511, VP-3

42-2438, AT-7

58-2107, U-3

XB-DUZ, RB-1

XB-GEY, YC-125

N462M, Martin 4-0-4

N22SN, VC-744

N1001U, SE201

72-1873, YC-14

N9995Z, AF-2

N13743, C-119

N51701, DC-7

N14448, P2

N3142D, C-123

53-0535, EC-121

62-4200, VC-140

N925NA, WB-57

49-0157 / 157, C-119

49-0157 / 157, C-119

72-1873, YC-14

67-0013, C-141

N90831, L-049

N39TU, Beech 2000

N39TU, Beech 2000

WL790, Shackleton

CF-BKN, Beech S18

N90831, L-049

533, D-21

61-2489, VC-140

57-1684, VH-34

53-3240, VC-118

42-72488, C-54

160684 / NL-211, F-14

160684 / NL-211, F-14

Roadrunner Neptune

VAH-21, Road Runners, operated four modified SP-2H Neptunes during the Vietnam War. Designated AP-2H, the all-weather Neptunes were fitted with new technologies like FLIR and LLLTV (low level light TV) systems. They were used to track and attack movements along the Ho Chi Minh Trails. For that a tail turret was fitted. Fuselage mounted grenade launchers and downward firing mini-guns were also added. Bombs and napalm were carried on underwing pylons.


135620, AP-2

135620, AP-2

The sensors and weapons were effective, but the aircraft were large and withdrawn from combat in June 1969. The FLIR and LLLTV was later installed in the A-6 Intruders.




74-0118 / TY, F-15

44-23006, C-82

62-4427 / WW, F-105

32757 / E-181, PV-2

51-0022, HU-16

57-0457, C-130

57-0493, C-130

62-4449, CT-39

141017, C-131

51-7906, T-29

59-0527, C-133

55-4505, C-123

50826 / CZ-826, R4D

HB-ILY, C-97

HB-ILY, C-97

52-1004, C-124

136468 / 7Y-197, S-2

49-0372, KB-50

53-0151, KC-97

N6328, N22

53-0554, EC-121

53-0151, KC-97

63-8057, EC-135

147227 / AA-011, E-1

135018 / AE-810, EA-1

53-2135, EB-47

N931NA, KC-135

The mighty BUFF

Three B-52s are on display in the museum. Besides a D- and G-model, the only existing NB-52A is part of this unique collection. The D-model (55-0067) is well known for its role in the Vietnam war. It is marked as “067 The Lone Star Lady” and operated out of Carswell AFB with the 7th BW. It was withdrawn from service November 1982!

The NB-52A (52-0003) also referred to as “The High and Mighty One” is unique as it was converted to carry the X-15 as launch aircraft. It was the last B-52A re-designated in 1959. A inner wing pylon was installed and additional fuel tanks were added, so the X-15 could be fueled just before launch. First flight with the X-15 was on 8 June 1959. It carried the X-15 on 93 of the 199 flights. Mission marking are visible on the nose. Horizontal markings show glide flights, diagonal show powered flights. NB-52B “Balls 8” took over in 1969.


52-0003, NB-52

52-0003, NB-52

55-0067, B-52

58-0183, B-52

58-0183, B-52

The G-model (58-0183), marked as “0183 Valkyrie” was operated by 2nd BW out of Barksdale AFB. This aircraft participated in Operation Secret Squirrel, the long-range B-52 cruise missile strike on targets in Iraq during the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm 1991. The bomber took off from Barksdale for a 35 hour non-stop mission in total secrecy.


N940NA, B377SG

N940NA, B377SG

N948NA, G-II

164607 / RX-607, C-9

48-614, VC-121

B-36 Peacemaker

The museum’s B-36J, 52-2827, was the last B-36 that rolled of the Forth Worth production line on 1 July 1954. It’s career was short lived as the aircraft was already retired in 1958! This because the jet engine bombers (B-47) took over and made the piston powered Peacemakers obsolete. After retirement it was put on display at Carter Field and then moved to Carswell AFB. It slowly deteriorated and in 1990 was moved, disassembled, indoors. The aircraft was designated for the B-36 Peacemaker museum. As the museum didn’t have resources, so it was moved to Pima.


52-2827, B-36

52-2827, B-36

52-2827, B-36

52-2827, B-36

52-2827, B-36

It is now fully restored as can be seen on the photo’s we took in 2009.


63-13141, UH-1

48-0548, H-5

52-7537, UH-19

147595 / 18, UH-25

56-2159, CH-21

1476, HH-3

58-1005, CH-37

1450, HH-52

139974, OH-43

64-13895, UH-1

69-16112, OH-58

N401FS, A-4

59-0003, F-106

61-0086 / RE, F-105

57-1323, F-104

56-1393, F-102

57-0282, F-101

54-1823 / LA, CF-100

56-0214, RF-101

160713 / AC-307, A-7

160713 / AC-307, A-7

142928 / NL-302, TA-4

149289 / GJ-315, RA-5

144426 / PP-984, F9F

51-1944, RF-84

64-0673 / FG, F-4

159241 / WF-14, AV-8

MiG Alley

The museum has an impressive line-up of 8 MiGs (7 when this report was made).

The Mig-15 and MiG-15UTI originated in the Polish Air Force. Acquired by the US Air Force in 1980 and flow by civil contractors from Kirtland AFB, NM. Around 1990 it was put into storage at David-Monthan.

The MiG-17PF is an Polish build Lim-5P serving with the 29th Fighter Regiment. In 1972 it was modified as Lim-6M with ground attack capabilities. Acquired by the US Air Force in 1988 it operated out of Kirtland.


53 blue, MiG-29

69 blue, MiG-21

1905, MiG-17

634 blue, MiG-17

038, Lim-2

822, MiG-15

0301, J-6

The MiG-19, is a Chinees build J-6A that served with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It was imported into the US in the 1990s and put on display at March Field Museum (MiG-19 at March, 2004), before moving to Pima. Its now repainted in Egyptian Air Force scheme.

The MiG-29 was built in the 1980s for the Soviet Air Force and assigned to the 86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment in Moldavia. After the Soviet Union broke up the aircraft stayed in Moldovia. In 1997 the United States purchased 21 of these aircraft, which were evaluated briefly before they were scrapped or handed over to museums.


66-0329, F-4

68-0033 / UH, F-111

55-0395 / JN, WB-66

61-2080, B-58

61-2080, B-58

55-4274 / JO, J-57

J-4035, Hunter

40+49, Alpha Jet

52-6563, F-84

155713 / NJ-562, A-6

72-0441 / FM, F-5

136810, TV-2

YF-4J


151497, YF-4

YF-4J, 151497, is one of three prototypes developed as an upgrade for US Navy’s F-4B. In 1964 tree B-types were modified with improved aerodynamics, engines and radar. Other systems were changed to improve ground attack capabilities. After the test program this factory fresh aircraft stayed with the Naval Air Testing Facility (NATF) at Lakehurst, New Jersey. It was put into storage at Davis-Monthan in 1975 and added to the museum collection in 1982. Over 500 J-versions were build between 1966 and 1972.


53-0965, F-86

53-1525, F-86

144427 / GF-29, DF-8

134748, F4D

47-1433, F-84

141121 / 3H-386, F9F

125183 / WL-25, F9F

143797 / 2N-517, F9F

61-0854 / HM, T-38

54-1366, TF-102

51-1944, RF-84

157050 / F-814, T-2

T-1 Seastar


144200, T-1

The T-1A (T2V-1) Seastar was a trainer based on the T-33. It had several improvement including a new motor and the instructors seat was raised for better visibility. The undercarriage was strengthened for carrier use. 1953 the first test flights were carried out, followed by operational service in 1957. The career of the Seastar was short lived as they were replaced by the T-2 Buckeye. Of the 150 aircraft build only two survive today, 144200 as seen in the museum and an airworthy T-1 (144735) out of Mesa Gateway airport, Arizona. As it’s not seen for years now, it’s currently probably stored in one of the Mesa hangars.


140481 / 2P-270, T-28

130361, YEA-3

155499 / ER-11, OV-10

68-6901, O-2

61-02724 / 32, OV-1

NC1634 (2-MJ-4), S-43

N61Y, B-23

68-18437, CH-54

64-17653 / AK, B-26

Z9592, Bolingbroke

49-2908, T-6

Indoors exhibitions


64-17951, SR-71

75-0298, A-10

160604 / NF-710, S-3

70-15985, AH-1

150155 / 08, SH-2

F-107A

The North American F-107 took part in a design competition during the 1950s for a new tactical fighter-bomber. The F-107 was based on the F-100 Super Sabre, with some considerable design changes, like to over-fuselage intake. 55-5118 was the first prototype, which first flew 10 September 1956. The competition was close, but the F-107 eventually lost to the F-105 Thunderchief.


55-5118, F-107

55-5118, F-107

55-5118, F-107

3 prototype aircraft were built of which 2 survive today. One at pima and one at the USAF museum in Dayton, Ohio.


69-18006, YO-3

41-7723, C-47

44-70016, B-29

44-77635, C-46

-, Ki-43

67-16381, OH-6

The museum also organizes guided tours to the next-door Boneyard. Be aware you need to make reservations for this tour upfront. Check the open_in_new museum website for details.

The museum is located on 6000 E Valencia Road, Tucson, Arizona. Take the Valencia road exit (267) on Interstate 10.

Inventory

(noted October 2009)

Serial Type Notes
70-0973 / AZA-7D162nd TFTW
58-6971VC-137B89th MAW
150511VP-3A
42-2438AT-7B
149067U-11A
58-2107U-3A
“XB-DUZ”RB-1Only one to fly operational
XB-GEYYC-125A
N462MMartin 4-0-4
N22SNVickers Viscount 744
56-3701U-8DUS Army
N1001USE-210Aero Service
N925NAWB-57FNASA
66-0329F-4E6510th TW, Edwards. Currently painted as Thunderbird “7”
C-123KUsed for parts
72-1873YC-14
N9995ZAF-2SAero Union, Tanker “21”
N13743C-119CHemet Valley Flying Service, Tanker “81”
N51701DC-7BT&G Aviation Inc
N14448P2V-7Black Hills Aviation, Tanker “08”
N182ZU-3A (Cessna 310A)United States Department of Agriculture
N3142DC-123KRyan Air Attack , Tanker “63”
53-0535EC-121HNot in collection anymore.
62-4200VC-140Used for parts. Graffiti object.
N90831L-049TWA - Trans World Airline
67-0013C-141B
N39TUBeech 2000A
WL790Shackleton AEW.2Now fully restored
CF-BKNBeech S18DPrairie Airways
N6000VBeech 18
NC14260L-10A
533D-21B
42-72488C-54D
61-2489VC-140B
57-1684VH-34CUS Army
53-3240VC-118A
160684 / NL-211F-14AVF-111
74-0118 / TYF-15A325th TFW
44-23006C-82A
62-4427 / WWF-105G
32757 / E-181PV-2USN
57-0457C-130A
51-0022HU-16A31st ARS
39213UC-45JUSN
57-0493C-130D
62-4449CT-39A
141017C-131FUSN
51-7906T-29BUSN
59-0527C-133B60th MAW
50826 / CZ-826R4D-8 (C-117D)US Marines
55-4505C-123BUSCG Miami
52-1004C-124C
HB-ILYC-97GBalair
135620AP-2HUSN VAH-21
136468 / 7Y-197S-2F
N931NAKC-135ANASA "Weightless Wonder V". Former 63-7998
53-0554EC-121T
49-0372KB-50J
53-0151KC-97G
N6328N22SUnited States Customs Service
63-8057EC-135J
147227 / AA-011E-1B
53-2135EB-47E
135018 / AE-810EA-1FUSN VAW-33
52-0003NB-52A
XL482Gannet AEW.3RAF
55-0067B-52D
52-6563F-84FThunderbirds
52-2827B-36J95th BW "City of Fort Worth"
N940NAB377SGNASA
N948NAG-IINASA
164607 / RX-607C-9BUSN VR-57
48-614VC-121A“Columbine”
145842TH-13N
232HO3S (H-5)USCG
48-0548H-5G6th ARS
52-7537UH-19B
147595 / 18UH-25CUSN
56-2159CH-21C
58-1005CH-37B
1476HH-3FUSCG
1450HH-52AUSCG
62-4531HH-43F
139974OH-43D (HOK-1)US Marines HMX-1
64-13895UH-1HUS Army medivac
69-16112OH-58A
N401FSA-4CFlight Systems Inc.
59-0003F-106A5th FIS
61-0086 / REF-105D44th TFS
57-1323F-104D
56-1393F-102A327th FIS
57-0282F-101B107th FIG New York ANG
54-1823 / LAF-100C
130361YEA-3AUSN
56-0214RF-101C
160713 / AC-307A-7EUSN VA-46
155499 / ER-11OV-10DUS Marines VMO-2
142928 / NL-302TA-4BUSN VA-153. Not in collection anymore?
149289 / GJ-315RA-5CUSN RVAH-3
144426 / PP-984F9F-8PUSN VFP-61
157050 / F-814T-2CUSN CTW-6
51-1944RF-84F
64-0673 / FGF-4C433rd TFS
53 blueMiG-29Russian AF
69 blueMiG-21PFRussian AF (Polish AF 2410)
1905MiG-17FDemocratic Republic of Vietnam Air Force (Polish AF)
634MiG-17PF (Lim-5P)Russian AF (Polish AF)
038MiG-15UTI (Lim-2SB)Polish AF
822MiG-15bis (Lim-2)DPRK AF (Polish AF)
0301J-6A (MiG-19PF)Egyptian Air Force (PLAAF)
68-0033 / UHF-111E77th TFS
55-0395 / JNWB-66D
61-2080B-58A
58-0183B-52G596th BS. Now fully restored.
55-4274 / JOJ-57E
72-0441 / FMF-5B482nd FW. Now repainted.
J-4035Hunter Mk.58Swiss AF
40+49Alpha Jet AGerman AF
155713 / NJ-562A-6EUSN VA-128. Now repainted.
XM694Gnat T.1RAF
124629 / LP-13F3D-2T2US Marines
51-5623F-94C354th FIS
136810TV-2 (T-33B)US Marines
53-2674F-89J449th FIS
151497YF-4JNATF
53-0965F-86L354th FIS
141824 / 5F-11ABlue Angels
3492 / AK-104F3H-2 (F-3B)USN VF-13
53-1525F-86H
139531 / 151FJ-4BUSN
144427 / GF-29DF-8AUSN VC-8
141121 / 3H-386F9F-8B (TAF-9J)USN VT-23
134748F4D-1 (F-6A)USN
47-1433F-84C33rd FG
45-8612P-80C
125183 / WL-25F9F-4US Marines VMF-311
143797 / 2N-517F9F-8T (TF-9J)USN VT-10
53-6145T-33A
57-2267 / OK-1T-37B
54-1366TF-102A525th FIS
61-0854 / HMT-38A3560th TW. Currently repainted white.
140481 / 2P-270T-28C
144200T-1AUSN
68-6901O-2A602nd TCW
61-02724 / 32OV-1CUS Army
NC1634 (2-MJ-4)S-43US Marines VMJ-2
68-18437CH-54A
64-17653 / AKB-26K56th SOW
Z9592Bolingbroke Mk.IVRCAF. Now fully restored.
80410 / WRF7F-3US Marines VMF-312
49-2908T-6GPainted as 117246
3397NA-64 (BT-14)RCAF, N4735G
42-42353BT-13ANow fully restored.
N88BLj-23
64-17951SR-71A
75-0298A-10A358th TFS
160604 / NF-710S-3BUSN VS-21
70-15985AH-1SArizona ANG
150155 / 08SH-2FUSN HSL-31
55-5118F-107A
122071 / RZPBM-5AUSN
69-18006YO-3AUS Army
44-44175B-24J
41-7723C-47
44-77635C-46
44-70016B-29
43-11727P-63E
Ki-43-IIBImperial Japanese Army Air Force cn 6430
43-22494A-26C
N54205XJL-1On of 2 flying prototypes
N61YB-23Great Lakes Carbon
67-16381OH-6AUS Army
49-0157 / 157C-119C
63-13141UH-1FPrototype of F type
159241 / WF-14AV-8CUS Marines VMA-513

Since the date we noted this inventory, the collection grew substantially. A summary of aircraft added since: C-27A, RC-12K, OH-58D, UH-1M, CH-46, B727-100, B737-300, B747-100, B777-200, B787-8, DC-10, Harrier GR3, GR5, Sea Harrier FA.2, Lightning, Spitfire, Viscount 744, Gazelle, Lynx, PBY-5A, Etendard, HU-25A, C-31A, F-16A, F-16B, EA-6B, TAV-8A, F-18A, MiG-23, Mi-24, Tornado, Jaguar, MH-53, SH-60, UH-60 and DF-8F.

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