Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tennessee Museum of Aviation

In my previous post, I talked about a trip to the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee with Bob and Turbo. Little did we know that our destination airport, KGKT, had an aviation museum! After a fun weekend in the Smokys, we spent some time at the museum waiting for the weather to clear a bit more before heading home.

Upon entering, we asked if it was OK for Turbo to come in. They said it was fine as long as he stayed leashed and was carried if there were children around. There is even a resident 6 year old Jack Russell who stays by the front desk.

While Bob paid, Turbo and I explored the gift shop. There was lots of fun stuff, but most importantly, there was doggie flight suits! Yes, Turbo had to have one and not only did we buy it, we made him wear it throughout the museum! Poor pup. He puts up with so much.

You can go throughout the museum unguided, or have someone guide you for free. A super friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, Ron, walked around with us and gave us the insider scoop on many things within the museum.

The first section of the museum is full of history, museum visitors will be guided through a history of aviation military uniforms, see local mementos from wartime aviators and view a wall with a complete guide to aviation history. They are even in the process of starting a women in the military section. One another end is a layout of a B-17 panel and it window gives you a peek into the airplane hangar section of the museum. 

Notable planes in the hangar section are two P-47 Thunderbolts (in flying condition), a P-47 wreckage recovered from the ocean, an Albatross, a Gulfstream IV wing and a UH34 helicopter. Amazingly, all aircraft are owned by one gentleman (excluding his friend's Albatross) and his and his wife's vintage Corvette's were in the hangar.

We spent about 45 minutes in the museum checking everything out before having to depart. If you want to read all the history and have a full guided tour, I'd recommend allotting an hour and a half. All in all, it added another gem to our list of aviation museums to visit.

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