National Naval Aviation Museum

National Naval Aviation Museum - RA-5C Vigilante

On the third day of the 2010 edition of the Phantom Conference we were bused to Naval Air Station Pensacola and after a morning visit to see some of the flying operations the afternoon was spent at the National Naval Aviation Museum.  The museum has an incredible collection of beautifully restored aircraft from a replica of the Navy's first airplane, the A-1 Triad, to the Navy's most famous plane, the F-14D Tomcat, and finally the Navy's most important plane, the SBD-2 Dauntless.  In fact, the Dauntless on display at the museum is not only a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but it is the lone remaining airplane to have participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942, returning from the mission with over 200 bullet holes in its fuselage.

Having enjoyed all of the well maintained history inside the museum on a recent visit, we headed to the outdoor ramp behind the main buildings, where dozens of aircraft are gathered in various states of preservation.  These photos have been separated from the Phancon 2010 gallery so they may be enjoyed as an independent collection.