Military Aviation Museum WWI collection

I saw a posting today that my favourite museum, The Military Aviation Museum of Virginia Beach, is closing.  I enjoyed their World War Two airshows and really hoped to see their World War One airshow this fall. Sadly the collection is being sold off.  This is what can happen when one person owns a museum.  I am glad the owner shared it with so many people while he had it. My heart goes out to all the volunteers who put their time and souls into this place and to all those who loved visiting the collection.

I am glad I made a point of taking many photos while I attended their last WW2 airshow.  At the museum their is/was a WW1 hangar built off of plans from The Great War.  The hangar housed a wonderful collection of WW1 replica aircraft.Image

Above is the ever famous Fokker DR.1 as seen through the gorgeous beams of the structure.  The DR.1 was made famous by Baron Von Richtofen, the Red Baron. Below is a view of an Avro  504K through the wings of another aircraft.Image

There also was a very interesting Model T Ford.  This vehicle was restored and was not a replica made by the museum. It was designed as a starter for the early aircraft.  Rather than have a man spin the propeller by hand, this vehicle drove up to the front of the aircraft and spun the propeller. An early and rather large starter!

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Another example in the collection was a recreation of a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter.  This was the first British aircraft with synchronised machine guns allowing the pilot to fire through the propeller without hitting it.  The Sopwith had two seats and could carry two bombs.

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My absolute favourite in the collection was the replica of a French Bleriot monoplane.  This plane was built by a group of enthusiasts in Spain.  Somewhere in my collection I have an original photo of a Bleriot flying over Paris early in World War One.

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ww107I am deeply saddened that I will not see their WW1 airshow now.  I am happy I have these photos to reminisce over though.  At least I had a chance to explore this beautiful collection.

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