Several years ago, I was out in Kansas visiting my brother and his wife; my parents were also visiting. We went down to Hutchinson one afternoon to visit the Cosmosphere. I enjoyed the museum, even though the space program or space travel isn’t something I’m overly interested in.
What I really enjoyed was the planetarium presentation; and I thought my daughter would like it. When we planned to spend the week over Christmas with my brother, I knew I wanted to revisit the Cosmosphere — all our previous trips out there have been too short.
The kiddo, predictbly, was not very interested in the museum; but did like the actual SR-71 Blackbird (#17961) they have in the lobby. (She also like the planetarium presentation).
It’s not easy to get photos of this plane; it’s massive. I was using the wide-angle lens on my mobile phone to get these.
I’m not the only railfan in the family. My 2-year old nephew also likes trains, and his uncle Matt had — what must’ve seemed to him — an unlimited number of pictures and videos of trains. In reality, he only watched the same videos over and over.
Late one afternoon, we shot down to Newton. I would love to catch photos of BNSF hauling Boeing 737 fuselages from Wichita, and I suspect they go through Newton. I’m not sure on that; but I definitely knew I wasn’t familiar with the town, so though I didn’t expect to see much and it was getting late, we headed down there. I got off the freeway after I spotted some tracks, and was nearly immediately rewarded with BNSF 7443 at the head of an intermodal. BNSF 7443 is a GE ES44DC.
My awesome daughter got some new videos for her cousin too, who enjoyed them…. over and over and over.
We spent the week of Christmas in central Kansas with my brother and his family. Not only did we take advantage of their hospitality, we took the opportunity to use their place as a jumping off point for some exploring.
We arrived in Wichita with no plan. Over lunch we were checking the web for things to do, and came across the Kansas Avaiation Museum.
I was stoked to find this Boeing 727 was a part of the museum. Out of all the old commercial airplanes, the 727 is my favorite — and I’m actually pleased to have flown on one before they were retired.
But the awesome just kept on coming. Wichita is the home of a lot of aviation history including Stearman, Hawker, Beechcraft and Cessna. Boeing builds 737 fuselages there as well as parts of the 787 Dreamliner.
The museum has a great display of the history of Beechcraft and Cessna, as well as a really great collection of planes. In addition to the 727, they have a B-52, a KC-135, and a 737.
It was hands-numbingly cold the day we went, and I didn’t have the fortitude to stand in the cold and take pictures for more than a few minutes. But I’d eagerly recommend this place to any aviation nut.