Archive for May, 2011

Panoramic photo by Zoran Strajin.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

This article is a guest post by David Mariotti. Panorama photo credits by the author.

Visitors to the Presidential Gallery hanger at the Air Force Museum must register and show identification before they can board a shuttle bus to the gallery, which is in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Once in the hanger, cameras can come out for only about 45 minutes. But, during that time, one is free to roam about and take pictures anywhere in the hangar.

This Douglas VC-54C airplane flew Franklin Roosevelt to Yalta to meet with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. The conference was held at the Livadia Palace from February 2nd to the 11th, 1945. The VC-54C was a modified C-54 (complete with elevator for the disabled president), the military equivalent of the civilian airliner, the DC-4. With four engines of 1450 horsepower each, the VC-54C cruised at 245 miles per hour. I don’t know the exact route the flight took, but I assume it went from Washington to Gander, Newfoundland, refueled, then went on to Shannon, Ireland. From there, it probably refueled at least one more time before landing at Yalta. One thing is sure: at 245 mph, it took a long time to fly 5300-plus miles.

The trip took its toll on Roosevelt’s already-declining health. Film of his March 1st, 1945, speech to Congress show a frail looking Roosevelt giving the speech while seated, a speaking position he often avoided, according to historians, in an effort to not appear disabled. Churchill’s personal physician was aware that Roosevelt was suffering from “hardening of the arteries of the brain,” during the conference, but the specifics of how Churchill’s doctor would have arrived at this diagnosis are not clear. At the end of March, he took a trip to Warm Springs, Georgia, where he died on April 12, while posing for a portrait artist–and significantly, while also in the company of his former mistress, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd–a meeting that was arranged by Roosevelt’s daughter.

In this picture, taken near the tail of Roosevelt’s plane and in front of the port wing of the Boeing 707, Roosevelt’s elevator can be seen beneath the VC-54C fuselage.

As I mentioned above, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, the former summer residence of Czar Nicholas II. One of my fellow photographers, Dmitry Sverdlov, has posted these wonderful pictures.

In this next picture, you are looking into the engine of the Boeing 707 that was first used by President Kennedy, then later by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. It was on this plane that Vice-President Lyndon Johnson took the Presidential Oath after the assassination of John Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Also of note was the trip President Nixon took to China in 1972 and the fact that this is the first plane that carried the designation, Air Force One.

The DC-6 (rotating to the left from the engine of the 707) is the Independence, which was used by President Truman. I assume the name, Independence, came from Truman’s home in Independence, Missouri. The slightly elevated floor bordered in yellow is a giant scale for aircraft.

President Eisenhower’s adopted home state was Colorado, and since the Columbine is the state flower of Colorado, Mrs. Eisenhower christened the modified Lockheed Super Constellation, Columbine III. The plane was used from 1954 to 1961 and remained in service after President Kennedy began flying aboard Air Force One.

The Air Force Museum is a fascinating place to visit. There’s no admission fee, and you have the freedom to wander around, whether you are taking panoramas or just walking among the displays. All planes are in excellent condition and most are historically significant. There are also many personal items on display that reveal much about people who were caught up in the events of their time, from Bob-Hope memorabilia to cartoons to flight-jacket art. For me, the most novel display was the story of Vittles, the boxer (dog!), who flew over 100 missions during the Berlin Airlift.

Air Force Museum, Famous Airplanes

B-17 Bomber, Shoo Shoo Shoo BABY

B -24

B-24, Tail Guns

V-2, C-47, V-1, and B-17

B-29 Bomber, Bockscar 1

B-29 Bomber, Bockscar 2

B-36, Cold War Gallery

B-36, Bomb Bay

B-36 Bomber, below camera window

Area around B-1

It is not over yet! We’ve managed to find much more great panoramas for yet another Editors’ Pick blog post. See also part 1part 2 and part 3. Click the images to open interactive versions.

Photo credits by Ruediger Kottmann – Jan Koehn – Mark Weber – kobashi – Hamnoy Yoshi.JP – Tomasz Makarewicz – Andrei Zdetoveţchi – Mario Gaetano Brucculeri – Tanja Barnes – Marek Kosiba – David Takáč – Sven Fennema – Jonas Carlson Almqvist.

In an effort to continue to help keep people informed about the extent of the tragedy that has recently struck Japan, Google Earth has added panorama photos of post-earthquake zones. These photos come from 360cities and can be found in the “Photos” layer in Google Earth, along with other 360cities and Panoramio photos. These dramatic panorama photos are part of the work of photographer, Akila Ninomiya.

Read the full blog post on Google Lat Long Blog

Panoramic photo by Martin Hertel.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

Sunny day at skihut on top of the Zillertal-mountains

This is the last part of editors’ picks for April 2011. See also part 1 and part 2. Click the images to open interactive versions.

360° sphere photos by David WaldoIgor AdamecMarijan Marijanovic – Arroz Marisco – Arroz Marisco – Andy Bryant.