This morning, I took a trip to the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, GA. The trip is always a combined museum trip and radio trip; I like to monitor Robins AFB and other military aviation communications while I’m there and on the road.
I try to make the trip to the museum several times a year, but I hadn’t been in awhile. On this visit, I found some of the aircraft were moved around and several were looking in much better shape than previous. The F-111 has been moved inside and is in excellent condition. The F-4 is currently undergoing renovation and is in the back of Hangar 3. Although they are outside, the F-150G and B-52 are looking very good as well; it appears that the F-105G has been recently repainted. The F-104 is also outside but looking quite good. I was talking with one of the museum volunteers and it sounds like the B-29 restoration is almost complete; it only looked like a side window was missing. He also said the museum is in the process of looking for a B-17. It also sounds like the museum may be thinning their aircraft collection a bit in an effort to cut costs due to Air Force budget cuts. If you visit, make sure you drop a donation in the donation boxes inside the front entrance; this is a great museum and due to it being operated by the Air Force, they can’t charge admission. Donations help keep the aircraft maintained and the museum operating.
Here are some photos I took while I was at the museum. These represent just the tip of the iceberg of the museum’s collection. These just happen to be some of my favorites. Photography can be hard inside the museum if you don’t have a proper flash and my camera certainly falls into that category. Some are a little dark, but I hope you enjoy them.
Monitoring During the Trip
I didn’t hear a lot during the trip but what I did hear was fun to listen to. The trip back home in early afternoon was much more productive than the trip up in the early morning. No surprise there; of course you’re going to hear more between 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM than you will from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
The trip up yielded very little. I was using the Uniden Home Patrol to scan public safety on the way up. It worked pretty good until I got up to the Warner Robins area; when I set it up to scan the Warner Robins area, for some reason it didn’t select the Houston/Peach County TRS, only conventional frequencies in Houston County. Up until I turned off on the exit for GA 358 from I-16 and started hearing the Robins AFB I hadn’t heard any MilCom. When I got to the museum, I set up the Uniden BCD396XT to search the Robins AFB TRS with ID Tracker III (this will be the subject of a later blog post).
Using the BCD396XT for ID Tracker meant that I didn’t carry a scanner to monitor the Robins ATC frequency while I was touring the museum so I didn’t catch anything that came or went while I was at the museum. Just as I left PEACH 33, an E-8C JSTARS took off and checked off with PEACHTREE OPS on 293.525. Shortly afterwards I began hearing ROGUE 01, an F-15 at Robins ALC for depot level maintenance on the ALC ops frequency 225.925. Not long after getting on I-16 eastbound back to Savannah I began hearing FALCON 01-06 flight, F-16s from the 79th FS at Shaw AFB operating in the Bulldog MOA on 343.750 and using 141.150 for air to air. Closer to Savannah, the range control frequency at Townsend Range, 228.400, burst alive with at least three flights of A-10s from Moody AFB. CLAW 01/02 using 140.200 for air-to-air, DUDE 01/VIKING 02 using 142.125 for air-to-air, and VIKING 01/DUDE 02 using 143.600 for air-to-air were heard.
The only public safety activity worth passing along were some fires that Georgia Forestry was working in the areas of Exit 83 on I-16 and Stillmore, GA. Communications from units working the fires were heard on 159.390 and 159.225.
As always, it was a great trip. If you’re at all interested in aviation, this is a museum that you should see. It’s open from 9 AM – 5 PM every day except for a few holidays. There is plenty to see including some displays oriented towards kids.