The Pima Air Museum is an equal opportunity museum.
It has fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, experimental dreams, cargo planes, There are hangers staffed with volunteers and a large open field where aircraft have been retired from service. There are early primitive planes, and then more modern sleek riveted birds that fly higher, faster, quieter.
From the bomber’s seat in the nose of a B-52, tattooed with buxom women, the view was of an enemy city below. In his gun sights were manufacturing plants, bridges, military bases, railroad tracks, airstrips – strategic targets.
With the push of a button, the bombadeer dropped death in pill like packages, watched his bombs spiral towards Earth like wounded birds. Even war Hawks wearing dark sunglasses and listening to Metallica on headphones can hear the explosions, see fire and puffs of debris exploding in World War 2 Germany and Japan. From high in the clouds pilots could hear screams, see metal and stone ripping into people, tearing flesh.
Most plane lines on display in the museum are curved and angles are sharp. Rivets on the older planes were done by hand by women in California factories and a volunteer tells us how Los Angeles plants, in WW11, were turning out one B-52 bomber a day that were immediately put into the war’s service.
Old dreams of flying like birds have come true and old dreams of conquering the world haven’t gone away.
The next Caesar, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler is just around time’s bend.