City of Surprises: Wichita

I’m having a blast on my solo flying adventure. On this spur of the moment trip I forced myself to not plan anything – nada – nothing! For once I wanted to keep all my options open and just see what happens. In real life I’m the queen of structure and organization and if I need a vacation from anything, it’s that.

Today I’m in Wichita, Kansas, a lovely, unexpected surprise of a town. I admit to not knowing it’s the “Air Capitol of the World”. Seriously, it is! Don’t quote me on numbers but a couple dozen aircraft manufacturers began life here. In the 1920s and 1930s, when Wichita was flush with oil money and dreamy airplane builders with big ideas needed cash, they came to Wichita; Beech, Cessna, Stearman, Swallow, Travel Air are the tip of that iceberg.

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960c40bdcae0e757a0364382099d9c2dCome for the Art Deco

I had the enormous pleasure of visiting the Kansas Aviation Museum and couldn’t have been more excited about what I discovered.
imageThe museum is located in the former terminal building and tower of the Wichita Municipal Airport. It’s a beautiful example of Art Deco and the exterior remains intact. The building seems to have withstood the urge for renovation with the exception of interior restrooms and office areas.
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The ceiling throughout the first and second floor have this colorful, albeit peeling burst of pink/blue/orange graphic design all over.

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Of course the fabulous building is just there to whet your appetite for what you’re about to see inside.

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Laird Swallow

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C6191 Wichita Swallow

The museum can only get so many aircraft inside their museum but not to worry, they have ramp space to spare. I got the inside tour of this KC-135.

The museum only has room for so many aircraft inside but not to worry, they have ramp space to spare. I got the inside tour of this KC-135E Stratotanker.

Thanks to these fine gents who hoisted me aboard, I was able to get the top to bottom personal tour.

It’s a secret, but thanks to these fine gents working on it who hoisted me aboard, I was able to get inside for a special peek.

To my friend Billy Werth, who flies one of these refueling tankers , you are awesome!

To my friend Billy Werth, who flies one of these refueling tankers , you are awesome!

I took my spot here imagining myself lining up the refueling boom. The gentleman who tried to snap my picture dropped my camera in a hole in the depths. Thank goodness we were able to dig it out!

I took my spot here imagining myself lining up the refueling boom. The gentleman who tried to snap my picture dropped my camera in a hole in the depths. Thank goodness we were able to dig it out!

I'm guessing the interior of a KC-135 hasn't changed much over the years.

I’m guessing the interior of a KC-135 hasn’t changed much over the years.

I have to say, my Tuesday in Wichita was pretty fantastic. The Kansas Aviation Museum was awesome and you really should visit if you haven’t already.

Next, my Lear Jet simulator flight training with Jerry Griggs at Flight Safety and tomorrow’s meet up with Sarah Dickerson at some wild and crazy grass strip in Missouri!! I am one lucky chick!!

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