Troop 21 - St Joseph, MO
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Troop 21 - St Joseph, MO

Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2015...

Blackbird Fly

Ashland, Nebraska.  November 15th found Troop 21 and a few from Crew in Nebraska at the Strategic Air and Space Museum. The museum is located just southwest of Omaha in Ashland, Nebraska near Offutt Air Base. The museum has historic aircraft, missiles and space vehicles. 
 
Upon arrival we went straight into the auditorium where there was a presentation on the physics of flight. Physics you say? Don't worry it wasn't a "drag"! (literally learned about aerodynamic lift and drag).   We then went on a narrated tour of many of the military planes on exhibit. We also got to go through one of the planes. An impromptu quiz was given on the military's alphabetic code, of which Mr. Tonie knew all the answers!  
BRAVO - romeo - alpha - victor - oscar
From there we went into a room where we used maps to practice areal map reading and VFR (Visual Flight Reference).  Next we went to yet another activity of making paper airplanes.  Afterwards we launched them from the second story. It was a sight to see the paper planes gliding through the air (some nose diving) and coming to rest at the landing gear of the jets.
 
Before we even knew it was time to prepare for sleep. The boys rolled out their bags underneath the Blackbird! The Blackbird is a long range strategic reconnaissance aircraft that flies at Mach 3+ at up to 80,000 feet! It was designed to outfly a surface to air missile!  "That's totally FLY!"
 
Waking underneath the Blackbird and rising to a breakfast of donuts next to airplanes was how the day began. Because our group was amongst the best groups we got dibs on seconds. Jelly got double the jelly! 
 
Afterwards we were allowed to walk around on our own and look at the remaining exhibits. Many played at the special football exhibit where one could test their balance, strength and accuracy. Some were lucky enough to see a plane being parked in the hangar. We all seemed to congregate eventually in the play area as we waited for the gift shop to open and enjoyed our time together as a group. After everyone spent a portion or all of their money at the gift shop we took a group photo under the Blackbird before we left. 
 
With the temperature being quite mild we opted on taking advantage of the two state parks very near the museum. Platte River State is literally just around the corner. It has two observation towers, the taller of the two rising 85 feet from it's base. Mahoney State Park also has a lookout tower that is 70 feet tall.
The towers provided outstanding views of the river below(That is if your eyes were open and not closed out of fear!) They also provided some unexpected fun and adrenaline as with the winds that day the towers very noticeably swayed! 
With photo opps taken and time to appreciate the scenery we moved on through the park. Who can resist a teeter totter, Merry-go-round or open space to throw a ball? Not our group. We made time for play! 
 
Afterwards we jumped back in the vehicles to head home, with a lunch break at Taco Juan's on the way. We arrived back to St. Joseph with some newly gained knowledge of aviation and appreciation of and for our fun overnight at The Strategic Air and Space Museum and the unique opportunity to earn the Aviation Merit badge.

  

Gracia Pinzino

Media Coordinator / Committee Member

Troop 21

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