Pima Air and Space Museum Gallery

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By Rebecca Miller

I’ve lived in Tucson for almost four years, and I’ve been to the Pima County Air and Space Museum a couple of times. Chances are if you live in Southern Arizona you have too. When family comes in from out of town it is one of those places that they have to go to, and why wouldn’t you take them? The museum offers the experience of getting up close and personal to these giant beautiful structures that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

The only times I ever see planes are when I’m about to get in them or when they are 35,000 ft. up in the sky, which doesn’t resonate well with me since I’m scared of flying. Being this close to them, close enough to touch, compels me to take hundreds of pictures of planes at the museum, but after a while they all start to look the same.

Whether I take the picture from straight on, or from the side, after about 10 pictures they all start to lose their uniqueness. So I decided to spend a little more time at the museum than I normally would… and my experience changed completely.

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Details popped out that I didn’t notice before, like the tape used to cover the windows so light doesn’t get in. The underside of a wing where a small emblem is, even the name of the plane started to mean something different.

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The engines took on new interesting shapes when looking at them segregated from the rest of the plane. These parts seemed out of context, almost alien, and it became hard to place what they were.


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As my visit progressed on, the planes started to develop personalities of their own. Some appeared to have a smirk, or a big nose. Others, who had already been personalized with faces, looked like they were about to eat the small more vulnerable planes. It turned into a place where I almost felt like Alice in Wonderland, I became the size of an ant and my importance shrank compared to the size of the planes.


So next time family comes to visit, take them to the museum in a different mindset.  Think of it as an adventure. To explore every detail of the planes, and really look at the individual parts of the planes and understand all the small things that keep these giants in the sky. Interesting angles and perspectives will result in great pictures that are more than just the straight on plane pictures that everyone who goes to the museum has.

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