Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hawaii with Kids: The Pacific Aviation Museum in Oahu

The Pacific Aviation Museum isn't a must-see in Oahu, certainly not like Pearl Harbor is, but if, while at Pearl Harbor, your kid gets super into World War 2 aircraft, which is certainly a possibility, or if they're already into flying and aircraft of all types, as Will is, then it's worth a visit.

It's hard to visualize the scope of the aircraft that were involved in World War 2. This, for instance, is a Japanese Zero, the type of plane that attacked Pearl Harbor. I was highly impressed by its aerodynamic engineering, and the machine gun on the nose that's timed to avoid shooting the plane's propellers: 

Models of the different types of Japanese torpedoes used in the Pearl Harbor attacks. Notice the wooden fins on the big one!
Between here and Pearl Harbor, we saw many different types of illustrations, models, and graphic organizers that explained the attack. The variety really improved everyone's understanding.
Inset in the floor is a diagram of the attack. You can follow the path of the Japanese planes to their various targets. Stomping upon the targets is tacky, but it does illustrate whole-body learning!
This is the B25b Mitchell, the type of aircraft used in the Doolittle Raid.
This is the actual wreckage of the Zero that ended up on Ni'ihau. I find this incident fascinating, as it's basically the reason why the US was so paranoid about Japanese-Americans. What they were so afraid of? It really happened here!
This is the Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, a type of fighter used during World War 2.
Here's another fighter, a Curtiss P-40E Warhawk.

F-111C Aardvark
Will REALLY wants to learn to fly. She was excited to see this Cessna, as this is what she'll one day learn on.
We bought neither of these items in the gift shop.
Anti-aircraft guns!!!

Mind you, this was an excellent addition to our World War 2 study, and Will, especially, really loved it, but it did take over half a day away from our limited time in Oahu--we didn't make it to either the Punchbowl or Diamond Head, sigh. For that reason, I skipped the other two World War 2-era museums on this campus--one on the submarine, and one on the battleship. Seriously, we could have spent our entire time in Oahu in World War 2 museums! Next time...

And that's our entire trip to Hawaii! Feel free to be relieved that I'm finally going to stop telling you all about it every single day. Instead, I'll just continue to reference it as often as possible!


Tina said...

And I was just thinking how awesome it was that I was still getting to "visit" Hawaii even though it's 22 degrees out.

I love that Will is interested in aircraft. If she has any questions about the C-130, that is the aircraft my hubby worked on when he was enlisted. The 130's he worked on ended up serving two purposes while he was stationed in Tucson. The first was ABCCC (Airborne Command and Control Center and the second was as airborne refuelers. The planes he worked on were the ones that would refuel the helicopters that I flew while I was enlisted.

julie said...

Oh, my gosh! That is so cool! Is Emma interested in aircraft, since she probably hears y'all talking about them all the time? Will is already looking forward to taking flying lessons at age 16 or so (although she wants to take glider flying lessons first, since I guess you can get a license for that younger than you can a pilot's license?). I *was* going to buy her a really great flight simulator for the pc, but I've decided that I've already thrown enough money at Christmas this year (already!!!), and so that is going to wait for her birthday.