Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Oakland Aviation Museum


Yesterday I went to the Oakland Aviation Museum.  What an interesting place!

Oakland Aviation Museum, formerly called Western Aerospace Museum, was founded in 1981 as a non-profit organization operating an aviation museum located at North Field of Oakland International Airport  in Oakland, California.  It has over 30 vintage and modern airplanes, both civilian and military, and other displays that highlight noted aviators and innovators.

The Boeing School of Aeronautics was started here in this very spot where the museum is on September 16, 1929.  Incredible!  It was an entire school dedicated to training pilots, mechanics and other personnel specifically for Boeing Air Transport, the airline subsidiary of the Boeing Airplane Company.  The company chose a site at the Oakland Municipal Airport in California, the largest municipal airport in the United States at that time.

You can see more about this wonderful place here:

I took lots of pictures, but here are just two to get started.   The first picture was taken inside the building where there are many airplanes and information about all kinds of things related to aeronautics like Jimmy Doolittle who served as an officer in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War.  He earned the Medal of Honor for his valor and leadership as commander of the Doolittle Raid while a lieutenant colonel.  There’s a movie called Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo made in 1944 based on the true story of the Doolittle Raid.

The second picture is of a flying boat called the Solent III.   I have larger pictures of that which I will post later.  During its heyday in the late 1940’s, the Solent III would fly passengers from Southampton, England to Johannesburg, South Africa roundtrip for $1,400, the modern-day equivalent of $35,000.  There are three of these flying boats left in the world.

Window panes

Solent III "Flying Boat"

Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

30 thoughts on “Oakland Aviation Museum

  1. Nice images :aura, appreciate the sharing. MM 🍀

  2. The Doolittle raid features in another film that I just loved, “Pearl Harbour” oh what a movie… yes and of course that round trip would now be R 350 000 in our funny money…

  3. Two stunning images, both for their simplicity (a positive statement). The first is for the repeating shadows and light and dark contrasts. The second one is very minimalist. What I think really makes the image is the curving line from the top of the plane on the left to its tail. Great eye on both. Did you hand holding the camera on the first?

    • Thank you so much, Tim. I’m trying to expand my horizons beyond landscapes, so I appreciate the positive feedback. Regarding the first shot, I managed to hand-hold the camera and shot three bracketed photos to create an HDR image. Thank goodness for the align feature in Photomatix! 🙂

      • The museum looks like a great place to visit. Were there any restrictions on photographing beyond the normal, don’t climb on, etc.?

        • No restrictions oddly enough. And they have a day on March 23 and then on Father’s Day where you can sit in the cockpits of some of them. i can’t wait for that!

          • Those cockpit days sound like they would be fun. Many years ago I regularly sat in both the front and rear seats of a Phantom F4. Not to fly but repair. My last duty was as a flight deck trouble shooter for the aviation electricians shop as part of VF-33 aboard the USS Independence. A fascinating and somewhat dangerous job.
            Unfortunately, I’ll be in Taiwan for the March 23 event. I’ll be back for Father’s day. I’ll have to put it on my calendar. Before then I do want to visit. Since I really enjoyed the Air Museum in Tillamook, Oregon. That is housed in the blimp hanger and is made of wood. Here is a picture from the inside.

          • Ah no wonder you enjoy this post! Sounds like you had an interesting military job. Have you been to see the U.S.S. Hornet in Alameda? I loved that place too! My photo website has some pics from there. Look under the galleries “Ships” and “Flying Machines”

          • You have some nice images in the flying area. The 412 Corsair is my favorite. No I’ve not visited the Hornet. I’ve been aboard the USS Intrepid Museum in New York City. Once aboard you could have blindfolded me and I could have told you I was aboard a carrier. The smell. I’ll try to make a point of visiting the Hornet. The first carrier I was attached to, the USS America, is now a reef. The second, the USS Independence has been decommissioned. The Navy has also decommissioned VF-33. All thing pass into history. Some to be remembered and some not. Wow, I’m getting a bit nostalgic.

          • I’m glad you went down memory lane a bit. I’ve always loved airplanes and ships. The Hornet is amazing! Thanks for sharing some of your experiences. 🙂

          • Not to belabor the point, but. The Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum is the best in the country and a visit is mandatory if you like things that fly are mechanical and are heavier than air. If there is ever a chance to visit their underground storage facility, do so. It is mammoth and houses boats/ships, aircraft, missiles and other vehicles that is part of their collection, The general rule is a museum displays 10% of its collection. The rest is in storage The 412 image I liked the best was the close up.

          • Absolutely! I’ve been there and oh do I wish I had a camera when I was there which was hmm maybe 15 years ago. It is AMAZING!! I’d love to go again and have my hubby go too. He’s never seen it. Thanks for the reminder!

      • I really do like these two photos and I look forward to seeing more.

  4. That inside shot is a really nice study in perspective under challenging light conditions. Is there a bit of an HDR tweak here? It would be a great place to consider it!

  5. Now don’t get upset..please…I am more an archetypical type of person and thought the shot from inside was good but if there was nothing outside those windows? I think the coloring of the windows and the hanger alone would have made it perfect..(for my eye) again no disrespect.

  6. It looks like a wonderful museum, I love vintage aircraft. I will have to stop to see it next time I am in the bay area.

  7. Great shots Laura. I live the second one. My boys would love this place.

  8. Both images are great. I particularly like the second one for its abstract and graphic qualities.

  9. Such abstract pictures say so much! #Encompassing

    Awesome shots, once again Laura 🙂


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