Brad Causey
Brad Causey,
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Oklahoma
The Freedom Letter
v1n5
March ARB
7/21/2001
On Friday we went over to Moreno Valley and March Air Base. The base is still operational, but is now a reserve base. Hence the ARB designation, versus the AFB. During the cold war, the base had two squadrons of B-52's. Today it is the base for retrofitting the avionics on KC-135's. They also have a wing of C-141 cargo planes. For those not familiar with current military aircraft, a KC-135 is the military version of the Boeing 707 jetliner. They are used for in-flight refueling, troop transport, and reconnaissance. Although the airframes are from the late 50s and early 60's, they have been refitted with the newer fan jet engines, which are not only more fuel efficient, but are quieter and provide more thrust. C-141's (also known as the Starlifter) are a transport plane which fall in size between the C-130's (turboprop) and the very large C-5's. The 141 has the look of a compact C-5. Top mounted wings, fuselage very low to the ground, but with clamshell doors in the rear only. (C-5's have doors on both ends.)
On the freeway side of the base is the March Air Museum. They have an old WW2 era hangar which serves as headquarters. They have some displays, a few fighter size planes, and a gift shop inside. Most of the aircraft are outside. They have a good selection of "modern" aircraft. More than I can mention. Some very interesting examples: A B-52, KC-135, C-141, F-14, F-111, and a pair of F-4's. Some of the older stuff consist of a C-47 and a B-17. They also have an SR-71. I will not bore you with the details of the specific aircraft, except to say that the SR-71 is still the fastest plane ever flown. The example here flew from Washington DC, to Los Angeles in 64 minutes!
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