Park closed for spring clean­ing

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE -

PALM­DALE — Cool, sunny days may seem like a per­fect time to visit Black­bird Air­park in Palm­dale, but vis­i­tors will have to wait a cou­ple weeks to make the trek.

The park, a satel­lite of the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Ed­wards Air Force Base, will be closed the next two week­ends, while vol­un­teers take on some early spring clean­ing and re­or­ga­ni­za­tion tasks to up­date the pop­u­lar site.

The park will be closed from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 and from Feb. 7-9.

It will re­open for vis­i­tors on Feb. 14 — in time to take your sweet­heart there.

Op­er­ated by the non­profit Flight Test His­tor­i­cal Foun­da­tion and with vol­un­teer do­cents serv­ing as hosts, the air­park fea­tures the only dis­play of one of the famed SR-71 Black­bird re­con­nais­sance planes with one of its pre­de­ces­sors, the A-12.

The fa­mil­iar Black­birds can be seen along­side another re­con­nais­sance air­craft, an early U-2 spy plane, the kind made fa­mous when the Sovi­ets shot down pi­lot Fran­cis Gary Pow­ers in 1960.

Next door, the air­plane dis­plays con­tinue at the Joe Davies Her­itage Air­park at Palm­dale Plant 42.

Op­er­ated by the city of Palm­dale, it com­mem­o­rates the myr­iad air­craft that have been de­signed and built at this Air Force site.

The dis­plays in­clude an F-86 Sabre, F-100 Su­per Sabre, F-104 Starfighte­r, F-105 Thun­der­chief, A-4C Sky­hawk, F-4 Phan­tom, A-7 Cor­sair, F-5 Tiger, F-101 Voodoo and F-14 Tom­cat.

There’s also a C-140 that once saw duty for NASA, a T-38 Talon, a trainer re­lated to the F-5 fighter; a B-52 bomber and a Burt Ru­tan-de­signed Tri­umph.

The most re­cent ad­di­tion is one of two mod­i­fied 747 air­lin­ers used by NASA to ferry the space shut­tle fleet. Along­side the re­stored air­craft is a scale model of the B-2 stealth bomber, ap­pear­ing as if in flight.

Black­bird Air­park, at 25th Street East and Av­enue P in Palm­dale, is reg­u­larly open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri­day through Sun­day.

Ad­mis­sion and park­ing are free.

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