When we were planning our trip, Esther and I decided that we wanted to go to The Book Barn, a huge used book store. We knew that the men and boys in our family, for the most part, would not be interested, and would be bored waiting for us, so she looked online for other attractions in the area. She discovered that Ashburton has an Aviation Museum, and the website made it look and sound very interesting—and it didn’t cost too much, either. So, on the third day of our trip, we split up. Esther and I and Miss Joy went in one van to the book shop, and everyone else went in the other van to Ashburton. We met them there for lunch, after they had been at the museum for a couple of hours, and then we took a quick tour through, as well.
Before we got on the road, we had a look at a project our host family’s grandfather is working on. This is the empty tomb, built into a hillside, and on a hilltop nearby, he plans to erect three crosses. Inside the tomb, facing the empty place representing where Jesus’ body would have lain, will be a bench to sit on, and Christian literature.
Miss Joy fell asleep immediately after we left.The father of the man of the family with we had spent the night owns this church, the Church of the Open Door. It is not used for services anymore, but he maintains it as a place for people to come in and pray or meditate any time they want to. He comes every Sunday to clean it.
A close-up of the prickly pear around the front.
Inside the church.It’s always fun to see this giant fish when we got through Rakaia.
The museum! It is at the Ashburton airport. The museum occupies three hangers. This photo was taken from the top of the restored control tower.
Little Miss wanted to show me the hospital plane. It was what she was most fascinated with.
Inside was a stretcher and a place for an attendant to sit.
Little Miss under the DC-3.
Going inside the DC-3. This plane is fully operational, but it would cost a million dollars a day to pay for insurance to fly it.
The DC-3 was probably the one Elijah was most fascinated with.
Someone was amused at this sign. They didn’t think they wanted to have to be rescued!
This helicopter was used during the Korean War to transport wounded soldiers away from the front. A stretcher was strapped on to each side, on the outside, with a hood to protect the wounded man from the blast of air while flying. The helicopter’s tail is in another part of the room; it was too big to leave on.
A sprayer plane, used to spread fertilizer on hilly farms.This may have been the first plane ever flown. It was built at the same time as the Wright Brothers’ plane, and possibly flown first, but didn’t get the publicity theirs did.
The restored 1940s control tower. There was an airforce base near here during World War II.
Mr. Imagination’s favorite thing at the museum was this manual typewriter! He was fascinated by it.
We really enjoyed our visit to this museum. It was definitely worth spending time at! Two days a week, one of which happened to be the day we were there, volunteers come in to work on restoring the planes, and you can talk to them. The founder of the museum was there when we were, and Gayle and some of the boys spent a lot of time talking to him.
Here are a few seconds of video footage that Mr. Diligence got inside the larger hanger.
Dick Walhout says
I loved all of the pictures but especially that of the red and white Piper Cherokee. I learned to fly in one exactly like this one…even same color scheme back before I was married. I also liked the DC 3 as had some time flying one from Columbus OH to Lock Haven PA once back in the day. Thanks again for sharing.