The McChord Field WA Outdoor Air Park

By Russell Bucy

Being retired military, I frequently find myself at McChord Field, WA, and whenever I'm there I try to visit the Air Park on Heritage Hill, just above the active flight line. The display aircraft are in the open air, and you can walk right up and touch them - a model builder's paradise! The park comprises about 80% of the aircraft types that were ever stationed at McChord Field, back to the early 1940s. In some instances, visitors can get right inside the wheel wells and weapons bays, although the interiors have almost all been repainted in "interior green" where the original aircraft was airframe gray or natural aluminum. As a bonus, I've included a photo of the official USAF piping and wiring color chart found inside the wheel bay of the C-124. At one time, all the aircraft in the park had their electrical, hydraulic or oxygen lines painted with these small tape bands - a detail often overlooked by large scale modelers. The Air Park is about 50 minutes from Seattle, and 10 minutes from downtown Tacoma, WA, just off Interstate 5. It's just one of several excellent military and flight museums in the Puget Sound region. I highly recommend a visit, but you'll need to stop and get a pass at the main gate unless you have a military ID.

Hope you enjoy the tour!

© Russell Bucy 2017

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This article was published on Thursday, June 29 2017; Last modified on Thursday, June 29 2017