© 1997 Geoff Sobering, Non-commercial Use Allowed with Attribution, All Other Rights Reserved
The Florence Air and Missile Museum is a great place.
I ran into it quite unexpectedly on a business trip to Florence recently. I was quite surprised to see a Boeing Stratocruiser/C-97 aparently sitting in the airport parking lot. After getting my rental car I had to stop by and take a few photographs. This was especially interesting as I'd recently been quite disappointed at the pictures I was able to get of the B-47 at the Seattle Museum of Flight from behind a chain-link fence. Here was another B-47 I could walk right up to!
The museum has some indoor exhibits (including a great cut-away Pratt & Whitney 4360 4-row radial engine) but the majority of the exhibits are stored outside in a the yard around the museum building. Many of the planes are in pretty tough shape (the South Carolina sun is pretty unforgiving), but it's still a real treat to be able to walk up-to and around (and under!) a collection of aircraft like this. I'm really looking forward being able to visit again, this time with a bit more planning (photos from a second trip in July are in process of being put on-line).
The Florence museum has at least one other on-line reference. The folks at Flightline II have photos and great descriptive text of two visits they made to Florence.
C-97 - Military transport version of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser
B-47 - World's first swept-wing jet bomber.
Navy WV-2 - Lockheed Constellation Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Derivitive
Miscelanous Aircraft - Canberra Bomber, Grumman Albatross, P-80, and F-86