Castle Air Museum / by Brenda (Hartshorn) Licitra

I went down to Castle Air Museum to see the collection of aircraft they had on display and listened to my dad reminisce.  He worked as an air frames mechanic for the Navy during Vietnam, so he had some interesting stories.  My brother and I were introduced to planes at an early age by getting models from our local hobby shop and building them together.  I learned to appreciate that there were many parts that went into the jets and the beauty in them.

SR-71 Blackbird

The SR-71 Blackbird was one of the models that we had growing up and was my favorite. One glance at this jet and you can tell it must have been fast, the edges of the body were sharp, it was squat, but also long.  I was very amused to learn that it was in fact: too fast.  I can only imagine the reaction of the engineers learning this. The missiles that the SR-71 carried were almost as fast as the jet, therefore, it would be too dangerous to use as a bomber for risk of blowing itself up. Luckily, the jet was still able to be put to use for reconnaissance.


Castle had quite a few fighters, bombers, and carriers.  It was interesting to be able to walk up close, and even under some of them, to be able to see the difference in design and function.  I would recommend visiting if you find yourself near Modesto, CA.  From there, it is just a short detour to Atwater.