Lately, it's been about planes. I had a nice tour of the Pima Air & Space Museum a few weeks ago and got a few shots of the B-36 Peacemaker that my father crew chiefed in the 1950s. Then I found myself at the Coolidge Municipal Airport last Saturday as they kicked off the first fly-in of the season. It was quite a display of aircraft, but a quick one. The pilots land, grab their pancake breakfast, chat and BS under the historic WWII-era hanger you see above, and are out of there by 10:30 am. One of the locals said that it was a better turn-out than he expected, but it would get even bigger as the cool weather settled in. I guess snowbirds don't just fly Winnebagos.
My dad had shares in a Piper Arrow in the 1960s, back when money was flush. It got less flush every time he flew to Las Vegas but I didn't care because I got to ride shotgun and land at the dirt strip in Seligman and hang around the casino lobby while adults did their thing which occasionally resulted in money pouring out of what looked like a very noisy Dalek. Dr. Who couldn't have been more happy than I.
Coolidge has seen some movie work over the years. Director Kathryn Bigelow--pre-The Hurt Locker--filmed scenes from Near Dark on its streets, and an AH1 Cobra had an extra hard landing (no injuries) near the airport while filming a speedy Corvette for Top Gear Korea. The airport wasn't exactly featured, but it did serve as the launch point for the scene in Furious 7 where five cars are dropped out of the back of a C-130. I don't think Arizona got a location credit for that one, but we made it happen.
The hanger was constructed in 1942 and is one of the few large, all-wood hangers remaining in the U.S. It has seen some restoration work (about seven years ago the cost of that restoration was pegged at $400,000), but the front could use a coat of paint. To this day there's only desert scrub and creosote around the airport, and it wouldn't take much to dress this as an Allied air support base or some cartel-owned, clandestine air strip in Delta Force IV.
Any takers? Justin Lin? Patty Jenkins? Chuck Norris?