Behind-the-scenes airport tour: DC-3s, military transports and more

Listen up airline junkies: Would you say "no" to an offer of a behind-the-scenes tour of four airports in one day?

PHOTO GALLERY: A behind-the-scenes tour of four Florida airports

Neither would I, so I jumped at the chance to do just that when the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) offered me that opportunity earlier this year.

During my visit this past spring, I saw everything from a massive C-5 military transport to tiny ultra-lights and gliders on my 11-hour tour of JAA's four airports, which range from the commercial-passenger-service-oriented Jacksonville International to the laid-back Herlong Recreation Airport.

My personal favorite from the tour: A DC-3 that flew during D-Day before entering commercial passenger service for Air France and later Pan Am.

Wish you could have tagged along? You can check out my behind-the-scenes tour of Jacksonville's airports for yourself via this photo gallery.

The photos span a wide range, but here's what you generally can expect. The first 20 photos are from Jacksonville International Airport -- the city's main airport for commercial airline flights and the one that's most-likely to be most recognizable to the general public.

Up next are 11 photos from Jacksonville's sprawling Cecil Airport, where you'll see everything from MD-80s being modified for new operator Allegiant to massive military transport planes.

The next 21 photos are from the recreation-oriented Herlong Recreational Airport, home to the D-Day era DC-3. Be sure to click through to the final 16 photos for a look at Jacksonville's executive "JAXEX" airport, which includes an 18-hole course among its amenities.



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