From Doomsday plane to Frank Lloyd Wright: The best of Road Trip 2013 (pictures)

For five weeks this summer, CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman toured the Midwest, visiting some of the region's most interesting and important locations. Here's a look back at 5,200 miles of reporting.

Daniel Terdiman
1 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Doomsday plane

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb.--If America ever found itself in a nuclear crisis, it's a sure bet that its senior military leaders would climb aboard this Boeing 747-200, or one of three identical to it, in order to conduct operations safely from the skies.

Known as the National Airborne Operations Center -- or, colloquially, the Doomsday Plane -- this was one of the two dozen stops that CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman made during Road Trip 2013.

Over the course of five weeks -- and about 5,200 miles -- Terdiman criss-crossed the U.S. Midwest, visiting Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, and passing through Iowa.

2 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Frank Lloyd Wright's SC Johnson headquarters

Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright didn't just design houses. He also sometimes did institutional buildings, like the masterful SC Johnson headquarters in Racine, Wis., which features the iconic Great Workroom, seen here.

3 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

B-2 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

There is no larger exhibition of military aircraft than the National Museum of the United States Air Force, in Dayton, Ohio. Featuring hundreds of planes from more than a century of aviation, the museum includes many famous aircraft, such as this B-2 bomber.

4 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Making Abrams tanks

For decades, the U.S. Army's tank of choice has been the Abrams. Each and every one of those tanks is made in a giant factory in Lima, Ohio. CNET Road Trip 2013 got an inside look at how Abrams tanks are made.

5 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

City Museum

Though it's called the City Museum, this incredible fun house full of tunnels and trapdoors, halls of mirrors, and slides is one of St. Louis' most popular destinations. And it's hardly a museum at all.

6 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Goodyear's zeppelin

For decades, Goodyear has flown blimps over America's most important sporting events. Now, the tire giant is getting ready to move to a new generation of airships, known as Zeppelins. CNET Road Trip 2013 got a rare look at the construction of Goodyear's first Zeppelin. But the company will still call them blimps.

7 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Robie House

Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than 500 building in his career. There are few more famous than Robie House, located at the University of Chicago.

8 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Bailey Yard

The world's largest train yard isn't in a major city like Chicago or Denver. It's Bailey Yard, run by Union Pacific, in North Platte, Neb.

9 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Restoring the Memphis Belle

During the early days of World War II, American morale was low because our bombers were getting shot down at a frightening pace. But a plane called the Memphis Belle made headlines across the country by successfully completing 25 missions. Now, the plane is being fully restored at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

10 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET


It may sound like the Jetsons, but anyone wanting to see a real-life production flying car had only to go to the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wis. to see the Terrafugia in action. CNET Road Trip 2013 got a chance to see the flying car.

11 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET


For decades, Frank Lloyd Wright made his eastern home and office at the famous

12 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Repairing Lionel trains

Anyone who is interested in model trains knows that Lionel makes some of the best and most well-known in the world. But even those trains break down, and when they do, they're usually repaired at one facility in Canfield, Ohio.

13 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Blue Waters

Last March, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications launched Blue Waters, one of the world's most powerful supercomputers. CNET Road Trip 2013 stopped by the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana's National Petascale Computing Facility to see Blue Waters up close.

14 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Heurley House

The neighborhood of Oak Park, Ill. is packed with Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces, like this one, known as Heurtley House.

15 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Home and Studio

Frank Lloyd Wright made his home and professional studio in Oak Park, Ill., for years, until 1909, when he ran away with the wife of a local client.

16 of 23 Public domain image by John T. Daniels

Wright Brothers in Dayton

Anyone interested in the history of aviation has to make a stop in Dayton, Ohio, where the National Park Service maintains the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park, which celebrates the Wright Brothers' becoming (generally regarded as) the first to successfully fly an airplane.

17 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Goodyear's racing tires

Ever wonder how a racing tire is made? Goodyear makes every tire for Nascar, and CNET Road Trip 2013 saw the entire lifecycle of the tires, from production to being used at the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motorspeedway.

18 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

The 'Bean'

One of Chicago's most popular attractions is artist Anish Kappor's masterpiece, "Cloud Gate," known as "The Bean."

19 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Goodyear blimp

Although Goodyear is moving from blimps to zeppelins, it still flies three blimps around the United States, including from its airship operations headquarters at Wingfoot Lake, outside Akron, Ohio.

20 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Nascar technology

Nascar racing may be mainly about the skill of the drivers, but there's plenty of technology involved with Nascar racing, too.

21 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Chicago Pile-1

The real birthplace of the nuclear weapon was known as Chicago Pile-1, which was the world's first nuclear reactor, built under the football stands at the University of Chicago. Now, a memorial is all that is left.

22 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

U.S. Strategic Command

One of the most important -- and far-reaching -- organizations in the United States military is the U.S. Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base, outside Omaha, Neb.

23 of 23 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Batman suit

Superhero fans would be well advised to visit the Hall of Heroes Super Hero Museum, in Elkhart, Ind.

More Galleries

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
Take a Look at Apple's iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: New Colors, Prices and More
iphone 15 in different color from an angled view

Take a Look at Apple's iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: New Colors, Prices and More

19 Photos
I Got an Early Look at Intel's Glass Packaging Tech for Faster Chips
Rahul Manepalli, right, Intel's module engineering leader, shows a glass substrate panel before it's sliced into the small rectangles that will be bonded to the undersides of hundreds of test processors. The technology, shown here at Intel's CH8 facility in Chandler, Arizona, stands to improve performance and power consumption of advanced processors arriving later this decade. Glass substrates should permit physically larger processors comprised of several small "chiplets" for AI and data center work, but Intel expects they'll trickle down to PCs, too.

I Got an Early Look at Intel's Glass Packaging Tech for Faster Chips

20 Photos
Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winners Reveal Our Stunning Universe

Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winners Reveal Our Stunning Universe

16 Photos
Check Out the iPhone 15's New Camera in Action
A photo of a silhouette of buildings on the water taken on the iPhone 15

Check Out the iPhone 15's New Camera in Action

12 Photos
Take a Closer Look at the iOS Settings You Should Change Right Now
A smart man holding an iPhone 14 Pro Max

Take a Closer Look at the iOS Settings You Should Change Right Now

10 Photos
Disney Treasure Cruise Ship: Bookings Now Open for $9K+ Maiden Voyage

Disney Treasure Cruise Ship: Bookings Now Open for $9K+ Maiden Voyage

16 Photos