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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Updated:Caption:Daniel TerdimanPhoto:Public domain image by John T. Daniels
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.
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.