Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Udvar-Hazy Center

Christmas 2006, my husband, son, and I went to visit my brother in the Washington, D.C. area. We did as many touristy things as we could squeeze into 10 days, but one of the most enjoyable was going to the new Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Located right next to Dulles Airport, it was built to display many of the aircraft that could not be displayed in the original building on Capitol Mall. It is an ENORMOUS 10 story high airplane hangar with hundreds of planes displayed at all different levels.

This is the first view after you go in and walk up a long ramp. I was really excited! An SR-71 Blackbird! I've only ever seen one of these once before! Hey! What's that in the backgr....??? Oops, I got distracted by THIS! A B-29 Superfortress! And not just any old B-29 Superfortress. It's the Enola Gay. The plane that helped end World War II. It's so big, I couldn't get far enough away to get it all in.
Then I looked over my shoulder. Is that a Concorde in the distance? Yep. And in the foreground is the famous Boeing Dash 80, the 1954 prototype for the KC-135 and the 707.
And the gondola of the Double Eagle II, which in 1978 became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic.
One of their most recent acquisitions - The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer...The record breaking plane in which Steve Fossett flew around the world in 2005 AND 2006.Unfortunately, Steve Fossett was declared legally dead on February 15 after going missing while flying a small plane last September.

I was disappointed that I couldn't get a good photograph of the Gossamer Albatross - in 1979 it was the first human powered aircraft to cross the English Channel.

We finally got around to the room behind the SR-71 that caught my attention when we first came in...(cue Also Sprach Zarathustra)

The Space Shuttle Enterprise. Those shuttles always looked so much smaller on Star Trek.Can you spot Bill trying to look nonchalant?

1 comment:

Mr Farty said...

I just hope to FSM that my future son-in-law never sees this post, he'd wet himself with excitement!

v nice.