Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm back from Virginia

Here is my birthday girl, Kara. She turned 5 on July 22. She put on this special dress for her birthday because her daddy had picked it out just for her. I think my son is wonderful!! I think my granddaughter is beautiful! She had a wonderful birthday!Last Saturday was my son's birthday and he wanted to visit the Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. You can visit their website here: http://www.nasm.si.edu/UdvarHazy/. This place is gynormous! Huge! Beyond my expectations! In fact, I think it is a better display of aircraft than the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in DC.
Here is the outside of the building that houses all the aircraft. The tower is accessible and from the top you can see the planes taking off from Dulles International Airport and hear the conversation between the tower at Dulles and the pilot of the plane.
Inside is the actual Enola Gay that was flown back in August 1945 over Heroshima, Japan. I listened to a talk given by one of the museum personnel. This plane was the first ever to have cabin pressure in the cockpit, the midsection of the plane and in the tail gunner's perch at the back of the plane. It was also not painted but left the chrome color to save weight. The specs on this plane were that it had to carry a 4,000 lb. payload over 4,000 miles without stopping. The designers outdid themselves and by doing that added lots of information for future planes and aircraft -- including the pressurized cabins that we have in modern aircraft.
The space shuttle Enterprise is here, too. This shuttle is huge! Above it hang a lot of replica satellites that were put into orbit when the space program was first launched in the 1960's.
There are space capsules, rockets that launch space vehicles into orbit, and lots of other pieces associated with space exploration.
Also in the museum is the actual Concorde. The museum asked Air France if they could have one of the planes after they decommissioned them for placement in this museum. The Concorde used to fly out of Dulles to Paris. You knew it was coming in for a landing because it just sounds different than other planes -- I used to live near the flight path to one of the runways at Dulles and often saw it coming in. It is bigger than I thought!

My hubby would have loved this museum. It was full of all kinds of aircraft that he was familiar with because he was in the Air Force. There is also a full model of the SR71 Stealth Fighter in there with the Skunk Works logo on its tail. My husband actually worked on parts of the Skunk Works program. Didn't find this out until it was declassified.

My sister would have loved this museum, too. She had a pilot's license and loved to fly. Knew all the small aircraft by sight. Too bad they couldn't be with us to enjoy this museum.

If you are planning a trip to DC be sure to see this Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. It is awesome!!


CeCe said...

Glad to have you back and glad you had a great time!

Sweet Sage said...

Welcome Home!!

jjjoysmith said...

Sounds like it was a fabulous week of birthdays!! Glad you're back....one of these days I will be, too! lol

Anonymous said...

WOW 5! I can't believe it. Kara is so adorable.

eclectic archivist said...

I always wondered what happened to the "Enola Gay". I used to see it as a kid every time we went through the Main Gate at
Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. It was parked off to one side of the gate back in the 50s.
Thanks for sharing.