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Udvar-Hazy Visit

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Dec 2003

Ed & Mitch go to the new Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

From the above site: The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum has built a new museum for the display and preservation of its collection of historic aviation and space artifacts. In honor of its major donor, it has been named the "Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center." Located at Washington Dulles International Airport, the Udvar-Hazy Center provides much needed space for the objects that tell the history of aviation and space flight.

Near the end of December, 2003, I was invited to a dinner and closed showing of this new museum. Below are thumbnail pictures of photos that I took, and below are some notes I made. Click on any of the pictures to open a new window to show the large-size image.

Some of the pictures are of close-ups of the Information Signs for each exhibit. You should be able to read the writing if you want more info.

Many of the Large-Size pages will have the box below, click on the display name to open a new window to the Udvar-Hazy main site, for that specific display.

The name above is a link to to open a new window
of the Udvar-Hazy website's info page about this item.

Main Entrance
The outside Entrance (and control tower that can be visited!)
Lobby
The main entry, with the space shuttle Enterprise in the distance. (More on it later!) Above is a plane build specially for acrobatics --- the Pitts Special, (upside down, naturally). More on it later too.
00s Langley Aerodrome A
00s Langley Aerodrome A
The Aerodrome (straight ahead), and below, the Caudron G.4 (close up later).
00s Langley Aerodrome A
The front of the Aerodrome
00s Langley Aerodrome A
Close up of the Aerodrome's engines and props.
00s Langley Aerodrome A
The Aerodrome, head on.
10s Caudron G,4
Pre-WW I French twin-engined biplane, mostly used as a trainer.
10s Caudron G,4
Front view of the Cauldron.
10s Nieuport 28C,1
10s Nieuport 28C,1
10s Spad XVI
French 2-seater version of the Spad fighter.
20s Boeing FB-5 Hawk
US Navy fighter, built in the 20s.
20s Boeing FB-5 Hawk
The back of the Hawk, and a 3-D flight simulator "ride" below, in red.
30s Grumman G-21 (Goose)
30s Grumman G-21 (Goose)
This plane, called the Goose, was the co-star in a TV show "Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982)" starring Stephen Collins, who currently is the lead in the TV series "7th Heaven".
30s Grumman G-21 (Goose)
40s Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz (Lightning)
40s Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz (Lightning)
40s Boeing B-29 (Superfortress) Enola Gay
This is the ACUTAL aircraft that, on August 6, 1945, dropped the first atomic bomb, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
While many people objected to the use of a City Killer bomb, it should be noted that it certainly saved more Japanese lives than it killed, by ending the war and eliminating the necessity of an invasion, (which would have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers and civilians).
Also, earlier that year, the allied air forces attacked the city of Dresden, Germany on February 13-15th, dropping over 3,900 tons of bombs, destroying 88% of the 28,000 houses, killing from 35,000 to 135,000. The bombing of Hiroshima killed about 100,000.
40s Boeing B-29 (Superfortress) Enola Gay
40s Boeing B-29 (Superfortress) Enola Gay
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
This is the type of airplane flown by the Flying Tigers in China just before the beginning of WW2.

As I was employed at one time by the US Air Force fighter wing that was the current holder of that nickname, it has special meaning to me!
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Curtiss P-40 (Kittyhawk)
40s Focke-Wulf Fw 190F
40s Grumman F6F (Hellcat)
40s Grumman F6F (Hellcat)
40s Hawker (Hurricane)
This airplane was the older "brother" to the English Spitfire. During Battle of Britain there were actually many more Hurricanes flown than the newer, just out Spitfire.
40s Hawker (Hurricane)
40s Kugisho Ohka 22 (Cherry Blossom)
40s Kugisho Ohka 22 (Cherry Blossom)
40s Lockheed P-38 (Lightning)
40s Lockheed P-38 (Lightning)
This is MY favorite WW2 airplane. Designed in part by Kelly Johnson, (who later designed the U2 and the SR-71), it was dramatically different in design than most other fighters. The twin engine, twin tail, single seat was very different, but exceptionally well suited for high-altitude fighting. I read that this was the first aircraft that could out-turn the dreaded Zero, much to the surprise of their pilots.

Also, the guns were mounted in the nose, and fired straight ahead instead of being mounted in the wings, slightly angled all to a central focal point ahead of the aircraft. This meant that the guns were easier to aim and had much greater range.

Like the other "star" of WW2, the P-51 Mustang, this design spent quite a few months as being considered a marginal performer before being tweaked into a top performer.
40s Lockheed P-38 (Lightning)
The P-38 from above, with the Enola Gay behind.
40s North American P-51C (Mustang Excalibur III)
40s North American P-51C (Mustang Excalibur III)
40s Northrop N-1M (Flying Wing)
40s Northrop N-1M (Flying Wing)
This is a scale model of the flying wing that pioneered the concept that is now used for the B-2 Stealth Bomber. (Like the sign says, this has a wingspan of just under 12 feet.)
40s Republic P-47D (Thunderbolt)
40s Republic P-47D (Thunderbolt)
Note the Enola Gay in the background.As it says on the sign, this was a real workhorse for the US during WW2. We built more of this than any other fighter aircraft, (with the P-51 and P-38 coming next).
The Enola Gay is behind.
40s Vought F4U (Corsair)
40s Vought F4U (Corsair)
This was a Navy and Marine fighter used most often in the later parts of the war, mostly from island airfields and above aircraft carriers. It was the type of airplane flown by the Black Sheep Squadron, later made even more famous as a part of a TV series.
40s Vought F4U (Corsair)
The Corsair again, from below. If you look behind and below the tail wheel, you can see the tail-hook deployed. This striped hook was what was used to snag the cable lain across an aircraft carrier's deck, to pull it to a stop.
40s Vought F4U (Corsair)
40s area
Various WW2 Radio-Controlled bombs.
40s area pics
In the foreground, the P-38 Lightning.
In the background is a big silver aircraft. It is a WW2 heavy bomber, the B-28 Superfortress. This actual aircraft, the Enola Gay, is the very airplane that dropped the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb.
40s area pics
Looking down the row of WW2 airplanes.
40s area pics
40s area pics
In the center, the British Hurricane.
40s area pics
A picture of the center of the display floor.
40s area pics
More of the display floor.
40s area pics
40s area pics
45s Pitts Special S-1C (Little Stinker)
45s Pitts Special S-1C (Little Stinker)
The main hallway. Pitts Special, upside down (of course) - it's specially designed for acrobatics.
45s Pitts Special S-1C (Little Stinker)
47 Vought (Regulus)
the Regulus, a submarine-launched guided missile with a range of 500 miles.
50s MIG-15bis FAGOT
This was one of the main airplanes flown against the US during the Korean War, the MiG - 15.
50s MIG-15bis FAGOT _A1
50s MIG-15bis FAGOT
50s North American F-86A (Saber)
This is the jet flown by the US during the early part of the Korean War, the F-86 Saber. It was later replaced by the higher performance Super Saber, (not shown in this collection).
50s TM-61C (Matador)
50s TM-61C (Matador)
A HUGE cruse missile! The Matador.
60s area
Various components of the Space Lab project.
60s area
60s area
This is one of the actual models used for the filming of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind
60s area
Down the center crossing hallway, looking over the top of the SR-71, and in the distance ... the Enterprise Space Shuttle.
60s Boeing B-707 General
This was a HUGE museum. It had plenty of room for an actual Boeing 707 passenger aircraft!
60s Computers
60s Computers
Computers used during the space program.
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
Info sign for the Blackbird
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
The fastest plane every built, and the highest flying. (Of all production aircraft, not X-planes), the SR-71.

From Wikipedia: "The original designation for the aircraft was the RS-71. However when the aircraft was announced by Lyndon B. Johnson on February 29. 1964, Johnson accidentally switched the letters for the name of the aircraft, which forced Lockheed to instantly change the name of the aircraft."
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
A picture from further away of the SR-71.
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
The SR-71, and in the background, the Enterprise.
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
SR-71 on the left, Mitch, (my friend), on the right.
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
This was a Very Fast ship!
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
The inlet cones were one of the Tricks used to make this plane flyable. They extended or retracted so the air moving into the engine changed how it flowed as the speed changed.
60s Lockheed SR-71 (Blackbird)
Up-the-tail view of the engine.
60s Mercury (Big Joe)
60s Mercury (Big Joe)
60s Mercury (Freedom 7)
"This Mercury capsule is the only one left showing the complete spacecraft in the original configuration. ..."
69 Lunar Quarantine Trailer
69 Lunar Quarantine Trailer
69s Apollo (trainer)
69s Apollo (trainer)
70s Bell UH-1H (Huey or Iroquois)
70s Bell UH-1H (Huey or Iroquois)
This was the workhorse helicopter of the Viet Nom war. The "Huey" was not the proper name, but a nickname coming from the designation, HU-1E, of an early model.
70s Dassault Cargo Fanjet Falcon 20C
70s Dassault Cargo Fanjet Falcon 20C
A cute little business jet.
70s Enterprise
70s Enterprise
As it says on the sign, this is the actual spacecraft Enterprise. Not the NC-1701a, but rather the Space Shuttle vehicle number OV-101. It was a test machine, fully flyable, but without any engines. It was used to test the aerodynamics and controls, and to allow the pilots a chance to practice landing. A shuttle landing is un powered, extremely high speed, and must be completed the first time, (no chance to abort the landing, go around and try again).
70s Enterprise
That's me!
70s Gates Learjet 23
It the back, the big yellow thing, is the tail of the passenger Boeing B-707, and in the foreground a very small business jet called the Learjet.
70s Gates Learjet 23
A close up of the Learjet. It only has seats for 5 or 6 passengers, plus the pilot and copilot. You can't even stand up all the way inside! (Or at least I couldn't the time I got a ride in one --- not this one of course.
70s Grumman A-6E (Intruder)
70s Grumman A-6E (Intruder)
This was one of the common ground attack airplanes used by the Navy during the Viet Nam war. Most often flown of of aircraft carriers.
70s Hunter-Doulas (Zuni)
70s Hunter-Doulas (Zuni)
This is a very small, very cheap, unguided missile Many many were used in Viet Nam.
70s McDonnell F-4S-44 (Phantom II)
The workhorse fighter of the Viet Nam war, the Phantom.
70s McDonnell F-4S-44 (Phantom II)
76 Rutan (VariEze)
76 Rutan (VariEze)
This is one of the more unusual aircraft ever designed. Read the sign for details, it is worth it.
77 Weedhopper JC-24C (Windecker)
77 Weedhopper JC-24C (Windecker)
A very cute little ultra-light!
79 MacCready (Gossamer Albatross)
79 MacCready (Gossamer Albatross)
This is a human-powered airplane, the first to ever fly across the English Channel. The only power came from the man inside turning the bicycle geared propeller.
It was made by the same team that had made and flown the Gossamer Condor, a similar looking airplane that was the first ever to fly by human power alone.
80s Bell XV-15 (Tilt Rotor)
80s Bell XV-15 (Tilt Rotor)
This interesting aircraft is a blend of a regular "fixed wing" airplane and a helicopter.
80s Spacelab Lab Module
80s Spacelab Lab Module
A part of the Space Lab. It was flown nine times!
90s area
90s Bede BD-5A
This is a REAL airplane, and there are even jet engine versions, "BD-5J" that have flown. There was actually flown in the James Bond film "Octopussy."
90s Bede BD-5A
This is a REAL airplane, and there are even jet engine versions, "BD-5J" that have flown. There was actually flown in the James Bond film "Octopussy."
90s Concord
Another BIG jet, on of the last actual Concorde airplanes to fly, now resting in this building.
90s Concord
The back of the Concord.
90s Lockheed X-35B (JSF)
This is the prototype of a new kind of jet. It was developed in a competition and the other jet won. The other jet is the F-22, and is now being constructed.
90s Lockheed X-35B (JSF)
This is the prototype of a new kind of jet. It was developed in a competition and the other jet won. The other jet is the F-22, and is now being constructed.
90s Lockheed X-35B (JSF)
90s Sharp DR 90 (Nemesis)
90s Sharp DR 90 (Nemesis)
As the sign says, this little airplane is actually "the most successful aircraft in racing history".
B 2001 World Trade Center
In this display case are fragments of the World Trade Center debris.
General
A general picture of the structure, and the HVAC ducting nested within.
General
More general pictures of the area.
General area pic.
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