Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yet ANOTHER Upside to Living in VA...

I'm about half an hour from here:

Udvar-Hazy Center

So, my wife's sister came for a visit this past weekend, and since Udvar-Hazy is only about a half-hour away (and free, other than parking), we decided to head there for the morning. Her daughter is 7 and a fan of things that fly, so it was was a natural fit. Me, I was all-too-eager to head back to the center, having been there twice before, once with a good friend in 2002, once with my family and OldNFO (which, if you can swing it, totally ROCKS. NFO gives a good tour...)

Anyhoo, onto the pics!

My favorite plane, the SR-71 Blackbird

Off to the wild [gray] yonder

Shot of the floor - pretty packed!

Ongoing restoration project; not sure what it was.

Space Shuttle Discovery. You don't realize how beat up these things get...

This is the blistering technology used to put man in space...

This was really cool. The plaque reads: "To mark man's first landing on the moon the boomerang, the first aerodynamic shape conceived by man."

Way too cool.

Gossamer Albatross. First human-powered aircraft.

Danger zone!

Yeah, it was a good weekend...

That is all.


ProudHillbilly said...

That is such a great place. Did you look for the hidden stuff on the "Close Encounters" movie model?

Stretch said...

The aircraft undergoing restoration is a Sikorsky JRS-1. It is the sole remaining aircraft that was at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. When informed of its histroy my brother-in-law Neil (USN, Viet-Nam) stood at attention and removed his hat. "Holy Relic" would not be too strong a phrase.

The Gossamer Albatross was the first human powered aircraft to cross the English Channel. The first human powered aircraft was the Gossamer Condor and it is downtown at the NASM on the Mall.

The thing that gets me is how many plaques include the words "sole remaining example of ..."

Anonymous said...

The restoration project is the only surviving Sikorsky JRS-1, a cool aircraft with substantial historic value: http://blog.nasm.si.edu/uncategorized/the-last-sikorsky-jrs-1-makes-a-move-to-the-udvar-hazy-center/

bluesun said...

This... this is my jealousy face.

Brad_in_MA said...


As an SR-71 fanboi, you MUST get a copy of "Sled Driver." Cutting edge barely describes that plane's capabilities.

I also see an Arado Blitz-bomber. IIRC, that's the world's first operational jet-powered bomber aircraft. Damn those Germans were clever.

And the P-47 Thunderbolt, aka The Jug. Hard to argue with EIGHT .50 BMGs going full bore. That's a combined cyclic rate of more than 4,500 rounds per minute.

I could spend DAYS in the place. Must add to my bucket-list.

- Brad

sailorcurt said...

Good call on the JRS-1. I thought it was a PBY Catalina at first glance.

The P-47D thunderbolt (third from the last picture) is my all-time favorite plane, and that one is a great looking specimen.

Murphy's Law said...

The amphibian is a JRS-1. And of course Old NFO gives the best tours. He remembers all of those planes because he's been in or around them all when they were in service.

Phil L. said...

Discovery is supposed to look that way. When I was last at Udvar-Hazy, they were still displaying the Enterprise.

The Enterprise was cool - but it looks a bit like a movie prop in comparison to a real, space-flown shuttle.

Anonymous said...

Sharing the pic of the SR71 are a Lysander army-cooperation/Resistance support (used in Operation Jedburgh) aircraft from the RAF, a Hawker Hurricane in the foreground and a Northrop Black Widow with 'TEST" painted on the boom and the top turret removed? I think the fixed-gear, open cockpit fighter is a Boeing 'Pea-shooter'.

Verily, an embarrassment of riches.


Old NFO said...

I didn't fly ALL of them... And I enjoy it anytime I can get there. I don't mind showing folks around the place.

Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not the only one to misidentify the JRS-1.

I also thought it was a Consolidated PBY Catalina.

Joseph in IL

CoastieMatt said...

If you ever get down to Virginia Beach, be sure to check out the Military Aviation Museum. I volunteer as a docent there and while we're a bit smaller, most of ours are in flying condition.

Our big WW2 airshow is May 16-18, which should have most of our WW2 birds flying, plus a bunch of reenactors.