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On Wings of Flight

Yesterday was a personal day:  a lot of time on the road, and very little writing.  Oh, it got done, but like three hundred words worth, mostly because I wanted to get the next scene started, but I didn’t want to get too much because I was falling asleep in my chair.

It's all gonna happen in that big building at the top-middle.  You'll see more tomorrow.

It’s all gonna happen in that big building at the top-middle. You’ll see more tomorrow.

Now, on to the travel.  As it was my eleven month anniversary of being in hormone replacement, I decided to take a little day trip, and headed down to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport outside of Washington D.C..  And while I didn’t write, I took pictures:  lots of pictures–

Like walking up to the entrance.

Like walking up to the entrance.

I’ve visited the Air and Space Museum in downtown D.C., and I’ve been to the Air Force Museum outside Dayton, OH.  As you might have guessed I love aircraft.  I almost went into the Air Force at one time, and would have loved to have gone up on the shuttle, danger be damned.  Here I got to hob-nob with one of a kind aircraft, many of them among the last of their kind, and a few of them the only ones of their kind–

Like this--

Like this–

And this.

And this.

The 367-80 was the test plane that led to the Boeing 707.  It’s also famous for one of the most famous incidences in flight history, when test pilot Tex Johnson performed two barrel rolls the Dash 80 (as it was called) in front of a bunch of Boeing executives on 6 August, 1955.  You wanna see?

The the evidence from inside the plane.

And the evidence from inside the plane.

But I saw more as well:

Like this beauty.

Like this beauty.

That is one of the last aircraft used for training by the Tuskegee Airmen, and if you don’t know their history, you need to read more.  This biplane was off in a far corner of the museum because, as I discovered later, it’s being moved to another museum in downtown D.C..

And I found this:

Yeah, if you don't know this aircraft, you do need to read more.

Yeah, if you don’t know this aircraft, you do need to read more.

But since I’m talking here, the Enola Gay was the B-29 that bombed Hiroshima, Japan, on 6 August, 1945.  It only dropped one, but I think you know by now the one we’re talking about.  As the Air Force Museum has Bock’s Car, the aircraft used to bomb Nagasaki, I’ve seen both bombers.  And I can move on to other things–

Like this:

This Concord wasn't used in Doctor Who, but it's still impressive.

This Concord wasn’t used in Doctor Who, but it’s still impressive.

And this:

Didn't Indiana Jones crash a couple of these?

Didn’t Indiana Jones crash a couple of these?

And a Super Connie:

Back when planed looked elegant.

Back when planed looked elegant.

The last surviving plane to make the first flight around world in 1924.

Air and Space Museum 06072015036

Doesn’t look a day over eighty.

And I found the first human-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel:

Air and Space Museum 06072015098

Heading towards France because the pilot wanted a good meal when he touched down. Just kidding.

 

The first jet bomber, flown during WW II:

The Germans were way ahead of us in a lot of ways--

The Germans were way ahead of us in a lot of ways–

And a rocket plane, the ME 163, that was one of the desperation weapons used as WW II came to a close.

And sometimes the Germans were just a little nutty.

And sometimes the Germans were just a little nutty.

I also found a Blackbird, but it wasn’t singing in the dead of the night–

It's just sort of sitting there--

It’s just sort of sitting there–

Waiting for its close-up in a Transformers movie.

Waiting for its close-up in a Transformers movie.

But I got a picture before it changed.

But I got a picture before it changed.

And another.

And another.

I also discovered how the space program used to run on 124 kilobyte (yes, not a typo) computers:

Seriously, your phone is bigger.

Seriously, your phone is bigger.

I also found a space lab:

And some tunnels.

And some tunnels.

Really as big as a bus as was once said.

Really as big as a bus as was once said.

I discovered where the museum kept their nucwewur willis:

Bad Star Trek imitation, I know.

Bad Star Trek imitation, I know.

And the Mother Ship:

I watched this last night.

I watched this last night.

With R2-D2 along for the ride.

Didn't see him though.

Didn’t see him though.

Most of all, I saw the space shuttle Discovery, which I’ve wanted to see a long time.

How it looks when you walk into the hanger.

How it looks when you walk into the hanger.

Some close ups:

Air and Space Museum 06072015067

Air and Space Museum 06072015068

Air and Space Museum 06072015093

 

Air and Space Museum 06072015088

Air and Space Museum 06072015081

Air and Space Museum 06072015097

 

Hello, Canada Arm!

Hello, Canada Arm!

And I managed to get a couple of pictures with the orbiter:

Looking pregnant here because I was leaning back for some reason.

Looking pregnant here because I was leaning back for some reason.

And I got ready for my close up.

And I got ready for my close up.

All in all, a good, tiring day, and I was totally beat when I arrived home.  But . . . I’ll probably go back again.  Maybe next year when I get close to two years on HRT and I’m done seeing my doctor.

Tomorrow, more writing–

Because after all this fun, it's time to go back to work and write about, um . . . flying!

Because after all this fun, it’s time to go back to work and write about, um . . . flying!

 

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11 thoughts on “On Wings of Flight

  1. I enjoyed the hell out of this post. We took the kids to Udvar-Hazy a few summers ago, finishing the day there after a morning walk through Arlington Cemetery. Quite a day for goosebumps. I can’t wait to return to the museum. As for the parking–the docent told me they charge so much for the parking because people were leaving their cars parked there as a substitute for long term parking at the airport next door. It seemed unlikely, though I’m just cynical enough to take that af face value.

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