Marc's Public Blog - Flying


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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

Table of Content for flying:

More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999



2013/11/10 Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy by Washington Dulles Airport
π 2013-11-10 00:00 in Flying
This is the companion museum to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in downtown Washington DC. I saw companion, but it's a humongous hangar attached to IAD airport, and it contains the huge unique collection of air and space vehicles they have that would never fit in the original museum (also being just next to the runway makes getting a space shuttle or a concorde in, a lot easier).

We showed up at 10:30, a little late (opens at 10:00) because we spent more time than expected visiting the Cathedral in Washington, and we arrived just in time for a volunteer led tour that was absolutely fantastic. He spent 3h45 with us to show us just a portion of their amazing collection, and he really knew space stuff since he worked at NASA before retiring.


We started with a collection of very early planes, including one before the Wright Flyers' which never managed to fly: the Langley Aerodrome A.


look at this plane. It never flew but sure looked cool.
look at this plane. It never flew but sure looked cool.



gunner station, bad ass!
gunner station, bad ass!

4 rudders!
4 rudders!

many early French planes
many early French planes





Then, we went to see other pieces of the collection:


Enola Gay was the superfortress that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima
Enola Gay was the superfortress that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima


They also had rare Japanese and German planes:




dual prop plane with pusher prop
dual prop plane with pusher prop


A japanese cruise missile that was actually piloted by a kamikaze
A japanese cruise missile that was actually piloted by a kamikaze

Messerschmitt Komet plane with a propellor to run a generator
Messerschmitt Komet plane with a propellor to run a generator

Finally we went to the space hangar and our volunteer talked to us about the space shuttle. They have discovery, the last one that flew.




The tracking and data relay satellite that allowed coms with the space shuttle
The tracking and data relay satellite that allowed coms with the space shuttle







And we looked at more space artifacts and satellites

Vega Solar System Probe
Vega Solar System Probe

Mercury Capsule
Mercury Capsule

A concept of gliding wing to land capsules on ground instead of sea
A concept of gliding wing to land capsules on ground instead of sea


That was a whole 3H45. By then, our guide parted ways with us, with many thanks for his excellent tour. Next, I went to check out the missile and rocket section:






an early drone (KD2C-2 Skeet Target)
an early drone (KD2C-2 Skeet Target)


OMG, this looks weird
OMG, this looks weird


And more things, still, the main hangar is huge:














An F35 with its engine, very cool
An F35 with its engine, very cool



but wait, there's more...
but wait, there's more...










I also went to the watch tower where you can see planes landing at IAD:





And that was it. Many pictures on this page, but only a small sample of the 500+ pictures I took there. I barely got to see everything in a day, and quite frankly to visit carefully, you really need 2 days.
This place is one of a kind, it totally deserves a stop in IAD when you're flying by washington, it's that good. Also, you may get plane fatigue after a while, because of how many artifacts they have. Either way, it's a do not miss.

2013/11/03 Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC
π 2013-11-03 00:00 in Flying
First things to know: it's one of 2 museums, the other one is by the IAD airport and contains the bigger stuff that doesn't fit there (and couldn't have been brought there through the streets for some bits). This museum takes more than a full day to visit if you go through the exhibits, I'm efficient but I had to go back twice to finish it (mostly), and that was without even going through the planetarium or IMAX, but I did do the 1H guided tour once and that was worth it.

Then, you need at least another full day to see the much bigger Smithsonian Air and Space Museum by Washington Dulles (IAD)

google has the copy, they have the real one :)
google has the copy, they have the real one :)


US and Russian capsule rendez-vous
US and Russian capsule rendez-vous

X-15, the first prototype to fly to space before rockets
X-15, the first prototype to fly to space before rockets



Bell X-1
Bell X-1


747 cockpit
747 cockpit



skylab, before the space station
skylab, before the space station







Howard Hughes' speed record plane
Howard Hughes' speed record plane

The actual voyager plane that went around the world
The actual voyager plane that went around the world


great way to show how a modern telescope works
great way to show how a modern telescope works


These few pictures do not give it justice, the amount of history of aviation, space, including what happend to other countries, how GPS works and why, how the moon landings were done, and how we're going to Mars now, it's a lot of information.
I guess that's expected, but it is indeed bar none the best such museum I've seen in the world so far.


More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999