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Photo TR: Air & Space Museum, Dulles


cfc
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Every summer I get together with my old friend Brian either at his place in the Smokies or at my place in Williamsburg for a long weekend of stupid movies, good food and beer, and the occasional roadtrip. This year, we decided to check out the Air & Space Museum by Dulles airport up in northern Virginia, home of the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, the original Space Shuttle Enterprise, and various other historical planes and rockets and such.

 

The museum is essentially a huge hangar with a tower for observing planes taking off and landing at Dulles (you can listen in on the tower radio traffic, too), an IMAX theatre (which was playing the last Harry Potter flick), some low-rent simulators, and aircraft from just about every era (including some Russian and Nazi planes).

 

Prepare yourself for all the planes you can stand to look at.

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Good thing it's only 102 degrees today, as 103 would've melted the tires on my car.

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Here I am. Here's the museum. Here's the map. Now let's go in before I spontaneuously combust.

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Let's see . . . there's definitely "air" in here but the "space" is filled with planes--I need more space, dammit!

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Tonight on SyFy: "Sharkoplane--Fly and Die!"

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This looks like it was put together by TPR members from spare parts they picked up on park backstage tours.

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More space filled with planes! At least they kept their promise about the air.

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This jet has a serious case of the drabs.

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"Felix the Cat! The wonderful, wonderful cat! He reaches into his bag of tricks to get a bomb to blow up hicks!"

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OK, this is what I'm talking about. Looks like something the Tracey family would fly during an episode of Thunderbirds.

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Hmm--interesting nickname for this one.

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"Fagot"? Doesn't look like a stick to me.

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"Fishbed"? What does that even mean? Sounds like an meaningless insult a Marine Corps drill instructor would yell at new recruits: "Private Fishbed! Are you eye-ballin' me? Drop and give me 20, you worthless, fish-beddin' maggot!"

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These were all confiscated at a Tea Party rally the day before.

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This is a jet fighter the Nazis deployed in World War II, but it came too late to do them any good. Blue Oyster Cult has a song about Nazi jets on their "Secret Treaties" album.

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I am standing in front of a real, bona fide Space Shuttle (Enterprise), which has never actually been in space.

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The mothership from Close Encounters--it's cobbled together from various model kits, and looked a bit more impressive in the movie.

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"Robin! The Penguin is escaping in one of his tricky umbrellas! Prepare to deploy the Bat Missile!"

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This rocket looks like it was built in someone's garage.

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"Roger Ramjet he's our man! Hero of our nation! For his adventures just be sure and stay tuned to this station!"

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There is absolutely nothing suggestive about a "ramjet." Anyone who thinks so is a filthy pervert--which would mean most of the members of TPR. More to come.

Edited by cfc
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More air! More space! Filled with planes!

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The Space Shuttle has three rectums.

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Adam . . . you know you want one of these!

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Brian just paid some guy $500 for Enterprise. He thinks he's going to drive it home tonight. Poor dope.

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"Ground Control to Major Tom . . . "

"I took my damn protein pills and put my helmet on hours ago! Leave me alone!"

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"Great. We just got back from the Moon, and now we have to spend about 16 hours in this trailer. That's just ducky."

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This logo certainly inspires confidence.

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This plane is EVIL!

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This is the plane that dropped the A-Bomb on Hiroshima. If you see it flying over your neighborhood, you probably should've moved to another state some time ago.

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I can imagine this plane flying over an old map to show us just where Indiana Jones is going.

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LA cops actually tried using these little planes for patrolling. Seems to me that your average gangbanger could take it out with a well-thrown rock.

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Seriously--did someone just strap a folding chair to a lawnmower gas tank here?

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"I need to take the 11:47 auto-gyro to Idlewild! It's important!"

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Oh, hell no!

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Here's an idea that never caught on: the Airphibian. Fly it to the airport, then just drive the front half to your hotel! No more shuttles or taxis!

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I wonder how many generations of planes are in this one picture?

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Elissa, there is one way to make this plane worse . . .

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. . . and that is to fly it while wearing this suit.

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"Those magnificient men in their flying machines!/They go up-diddy-up-up!/They go down-diddy-down-down!"

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We tried out this jet-fighter simulator. Yes, the enemies of America are shaking in their boots at the thought of facing us in aerial combat!

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Look! A flight suit just for Joey! That's all--thanks for reading (or just staring blankly).

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A great photo TR of the NASM Udvar-Hazy center- I was there for opening day back ions ago- and it's still growing in the viewable collection. There are aircraft in there that do not exist at any other museum on earth- the 307 Stratoliner (The 'Indy Jones plane') is the last of the 10 of it built- and interesting enough, it survied a crash to get there- literally.

 

Boeing and the Museum of Flight in Seattle hand-renovated that plane back to it's original state, taking the original airframe and adding parts from the only other surviving model (It was in too sad a shape to fly, so it gave it's life for this one!) to create this particular plane. After it's rollout, the FAA required it to do a series of training and proving flights before it's transcontinental journey to Washington Dulles- and was scheduled to go out to the AIRVenture at Osh Kosh, WI. Three days before it was scheduled to head out to Osh Kosh- and then DC, the plane was doing a proving flight over Puget Sound when a severe fuel leak forced the plane into the water- fortunatly, pilot and crew got out safely, but the plane sank to the bottom. Pulling it out, they were able to restore it to it's original state- and she was flew on for her final voyage to the NASM -UH facility.

 

The constellation was for a while used as a storage facility near the hangar that contained the Enterprise, to the south of the existing 18R/36L runways; in 2000 during Dulles Day one could have voyaged in to see both the Connie and the Enterprise prior to the Udvar-Hazy facility being built.

 

Nice photos all around!

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^According to their Web site, there's a Concorde in there. I tended to concentrate on the space stuff and older planes, so I never got a decent picture of it.

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^Same here. I've driven by it a number of times to get to Dulles, but never had the time to check it out. My Dad was in the Air Force in the 1950s, and he loves that museum.

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She is in fact, F-BVFA, sn 205- Concorde- one of the 7 that entered service with AirFrance- and the first ship to fly a south atlantic Concorde flight (Paris Charles De Galle to Rio De Janero via Dakar Senegal) in 1976. This same plane was featured in a James Bond film (Moonraker) shortly thereafter on said run.

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I really wanted to go there when I visited DC last year (we had to settle for the one at the Mall, which was still very impressive). One of aircraft there that I am interested in is the Boeing 367-80 ("Dash 80"). It looks like a standard 707 airliner, but it has in interesting history. During flight testing, the pilot actually performed a barrel roll - more thrilling than any coaster.

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I really wanted to go there when I visited DC last year (we had to settle for the one at the Mall, which was still very impressive). One of aircraft there that I am interested in is the Boeing 367-80 ("Dash 80"). It looks like a standard 707 airliner, but it has in interesting history. During flight testing, the pilot actually performed a barrel roll - more thrilling than any coaster.

 

The imfamous Barrel Roll was done by legendary Boeing Test Pilost "Tex" Johnston- over Puget sound during the Hydroplane races. Mr. Boeing had invited various airline execs out on his private boat for the show, with intent of doing a low flyby of his new 'toy' . "Tex" was told NOT to do any fancy flying with the Prototype... and instead did two barrel rolls. CR Smith of American airlines looked at Mr. Boeing and said "If that's what your new plane can do and stay intact, we'll take 25." The rest is history (for American, at least).

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