Saturday, May 26, 2012

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum

After watching the Space_Shuttle_Discovery fly overhead, we had to go and see it up close. We arrived at the Udvar_Hazy museum right at 4:00 pm, when parking is free. The first things we saw were the SR-71 Blackbird and this fun WWII plane. 
 It was pretty cool to see the Space Shuttle Discovery up close. It still has lots of "space dust" all over it. That was Clay's favorite part. The previous shuttle was the Enterprise. It was used for trials and tests in the atmosphere, but never went into space. 
Here's a Pegasus Rocket from Orbital Sciences, that's where Clay works now.

 Rebekah liked the Enola Gay, only because it had a big R on the back of it.
 While we were there we were trying to figure out how they got the space shuttle INSIDE the hanger. It's tail was taller than the hanger doors. We could not figure it out. On our way out, we asked at the information desk. They had this great picture of the hanger doors open. Turns out there is and extra smaller door in the top section that opens just enough for the tail to fit through. Pretty cool.
New info from my dad about the the WWII plane: That "fun" World War II plane was known as the "Flying Tiger"; they had an entire squadron under command of a famous air ace (Claire Lee Chennault) that were famous for their air battles ("dogfights") in the Pacific theater of war as fighter pilots against the Japanese "Zero's".  They were stationed in the South Pacific in recaptured areas like the Polynesian islands, the Philippines, Taiwan, Guam, parts of China, etc.  Early in the war someone painted one with the "Flying Tiger" snarl (instead of the usual "pin-up" starlet) and very soon the entire squadron became painted and recognized by that same snarl.  Those air men were quite proud (justly) of their accomplishments and participation with the "Flying Tigers".  There were a few Hollywood movies made with movie heroes centered on those squadrons (like "Top Gun").

No comments: