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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - Boeing Hanger (Part 2)
Lightbox (134) Tags: museums smithsonian usa virginia washington-dc Posted: March 17, 2008 by Val
1. One of the most impressive artifact in museum - Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
2. A piece of 18th century French furniture illustrating balloon flight scenes
3. The portrat of Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets next to Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay
4. Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk. Known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful fighter during the first half of World War II.
5. Arrow Sport A2-60. Depression-era biplane.
6. Photo of Concorde with its droop snoot lowering nose improve visibility on approaching runway
7. North American Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S Sweetie Face.
8. The XO-60 represents the final evolution of the autogiro with vertical take off and landing abilities.
9. Waterman Aerobile #6.
10. North American F-86A Sabre. America's first swept-wing jet fighter
11. Lockheed Martin X-35B, Joint Strike Fighter.
12. Third level aircraft are hanging under the hangar's roof
Now we are in the middle of the Boeing Hanger looking at the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird - Photo 1. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird belongs to the era of Cold War. From that point we begin our exploration of the Southern wing. Passing simulators, (Photo 13) popular among parents and kids, you come across the Pre-1920 aviation section. Here you can find interesting gadgets and memorabilia. Balloons seemed to win hearts and minds of people of that time. You can see balloons painted on china, scarfs, inlaid on pieces of furniture (Photo 2).
Baldwin Red Devil aircraft is in the Pre-1920 section (Photo 14) After making a reputation with lighter-than-air craft, Thomas Scott Baldwin turned to heavier than air machines in 1909. In the spring of 1911, he began testing a new airplane called Red Devil. Baldwin built about six Red Devils. By mid-1911, Baldwin was training pilots, taking passengers and performing regularly with Red Devil. "Lucky Lindy" memorabilia devoted to Charles Lindbergh's famous 1927 flight is also on the display.
Our next attraction is Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay (Photo 15) located in World War II aviation section. Recently it was restored and put on the display for the public for the first time in 40 years. Next to the aircraft is the photo of Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets ( Photo 3) who was piloting Enola Gay during World War II and dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
One more well known aircraft connected to the World War II is the Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk (Photo 4). Known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful fighter during the first half of the World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that General Claire Chennault's "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in December 1941.
We move further to the section of General Aviation. Let's look at Loudenslager Laser 200 (Photo 16). The Laser 200 influenced the look and performance of the next generation of aerobatic aircraft, including Extra which dominated competition throughout 1990.
May be you would like to stop at Arrow Sport A2-60 (Photo 5) . This plane is an example of alternative design, depression-era biplane.
Next is Commercial Aviation. Look at Boeing 307 Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud - what a beauty (Photo 17)! It was first flown in late 1938. The Boeing 307 was the first airliner with pressurized fuselage. It could carry 33 passengers and cruise at 6,096 meters (20,000 feet). This allowed the "stratoliner" to fly above most bad weather conditions providing a faster and smoother ride.
One of the highlights in this section is Air France Concord - Photo 6. Its body, full of grace, takes a lot space in the Hanger. Not surprising, the length of the Concord is 202 feet. It's a pity that one can admire it only from the floor. The inside of the plane is not opened for the public.
Under the wing of the giant, Air France Concord, Business Aviation found a refuge. Here is Dassault Falcon 20 - see Photo 18. It's worth checking it out. Flying this Dassault Falcon 20, Federal Express revolutionized the air express industry in 1973 when it pioneered the overnight delivery of high-priority packages. The first Federal Express airplane was called Wendy, after the daughter of FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith.
One more outstanding plane and pilot in Business Aviation is the North American Rockwell Shrike Commander 500 S Sweetie Face - Photo 7. The Shrike Commander is a twin-engine, seven-place unpressurised business aircraft. The machine on the floor was bought and flown by civilian and military test pilot R.A. "Bob" Hoover for 20 years. In this airplane he performed his signature deadstick (no engine) routine of loop, roll, 180-degree turn, landing and taxi to air show center.
Here is Vertical Flight section of the museum. One of helicopters on display is Robinson R22 - Photo 19. It was developed in 1973 by Frank Robinson as a lighter and simpler helicopter than most certified models of that time. Its low acquisition and operating costs reduced financial barriers to helicopter training and private helicopter ownership.
Another, rather strange looking, helicopter here is Kellett XO-60 - Photo 8. The XO-60 represents the final evolution of the autogiro with vertical take off and landing abilities.
Sport aviation is the last section in the southern wing. Look at Arlington Sisu IA (Photo 20) - the most successful US competition sailplane ever flown. Alvin H. Parker on July 31 1964 flew 1042 km (647 miles) breaking a symbolic and psychological barrier.
Another flying machine, a funny looking one, is Waterman Aerobile #6 (Photo 9). It was built by Waldo D. Waterman and first flown in March 21 1937. Waterman's idea to build a flying car, a plane that can travel on roads and can take off, fly, and land as a plane, was implemented in Aerobile, a high-wing monoplane with detachable wings and a Studebaker engine. There were built 5 Aerobiles (1,2,3,4 and 6), the fifth was not finished.
Now we are going to the Northern wing of the museum. First, Korean and Vietnam Wars. This is certainly a change in "lanscape." One of the airplanes here is F-86A Sabre (Photo 10), America's first swept-wing jet fighter. F-86 Sabre joined the ranks of great fighter aircraft during combat operations high above the Yalu River in Korea. Even though they could not pursue the enemy across the Chinese border, Sabre pilots established an impressive shoot-down advantage against enemy MiGs.
Next machine on display is familiar to all who saw Rambo movies. It is famous Bell UH-IH Iroquois (Photo 21). In 1956, the Iroquois, commonly known as Huey, first flew as an Army replacement for the H-13 helicopter of Korean War. Perfectly suited to air mobility and medical evacuation missions in Vietnam, the Huey became a symbol of Vietnam War.
Modern Military Aviation. Lockheed Martin X-35B, a joint strike fighter is on display here (Photo11). It is a stealthy, supersonic, multi-role fighter.Three versions have been designed and implemented. One was the conventional take off and landing; another was the US Navy's carrier variant with larger wing and control surfaces, and the third version that allowed aircraft to take off from a very short runway and land vertically.
Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat - Photo 22. This Tomcat is a deck-launched, supersonic, variable-sweep-wing fighter. Designed to employ the long-range, air-to-air AIM-54 Phoenix missile, The Tomcats' primary missions were precision strikes against ground targets, air superiority, and fleet air defense, Tomcats were manufactured from 1972 - 2006.
Museum layout is very convenient since it allows to take a close look at most planes in the Hanger. You can watch them from the ground floor or go to one of the catwalks - see Photo 12. These catwalks allow for close examination of airplanes which you are interested in and which are hanging high above under the hanger ceiling.
Renovation of displays, installing new artifacts and gadgets is an ongoing job in the museum like this one on Photo 23.
Knowing the history of aviation presented by aircraft you are ready to learn more about achievements in space explorations.
To be continued...
13. One of several simulators in the museum available for you to try
14. Thomas Scott Baldwin airplane called Red Devil
15. Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay. Next to the aircraft is the photo of Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets
16. Loudenslager Laser 200. With the Laser 200 Loudenslager won seven US National Aerobatic Champion titles between 1975-!982, as well as 1980 World Champion title.
17. Boeing 307 Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud
18. Dassault Falcon 20, Federal Express revolutionized the air express industry in 1973 flying Dassault Falcon 20
19. Robinson R22 helicopter. With low operating costs allowed private ownership
20. Leonard Niemi's Sisu ("see-soo") is the most successful US competition sailplain ever flown.
21. Bell UH-IH Iroquois, known as Huey. Perfectly suited to air mobility and medical evacuation missions in Vietnam, the Huey became a symbol of Vietnam War.
22. Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat. This Tomcat is a deck-launched, supersonic, variable-sweep-wing fighter.
23. New artifacts are added to museum's collection and placed on display