These photos were taken at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The first Space Shuttle orbiter, Enterprise is the centerpiece of the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the museum, and is a full scale test vehicle used for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground. It is not equipped for space flights, it has no propulsion systems and only simulated thermal tiles, so it was only used for tests in 1977.
On July 24 1969, at the end of its historic Moon landing mission, the Apollo 11 command module splashed down in the Pacific. Navy swimmers from a recovery helicopter jumped into the water, near the command module, to stabilize it. They attached and inflated around it this custom made flotation collar.
The second satellite in the above photo is called a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite from 1983. I couldn't find out about the other one as I didn't make a note of it on my visit.I found this display of astronaut spacesuits very interesting and was immediately attracted to what I thought was a child's. It is actually a Mercury Doll and a small version of a Mercury Spacesuit. This is one of perhaps a dozen made by the B. F. Goodrich Corporation in the early 1960's. According to what I read on the card by its side, they were given to VIP's for goodwill and publicity purposes. It looks almost identical to the suits worn by the Mercury astronauts. The helmet and boots are much simplified versions of the full-sized equipment.
This is the SR-71 Blackbird which remained the world's fastest and highest-flying operational manned aircraft throughout its career. From an altitude of 24 km, it could survey 260,000 km2 per hour (72 square kilometers per second) of the Earth's surface. In addition, it was accurate enough to take a picture of a car's license plate from this altitude. On 28 July 1976, an SR-71 broke the world record for its class: An absolute speed record of 1905,81 knots (3529,56 km/h), and an absolute altitude record 25929 m. Several aircrafts have exceeded this altitude in zoom climbs but not in sustained flight.
The Blackbird on display at the museum in Virginia was in active service in the US Air Force for 24 years. On its last flight, 6 March 1990, it set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington DC in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 20 seconds, averaging 3418 km/h! At the flight's conclusion, it landed at Dulles International Airport and was handed over to the Smithsonian.What I love about this museum is the wonderful hangar all these planes are housed in.
Boeing 307 Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud. This is the information I got about it online. If I have anything incorrect in any way, please let me know as I truly want to have the correct facts.
First Flown in late 1938, the Boeing 307 was the first airliner with a pressurized fuselage. It could carry 33 passengers in great comfort and cruise at 6,096 meters (20,000 feet), while maintaining a cabin pressure of 2.438 meters (8,000 ft). This enabled the Stratoliner to fly above most bad weather, thereby providing a faster and smoother ride.
The Stratoliner incorporated the wings, tail, and engines of the Boeing B-17C bomber. The wide fuselage was fitted with sleeper births and reclining seats. Ten Stratoliners were built. The prototype was lost in an accident, but five were delivered to TWA and three were purchased by Pan American airways. TWA owner Howard Hughes purchased a heavily modified version for his personal use. The airplane displayed here was flown by Pan American as the Clipper Flying Cloud. Boeing restored it in 2001.
32.7 m (107 ft 3 in)
22.7 m (74 ft 4 in)
6.3 m (20 ft 9 in)
13,749 kg (30,310 lb)
19,051 kg (42,000 lb)
396 km/h (246 mph)
4 Wright GR-1820 Cyclones, 900 hp
Boeing Aircraft Co., Seattle, Wash., 1940
When Gregg's ship put out to sea for six months Brad and I went over to England to visit my Mom and Dad. We planned our visit so that they could help celebrate Brad's birthday, and my sister and her husband (this was long before my niece was born) as well as aunts and uncles were invited to a lovely birthday party. Brad had been a big Transformer fan for quite a while and this newsflash had gotten around. He was also at that time the only grandchild. I think everyone bought him a Transformer, some small and some pretty big. He had a wonderful birthday and played with his new toys for the rest of the holiday. They went everywhere with us, even to bed!
At the end of the holiday Mom and Dad packed all his Transformers into one of their duffel bags and we used it as a carry-on as that boy was so in love with those things that the thought of them traveling in the cargo hold was not even an issue and we never gave it a second thought, until we got to Customs. A very nice Customs lady unzipped the bag and lo and behold there were all those little robots in all kinds of disarray, legs sticking up here, legs sticking out there. She smiled sweetly and said someone had been a very lucky boy. I told her it had been a special birthday this year with our family and she smiled again and said to Brad, "How about showing me how to put all these together okay?" Brad was overjoyed. For the next 20 minutes he went through every one as she watched very closely and checked each out as he placed them on the table in front of her. She was a very clever lady and a kind one at that. She did her job without so much as a stern look in Brad's direction and he had so much fun, he thought it was play time before we boarded our flight.
I got this aerial photo off the web.
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