Saturday, January 17, 2009

National Air and Space Museum - Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

November 23, 2008

The National Air and Space Museum is located close to the Dulles International Airport. The large part of the museum is an actual hanger that was constructed to house the many airplanes and related items the Smithsonian has but can not present due to space constrains on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The museum is a tough place to photograph, tripods are not allowed, natural light is sparse and when present create a large dynamic range due to the subdued lighting inside and the many spotlights that are used. I would suggest going to here when in the area as many famous planes are here.

This is a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt which was a ground attach plane with 2,000 horsepower radial engine with eight .50 caliber machine guns. The right wing and two engines of the Enola Gay are in the background.

Another famous item is the actual Enterprise Space Shuttle which was the first built for NASA. It was constructed without engines or functional heat shields and was therefore not capable of space operations. Its purpose was to perform test flights in the atmosphere. The Enterprise was to be refitted and subsequently used for orbital flight. As the second space shuttle, Columbia, was being built, design specs were changed which prevented the Enterprise from being refitted.

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