Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chuckster at Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Smithsonian Part One

 Hi Kids,  Made a blitz visit to DC last weekend to put my bro on a plane to Pakistan, he'll be gone a year.  My other bro made the trip from LA just so the three of us could hang out for a bit.  While we were in the capital we managed to hit the Udvar-Hazy (sounds Hungarian, eh?) Smithsonian.  Its quite the gunshow for us aviation nuts!  First off is a P-40E, an actual warbird from the RCAF.  Somebody along the line decided to paint it up like a Flying Tiger.  Hell, I would too if I had one.
 Hanging next door is a Corsair.  I'm going to guess it's an early model due to the 3 bladed prop, but don't really know.
Underneath both is a world famous SR-71 Black Bird.  Way cool!  If you haven't read "Sled Driver" you should.

 Closer to the entrance is a Pitts Special.  I've wanted one of these for years, back when I was under the impression I would have some cash laying around.  They are still somewhat affordable as far as planes go.  I bet you could still get one under $25K but I haven't priced them in 10 years.
 A Westland Lysander.  I always thought this plane just looked really cool.  You could just buzz around without a huge amount of drama.  They called 'em Moon Planes in WW2, they flew in and out of Occupied Europe once the sun went down!
 The modern-ish side of the place. F-105, F-4, F-8, F-14, etc.
 An F-100 Super Sabre.  A nice jet with clean lines, just the thing!
 An F-105 Thud.  Always thought that was a cool nickname for a plane.  IIRC these things could really scream at low level, something to do with the massive intakes.  The two seaters were the first of the Wild Weasels, too.  No, that term was not invented for Star Fleet Battles.

 And here we have the reason they invented the Wild Weasel, to screw around with the North Vietnamese air defenses.  This is a SAM-2 missile.  And an F-4 behind it!  So cool!
 Oh yeah, here's my baby!  Ever since I saw the Blue Angels perform in the early 1970's in F-4's I've always dug this plane!  IIRC this one was a MiG killer during its career.  STILL the ONLY plane cool enough to serve in all 3 air arms of the US Armed Forces!  It shoots down whats up and blows up whats down!
Yep, got the T-shirt.
 And here's what all the excitement was about, a MiG-21!  This entire plane combat loaded was still lighter than the internal fuel in an F-4.  (Although maybe that was the MiG-15..... hmmmm......)
 E-6 Intruder, dropped out of the Navy before there was a replacement.  I heard we made some artificial reefs with these even though they had just had their service life extended with new wings.  Yeah, that's our government.  I'm sure they had a good reason. Like they've lost their minds.  Maybe you saw these in the movie "Flight of the Intruder."  There were some awesome low level shots with A-1 Skyraiders in that show too!
 A shot of a Joint Strike Fighter, complete with funky engine.  Directional nozzles and all!  So why is this thing in a museum when I'm not even sure they've entered service yet?  I guess it's because it takes 20 years to build a new plane, what with computers speeding everything up.
 An F-8 Crusader, "Last of the Gunfighters!"  The power brokers decided that planes no longer needed guns, since the missile was so much cooler.  Needless to say, they started retro-fitting the gunless fighters with guns almost immediately.
 An F-14 Tomcat, this particular one is a MiG killer, from that little brouhaha in the Gulf Of Libya.

And here's the long shot, from the end of the modern wing looking back at the entrance and towards the WW1, WW2 and commercial areas.  Yeah, that's the Enola Gay back there.  When a B-29 doesn't fill the space, you know you're in a Big building.

3 comments:

Michael Awdry said...

Wow, what a collection, great photograph Sir.

Warren Zoell said...

Love it!!!
Can't wait to see part 2.

ColKillgore said...

All thes airplanes are making me want to play some Check your Six Jet Age.

ColKG