Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Smithsonian Part Four

 Hi Kids, back for more, here's an early model razorback P-51 Mustang.  This one looks like it's been painted for racing!  I've heard that the early model Allison engined Mustangs were faster than a Pygmy Hippo shot out of a cannon at low level!  For all you Nascar clowns out there, if you want to see some honest-to-God Real Speed, get yer butts to the Reno Unlimited Air Races!  8000HP, 520MPH, and they still turn left all the time.  And then there's the Jet class....
 And here's a Curtiss Jenny, not decked out for racing.
 Yeah, that's me doing a aerobatic routine at the Oshkosh Airshow.  Or maybe it was someone else, I can't remember...
 The Best Damn Plane of the War, the Hawker Hurricane.  It has been described at a plane with no vices.  This one is a IIC model, with 20mm cannons.  Everybody else digs the Spitfire, I always thought the Hurricane is way cooler.  It was the backbone of Fighter Command in the early years of WW2.
 A P-38 Lightning.  After the war you could pick these up army surplus for about $1250.

 Here's a Hellcat, one of the more famous hard working planes of the Pacific War.
 Another Steerman.
 No idea.  Anybody?
 It had a bunch of letters and numbers....
And a P-61 Black Widow nightfighter!  This one lacks the dorsal turret, just like most of them.
 A little closer shot of the P-26 Peashooter.
 And another of the Me-163 rocket powered fighter.  Yes, that little prop on the nose is for electricity.
 And behind the SR-71 Blackbird is the space wing of the museum.  Complete with its own Space Shuttle.

 Yeah, if you want to circle the earth a couple times an hour, these are the engines you want.
 And assorted satellites and rockets....

 Yep, this is the actual Mothership model they used when the made "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."  Just for fun the model builders included a submarine, R2D2, a graveyard, a VW Van, and some 1/285 scale airplanes in the assorted details.
 Our boys!  You can't talk about space without including the crew of the Enterprise!  TOS, the only one that matters!  And always remember: if your shirt is red, duck!
 One the way out I took a few more, here's the P-40.
And a final shot of the Blackbird.  Although they made a brief comeback in 1995, these things have been out of commission since 1990!  Wow!  Has it been that long?

Holy Cow!  What a bonus!  Here I am with Dave Baranek, a cool guy who used to make a living riding F-14 Tomcats all over the place, including an ejection when the arrestor gear failed.  He was a instructor at Top Gun, too.  He even wrote a book about it!  Go to for the real skinny.

Well, kids, that's about it for this trip to DC.  If you're ever at Dulles airport with a few hours to kill there's a shuttle bus that can get you to the museum.  Yeah, you have to go through security again, but it's worth it.  And while the museum itself is free, they charge $15 for parking.  Hey, its the government.  It not supposed to make any sense.

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