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Published: June 11th 2017
Geo: 38.8887, -76.9894
Braving the traffic we ventured out after what we thought would be peak hour, although that seems to last all day, to Dulles airport, 40 miles from the City, to visit the Steven Udvar-Hazy aircraft museum.
Udvar-Hazy is an aircraft leasing billionaire who contributed $66 million to the Smithsonian institute to build the museum which is housed in a massive building near the Dulles airport.
Getting there just after opening time we had most of the place to ourselves and were able to peruse the museums most notable exhibit, the space shuttle 'Discovery', which made the most voyages of all the space shuttles. It stands in a wing of the museum which houses many other exhibits from the space program including a Gemini capsule in which 2 astronauts spent 2 weeks orbiting the earth. Not my idea of fun! They spent the whole time sitting in their seats and when one dropped his toothbrush they had to share one toothbrush.
Getting back to the shuttle. It was displayed better than the one at the intrepid museum which never actually went into space. I was able to get some great photos of it as you could walk all around it and also
see it from up on a walkway that went all around the museum.
The other major attraction was the SR-71 Blackbird which was also well displayed in the centre of the museum and was the best display of one that I have ever seen. I was also able to get some good shots of it.
There were various other planes around the museums including modern jets and antique aircraft plus another Concorde. They also had the B29 the 'Enola Gay' which one of the planes that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima.
In another part of the museum they had a tower which had a display of air traffic control euipment and had a live feed through from ATC at Dulles tower.
On the top of the tower there was an observation area that looked out over the airport and the surrounding countryside.
We spent several hours there stopping for lunch at the inevitable McDonalds restaurant which seems to inhabit all of these places.
We leave DC tomorrow on route to Niagara falls and hopefully away from the traffic jams for a short while.
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