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Published: November 11th 2013
STEVEN F. UDVAR-HAZY AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM--Thursday, July 4, 2013 Happy Independence Day! Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Chantilly, VA
Our original plan was to go to the Mall where the SmithsonianMuseum was having an international festival and then stay for the annual 7:30 concert and fireworks. However, it was really too hot and a rainy day, so we went with our cousins Dave and Heather to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum that is located a couple miles from the hotel and was air conditioned.
The main part of the museum is in huge hangar and then it has 2 smaller hangars attached to it. All manner of flight is represented from man's earliest experiments with sail-like "wings," to a replica of one of the Wright Brother's planes, to WWI & WWII fighters of all sides, including the Enola Gay, to small single engine and biplanes, to the first commercial passenger planes, to the Stealth spy plane of the cold war.
The museum also highlights the development of
hot air balloons and hang gliders. All of the items are hanging suspended from the ceiling or displayed on the floor. See http://airandspace.si.edu/
for further information.
In a small hangar off this huge one is displayed the Discovery Space Shuttle, the Mercury Capsule, a Manned Maneuvering Unit,
and many, many other items from man's flights into space. In another smaller hangar, you could look down and observe the on-going restoration of various aircraft by volunteers who put in hundreds of hours of work.
Fascinating place that was made more interesting by a very knowledgeable volunteer docent/guide who for free toured us around and explained the various aircraft and answered all our questions. After the tour we had lunch at a Micky D's on the second floor of the main hangar and then wandered on our own to take another look at various exhibits.
Left tired, but satisfied with our day, and headed back to the hotel. That night we met up with other family members (our aunt and uncle and our cousins, Karen and Gary--the groom’s parents) and had dinner in the hotel Pub. Tomorrow is the BIG DAY.
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