Saturday, April 02, 2016

Roadtrip Day 268


Roadtrip Day 268

4/1 Friday

April Fools’ Day. Watch out.

Breakfast at a cute local ‘50s style diner. Then off to the Air and Space Museum. A significant jones for me. One of many, true, but flying and space travel are deeply ingrained in my core self.

What a wonderful experience. I hafta control myself or this post will become a multithousand-word elegy. This wonderful museum contains the entire history of human flight, from the Montgolfier brothers’ balloons to the latest in space-going craft.

Some particular highlights for me include aircraft *I* admire which may not be the same for you. Go visit. Yours is probably there, too!

The fabulous twin-tail-boom P38.

 
 

My favorite warbird from WWII, the exquisite F4U Corsair. Hubba-hubba!

 





A coupla planes from the greatest aviation designer of the century, Burt Rutan, notably his mold-breaking Vari-EZE and the round-the-world-without-refuelling Voyager. Burt also designed SpaceShipOne (and Two). The Vari-EZE is the white one resting on its nose.
 

In the category of stop-and-catch-your-breath, the Enola Gay. Ronnie cried. Even I teared up. The weight of history falls like a heavy cloak when you see that nose art.
 


Similar but different is the emotion upon seeing the Discovery, Queen of LEO (low-earth orbit). Wow!
 
 

Melancholy feelings when viewing the SST Concorde. Why haven’t all commercial aircraft gone supersonic, instead of reverting to all-subsonic flight? So beautiful, so elegant.

  


Seeing a Japanese Okha suicide plane-bomb evoked another strong wave of emotion. A barely-flyable bomb with a human “guidance system.” One-way trip.


I absolutely loved the space section – Mercury and Gemini capsules, Pathfinder and Sojourner, spacesuits and EVA vehicles. Luvs me some space shit.

It was fascinating to look down at their restoration hangar. Saw current work on a WWII bomber named “Flak Bait” which lived up to its name be being the worst-shot-up craft to make it through the war.

I could go back often for a good while before tiring of the offerings there.

2 comments:

  1. I took Orin on a concorde last summer at a place near us called Brooklands and found myself thinking the same about the progress of supersonic flight. My Dad flew on Concorde :)
    http://thegallivanters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/somewhere-in-brooklands.html
    We have a piece of a propellor of a Samuel Cody plane that we keep meaning to take to FAST (just under an hour from here) which has strong connections to Roger's side of the family - we will save it for when you visit the UK again
    http://www.airsciences.org.uk/

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  2. Cool! Visit to airsciences sounds great!

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