Air and Space Museum- Udvar-Hazy Extension at Dulles Airport

I went out with my parents for their joint birthday celebration (mom’s was a week before dad’s, while I was at Photostock). We like going to museums together, and they had never been to the Air & Space Museum annex by Dulles Airport. So we met in Reston for lunch, then drove out to the museum. Here are a few shots I took of the aircraft.

This is an early military biplane. Note the machine gun openings in the nose, just behind the propeller.


I find the propellers and radial engines on vintage aircraft fascinating – they make for very interesting compositions and lend themselves to geometric abstractions.


This is the propeller, wing and fuselage of the Enola Gay, the B29 Flying Fortress that dropped the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. There was some controversy when the plane first went on display about how the signage would read. I didn’t re-read it this time, but I know there were some WW II veterans who felt the original language was too apologetic toward the Japanese for the atomic bombing. To me, the plane is presented in an appropriately neutral setting, allowing visitors to judge for themselves what it means.


The cockpit of the Enola Gay. I don’t know if having a polarizer would have helped with the glare – the windows are plexiglass and have compound curves to them.


One of the neat things about the Udvar-Hazy center is that they now have the restoration facility open to view. You still can’t go down on the floor of the workshop like you could over at Silver Hill (that was a different place and a different time, where you toured by appointment, but could walk up and touch the Enola Gay, still disassembled and in need of polishing (which they would let you help out with if you wanted to volunteer – the plane has an enormous surface area)). Now they are actively working on a WW II US Navy Hellcat dive bomber (not pictured), and here is a flying boat with what appears to be a Korean War vintage jet fighter underneath its wing.


And of course, the piece de resistance, the Space Shuttle. I know almost everyone takes a version of this photo when visiting, but it’s such an impactful view of the iconic vessel.


All photos were taken with my Canon 5D mk1, and the Canon EOS 50mm f1.4.

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