Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington, USA

The Smithsonian National Air and Sapce Centre, situated adjacent to Dulles International airport is very convenient to enthusiast passing through the airport. My wife and I was fortunate enough to have some time in August 2011 to visit this museum for a few brief hours before flying on to Chicago. As with the main Smithsonian situated in Washington city, this museum houses some priceless aircraft and artifacts. This one has arguably one of the most important aircraft of the 20th century, Enola Gay. This was the B28 Superfortress bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb in anger. One of the other important exhibits is the Space Shuttle Enterprise which was the first shuttle built and was used for testing and gliding purposes. This shuttle will be on the move soon and will go to the USS Intrepid in New York and the Smithsonian will get one of the four remaining shuttles that actually flew in space, Discovery.

Aircraft at the museum are plentiful and another most important exhibit is the very first Boeing 707. This was the first one to fly and the leader of so many other 707's to follow. To name all the interesting aircraft would take pages so the best way is to pick your favourite from the photographs and view them. There are just so many interesting aircraft in this museum.

The price of getting in to the museum - FREE! Ain't that great!

I recommend the museum to any aviation enthusiast as one of the greats. It will take you several hours if not a day to view all the exhibits.

Most photos taken with my Canon 5D mk II with no flash and 24-105mm lens.

Smithsonian_068 - the entrance to the Smithsonian Smithsonian_001 - the entrance foyer into the Smithsonian museum Smithsonian_002 - the main aircraft hall - in the foreground is a Westland Lysander IIIa Smithsonian_003 - Republic F105D Thunderchief Smithsonian_004 - part of the Cold War aircraft Smithsonian_005 - a view of the vast main hall Smithsonian_006 - Republic F105D Thunderchief Smithsonian_007 - Vought F4U-1D Corsair Smithsonian_008 - Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, this Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. Smithsonian_009 - aircraft of the Vietnam war - a Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG 21F-13 FISHBED-C and a phantom F4 Smithsonian_010 - McDonnell F-4S Phantom II Smithsonian_011 - North American F-86A Sabre Smithsonian_012 - Grumman A-6E Intruder Smithsonian_013 - Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL Smithsonian_014 - Chance-Vought RF-8U Crusader Smithsonian_015 - Lockheed T-33A-5-LO Shooting Star Smithsonian_016 - McDonnell F-4S Phantom II Smithsonian_017 - Entrance to the Space section Smithsonian_018 - Space Shuttle Enterprise Smithsonian_019 - Space Shuttle Enterprise - one of the main engines Smithsonian_020 - Space Shuttle Enterprise Smithsonian_021 - Mobile Quarantine Facility. This MQF was used by Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins immediately after their return to Earth. Smithsonian_022 - Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow) Smithsonian_023 - Space Shuttle Enterprise - The first Space Shuttle orbiter, Smithsonian_024 - Space Shuttle Enterprise - this shuttle is moving to the USS Intrepid next year and the Smithsonian will get Discovery Smithsonian_025 - Vietnam War section Smithsonian_026 Smithsonian_027 Smithsonian_028 - Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL Smithsonian_029 - Space Shuttle Enterprise Smithsonian_030 - on the left is a Northrop N1M Smithsonian_031 - Boeing B-29 Superfortress Smithsonian_032 - Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko (Moonlight) IRVING - This J1N1 is the last remaining in the world. Smithsonian_033 - Aichi M6A1 Seiran. This M6A1 was the last airframe built (serial number 28) and the only surviving example of the Seiran in the world. Smithsonian_034 - Republic P-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt Smithsonian_035 - Boeing B-29 Superfortress Smithsonian_036 - the prototype Boeing 707 Smithsonian_037 - Arrow Sport A2-60 Smithsonian_038 - Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France Smithsonian_039 - Waterman Aerobile Smithsonian_040 - Lockheed 1049F-55-96, Smithsonian_041 - Lockheed 1049F-55-96, Smithsonian_042 - Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France Smithsonian_043 - Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France Smithsonian_044 - Bell H-13J Smithsonian_045 - Bell 47B Smithsonian_046 - Bell Model 30 Ship 1A Genevieve Smithsonian_047 - Hiller XHOE-1 Hornet Smithsonian_048 - North American Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S, Robert A. Smithsonian_049 - Grumman Goose Smithsonian_050 - Grumman F8F-2, Bearcat, Smithsonian_051 - Grumman F8F-2, Bearcat, Smithsonian_052 - Boeing B-29 Superfortress Smithsonian_053 - Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning Smithsonian_054 -  Northrop P-61C Black Widow Smithsonian_055 - Vought F4U-1D Corsair Smithsonian_056 - this group of teachers and kids were getting their pic taken when I snapped this one - they cheered and laughed - well, some of them did... Smithsonian_057 - WW1 section - a Spad XVI in the background and a Halberstadt CL.IV Smithsonian_058 - North American P-51C, Smithsonian_059 - Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning Smithsonian_060 - Grumman G-22
Gulfhawk II

Smithsonian_061 - Boeing B-29 Superfortress Smithsonian_062 - Junkers Ju52 Smithsonian_064 - Boeing B-29 Superfortress Smithsonian_065 - Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher Smithsonian_066 - WW1 section - a Spad XVI in the background and a Halberstadt CL.IV Smithsonian_067 - part of the building is a control tower which is actually a viewing tower Smithsonian_069 - viewed from the viewing tower, this Air France A380 landing at Dulles International Smithsonian_070 - the viewing tower Smithsonian_071 - the shop and food shop entrance Smithsonian_072 - a modern building for old aircraft