May 18, 2011

Day Trip: The Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles

Weather Balloon by Anna Perry
I wish I could take credit for these awesome photos of the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, but I am proud to tell you that they were taken by my sister, Anna, earlier this week. I knew it was the perfect place to take the family at the end of their visit for her graduation.  Last year Mom and Dad visited and we spent hours and hours and hours there and didn't exhaust our fascination.  Well...Dad's, that is.  I knew the brother and sister would be most engaged as well, so we packed into the van and headed over there for a couple hours.  And she took all these awesome photos on her cell phone--I think the vintage styling  makes these wonderful planes, satellites, weather balloons, etc. just pop, visually. 
  
Frankly, the museum is awesome.  It has the entire history of flight, and all the awesome, fascinating, experimental, extraordinary planes that didn't fit in the Air and Space Museum. Like the Enola Gay.  And an experimental prototype of the space shuttle (which, by the way, looks like paper-mâché, even though it is ginormous).  And a flying landing.  And a bunch of spiffy helicopters. And a Pan-Am Intercontinental Clipper. And the Blackbird. And a glorious collection of satellites (below).  It's really one of the most fascinating and thrilling museums in the DC area, and well worth a visit.

National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, Virginia 20151
703-572-4118
Hours:
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Extended Summer Hours:
May 27 - September 4
10:00 am - 6:30 pm


It also has an IMAX.
  
The most gorgeous of the satellites. By Anna Perry
Satellites hanging over the space shuttle. By Anna Perry

Pan-Am Intercontinental Clipper.  Now that's how to travel. By Anna Perry


The museum is a huge hanger, with many levels, so you get to see flight from start to finish! By Anna Perry

This is an acrobatic airplane that they, fittingly, hang upside down.  See many other planes in the background, including the Virgin Atlantic jet plane that flew the first non-stop around the world flight. By Anna Perry

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