Air And Space

Experience told me it was just too hot to check out DC .   It’s August after all.   And Washington  is way up on my list of sweltering cities.  Houston is on that list.  So is St. Louis,  among others.   Its the humidity that just kills you.   It can be in the mid 90’s which is quite tolerable I think but add in 70% humidity and its ….well, as my Aunt Myrtle used to put it……It’s Close.    Suffice to say it has been real close here on the farm for the past several weeks……. 100 degree days have become almost the norm this summer.  Almost.   So I figured, how much hotter could DC be?  Before I thought too much about it,  I had packed up the camera bag, tossed some T’s and shorts in an overnighter and I was outa here.

The answer to that question is…… Politics aside……… it can always be hotter in Washington.  But sometimes you get lucky.  It was in the upper 80’s when I got down on the Mall.    Good thing.  It”s a two mile hike from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial.   I went to school in DC and I worked here so there isn’t much here that I have not seen but I do have my faves.  At the top of the list is the Air And Space Museum.   Wonder why huh?  If you love flight,  this is heaven.  And the best news is there are two heavens.  There’s the original on Jefferson Avenue on the Mall and the newest, and by far the biggest, at Chantilly, Virginia out at Dulles Airport.   Both have huge wow factors.  I’ve been many many times and I’m still blown away when I walk in.

There’s something about seeing a Douglas DC 3 and a Ford Tri-motor hanging from the ceiling.     It’s all those Revell Plastic Airplanes  suspended from your room’s ceiling with fishing line when you were growing up suddenly coming to life.  Add on a 747 nose section with the full cockpit open to see and its almost too much. 

I never tire of gazing at the model graphics.  The SST, The Space Shuttle, Jets……all zooming across the blackness of space.    One almost has the feeling of floating.  Amazing.  There’s always a huge crowd around the Apollo 11 Command module.  Not a model mind you but the real deal.  It’s the first thing you see when walking into the Space Hall…….along with the rockets reaching for the huge skylight.   I  get a kick out of watching the kids…….walking around dazzled into a daze.  I remember my first visit in 1964.  I think its mostly the scale of everything.  You grow up seeing small pictures of all these planes and rockets and space vehicles and satellites and suddenly to see the real thing well….it’s just huge.

The LEM (Not the Real One, it’s still sitting on the Moon) and one of the four enormous rocket engines.

This is about as big as it gets at the downtown Air and Space Museuem.  Out at Chantilly, the entire SST is on Display along with an entire Space Shuttle.   Awesome.

I’ll put a sock in it with this one….a shot of the Wright Brothers Original Flyer suspended from the Ceiling in Aviation Hall.   And to think it all started  at KItty Hawk not far from where I live. 

See you next time on most of this same blog.

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