Nov 30, 2010

National Air & Space Museum

Well, I'm enjoying my time in DC. Although, today's meeting dragged on from 9:00am until 3:30pm. When it ended I dropped my laptop at the hotel and meandered about Capital Hill with my camera. It's fun to be a tourist in our nation's capital. I took a bunch of cliche pictures of the Capital Building, The Mall etc and then made my way over to the National Air & Space Museum. I love this place. I remember being amazed at the site of all those airplanes when I first visited DC back in 1994. To polish that memory I picked up some freeze-dried ice cream at the gift shop. I can remember my father buying some of this "amazing astronaut food" for me way back in the day.

Having been a licensed aircraft mechanic (I still have my Airframe & Powerplant License) I always find myself staring at the engines in this museum. When I think about reciprocating engines and how they were refined, leaned, improved upon and utilized, I am truly impressed. The Bently rotary engine shown above is an example of this. This engine was made out of aluminum in 1918. Aluminum cylinders (all nine of them) made it lighter and therefor made the plane it was mounted in able to accelerate much faster.

I enjoyed seeing my favorite airplane, the P-51 Mustang as well as a Spitfire, Messerschmidt, DC-3 and a couple very early fighter jets. I'll let the pictures do the talking from here.


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Very Nice! I love aviation history. I can spend hours looking at the old birds and new ones too. I've been there but I was about 14 so I don't remember much. I was down to the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB last year. That place is incredible too. Highly recommended if your ever passing through central Ohio.

Wayward Son said...

Great pics! I could spend days at NA&SM. I get a kick out of browsing the old 'reciprocators' too. Nothing like a Wright radial or old Merlin to make your day. Sometime would like to get to Udvar-Hazy Center as well.

If you ever make it upstate...maybe check out my local favorite...the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport -
Small but full of gearhead stuff.