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The Udvar-Hazy Center

by John M. White |

For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Udvar-Hazy Center is the annex to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum which is located close to the Dulles International Airport.  One of the first things you experience when you get there are wall to wall aircraft, ranging from a replica of the original Wright Flyer to the SR71 Blackbird spy plane.  If you have never examined the Wright Flyer carefully, or have never made a Wright Flyer model, even one you can fly, then you have missed out on a great experience.  You can find models to build in my eBay store. GiantWrightFlyerModel

The museum has over 150 original aircraft and spacecraft (except for the one replcia - the Wright Flyer) including some of the current most modern aircraft such as the Joint Strike Fighter.  The aircraft range from the very small propeller driven aerobatic aircraft to the giant commercial jet aircraft, and everything in between. 

The museum staff say that men walk into the building and wander from aircraft to aircraft as they wander through the displays, perhaps imagining or remembering their own past.  Soon the women and children become bored and wander to the restaurant or the gift shop, or more likely down the road to an antibellum historic plantation, leaving the dreamers behind.

If you have never had the chance to visit this museum you really should.  If you love aviation, like my wife and I do, then you will not be disappointed nor will you find leaving easy.  It is so easy to get absorbed by the history there that you will forget about time and be surprised when the building closes!

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


The True and Beautiful—The Sky

Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two months together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost Divine in its infinity.

—Bayard Ruskin

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