The year that I forgot to bring my camera to America so these photos from a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles airport in Virginia (at the easy-to-remember, trips-off-the-tongue location of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center) all come from my phone hence the noise in the images and lack of control with blown highlights. Still, the visit was fabulous; the museum was large, as you’d expect from a place housing so many aircraft and spacecraft, but being effectively a few hangars strung together it was very open and easy to get around. In addition to some general planes from history and rockets such as those used to launch satellites there were some well-known aircraft too, including the Enola Gay which dropped the first atomic bomb and the Gemini VII space capsule.

In the main hangar the big attraction was the SR-71 Blackbird which is just a beautiful-looking plane with some fantastic lines and curves to it.

An attached section to the main hangar in the museum housed spacecraft, including the star attraction of the Space Shuttle Discovery. It’s a lot larger than I imagined it would be and it was a fantastic experience to be able to walk around and take photos of something that had spent just over a year in space across its dozens of flights.


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