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National Air and Space Museum

Discussion in 'Wanderlust and Travel' started by C2020, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. My family and I spent the day at The National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located near Washinton's Dulles Airport. I was awestruck at the sheer number of aircraft enclosed with in the museum's walls. Besides the Concorde and SR-71 Blackbird, a special wing was devoted to space flight including the Spaceshuttle Enterprise!. I hope you enjoy the aircraft photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. I used my D80 with primarily the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX and occassionally the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 on a monopod. If the photos don't show up, follow one of the links to the photobucket folder. I'm not sure why the pictures aren't showing up...

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2007
  2. SSchex


    May 18, 2005
    Louisiana, USA
    Nice shots Bob. I went there in April. Wonderful place.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Excellent shots
    Space shuttle is my favorite plane..
    (not sure it is a plane though)lol
  4. Excellent photos. Looks like you almost had a private showing!!

    Two stuck out to me ... the final one of the F4 ... you actually made it look "pretty". This is a major accomplishment as the F4 is not known to have many angles that are "pretty." (Most in the AF said the F4 was proof that with enough power a brick could fly ...!)

    The second was the Enterprise. Although she never flew in space (in fact, her only flights were drop tests at Edwards AFB early on), she served as a giant "scale model" to help design and proof all of the associated support systems. She was at Vandenberg AFB for several months back in the 80's as we prepared to launch the shuttle from the West Coast, and I saw her many times. Used her as a "prop" in a photo shoot once as well ... Ford gained AF and NASA approval to have the Enterprise in the background for some advertising shots for the then new Aerostar mini van. So a camera crew and some Ford advertising types came out one morning and we rolled her around until the morning sun hit her and the car just right. Interesting experience to say the least!!

    Anyway, love your series of shots. Thanks for sharing.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2007
  5. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    I need to check that out one of these days. Just moved back into the area a year ago and it wasn't opened yet when I moved away the last time. Can't comment on the pics since a lot of photo sites are blocked at work, but I'll definitely check them out when I get home. :smile:
  6. Very cool. This is way up on my list of places to visit, but my last couple of trips to DC have not allowed time. I always enjoy seeing pictures of the place.
  7. Bob, I was able to fix the image links. In each case I removed "?action=view&current=" from the image URL. The software used by the Cafe doesn't allow dynamic links as specified by the original photobucket URL's. In most cases, as here, removing the "?" and the immediately following expression works.

    Nice images.
  8. I was recently in Washington on a business trip - I had a few hours to kill and had done most of the point and click sights in the city. On the transfer vehicle from the main airport to the terminal they tell you about this museum - wish I had known about it earlier now I know just how good it looks. Maybe next time!
  9. Thanks for the nice comments everyone. Rui, I found the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 to work beter than the Tokina 12-24 f/4 primarily because the faster aperture was easier to control. The Sigma feels good in my hands and I'm very happy with it's results. I'm still getting frustrated with the wide angle aberrations of the Tokina, (photographer's inexperience using ultra-wides, nothing to do with the lens). It's hard for me to determine what part of the photo's geometry is distorted, consequently l don't know what to correct with DxO optics. It's really a matter of shooting more with the lens.

    Ken, I didn't know the Enterprise was used as a model. I told my son how cool it was too see something that actually flew into space! Even when I tell him it never went to space I think he will still look at with amazement.
    You seem to know a lot about the shuttle missions, were you on the development team?

    Hey Dave, thanks for fixing the link. I'll copy your post for future reference.

  10. Bob

    Sort of ... I was lucky enough to be the Public Affairs Officer for the West Coast Launch site at Vandenberg AFB back in the mid-80's. In the ramp up for our July 1986 first launch, I started working with NASA in 1984. Went from Vandenberg to the Cape many times for launches, to Houston for meetings, and to Edwards for landings. Was involved in working with the media on the base's support for the program which at one point employed about 17,000 people, and consumed about $3 billion over several years. I also worked with the nearby communities to help them plan for the influx of spectators we expected for the first few launches.

    Here's what Enterprise looked like on our pad (an "official" USAF shot I found on the web):


    Then, the Challenger blew up on Jan 28, 1986. Our whole program was scrapped and by the fall of 1986 we were down to a few guards on site. Everyone was reassigned ... including me.

    Dream job of a lifetime .... gone.

    That whole period of my life is one where I'd give anything to have had my D80 and so on ... what great shots I would have had!!


  11. Ah, SLC-6! Very cool that you worked there. Another reason I want to see Enterprise…my grandfather took me to see her while she was in Huntsville for vibration test when I was little. Thanks again Bob and Ken!
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