View of the Udvar-Hazy Center – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
Everyone has heard of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC (at least if you read this site, you likely have). The museum’s main location, prominently located on the National Mall, has long been a favorite stop for tourists exploring the nation’s capitol. Less well-known, however, is the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located 25 miles to the west, adjacent to Dulles International Airport (IAD). I recently took the opportunity to spend a few hours before a flight exploring this amazing facility, and I was not disappointed.
The museum, which opened in 2003, consists of two massive hangars housing over 3,000 aircraft, spacecraft, and other historical items. All told, there is nearly 300,000 square-feet of floor space in the museum. The collection includes the space shuttle Discovery, an SR-71, an Air France Concorde, and the B-29 bomber Enola Gay among many other fascinating pieces.
A British Airways Concorde visits SEA – Photo: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Today, Concorde is no stranger to the Seattle area — there is a British Airways Concorde sitting just south of Seattle at the Museum of Fight. But back in 1984, a Concorde had not yet visited Seattle. That all changed near the end of the year.
According to HistoryLink.org, on November 15, 1984, Concorde made its first trip to Seattle and it was for a special event.
It landed at Boeing Field (BFI) first to prepare for a special fundraising flight for the Museum of Flight. The plane arrived with a load of recently bottled Beaujolais nouveau wine and Seattle restaurant owner Mick McHugh along with a few guests. The wine was specially brought to Seattle as quickly as possible to be enjoyed, and what better way than via a Concorde?!
Earlier this week marked the 37th anniversary of the first Concorde flight and to help celebrate, Jaunted ran a story by Joe Corrigan who re-lived his JFK-LHR flight he took in July 2003. I wanted to share and here is the first two paragraphs of the story and the rest can be read on Jaunted.
I don’t know quite what it was about Concorde, but ever since I first saw her as a kid, I was mesmerised. That shape, those lines—there was something about her that drew me in. I was 14 the first time I saw her with my own eyes, as my my uncle had discovered Concorde would fly into Sydney, my home town, on a round-the-world charter. Together we headed to the airport to see her land.
That aircraft, F-BVFC, zoomed in and landed with full reverse and later took off with full afterburner as I watched from afar. I was hooked. The experience was not only visual and aural, but earth-shaking. Everything in the vicinity shuddered under the engine power; you could feel Concorde slice through the air and this in itself made it all the more visceral. It became a dream of mine to fly on her, one I never thought likely to come true.
READ THE REST OF JOE’S STORY AND SEE MORE PHOTOS ON JAUNTED.COM
It was pretty exciting getting to the Farnborough Air Show this year. The highlights were seeing Qatar’s Boeing 787 and Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380. Pretty cool aircraft, but there are some epic aircraft seen on this video, taken during the 1967 Paris Air Show.
The footage highlights Eastern Air Lines and the DC-8-61, but you can see other gems, like a TU-114, Electra, Concorde and a few others.