National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – Part VII

I told an inadvertent lie on the last post . . . I said I only had one more post to be finished with this series. I was wrong then, but this time I am sure. There is only one more post after this one documenting my trip to the National Air and Space Museum.

But first . . . the cat picture.

"How the heck do you pronounce THAT name?!"

“How the heck do you pronounce THAT name?!”

Sad . . . cats look smarter than the majority of politicians, and cats have sense enough not to make speeches.

Part VII . . . I feel good about this.  Seven is a prime number, and it’s also the number of years I spent on my last job. Also, it’s the number of Maria cookies I dunk in a freshly-brewed cup of Red Rose Tea. Plus, it’s the average number of times I think about my wife in any given hour. Except when I’m sleeping, of course.

The capacity of both my .45 and my .357 magnum, my preferred number of pants pockets, the number of cameras I own (although three of them are film cameras) . . . I could go on, but you get the picture; as far as this post is concerned, VII rules! Why, it even divides perfectly into XXI, giving us III, another prime number.

It’s like fate, or something, guided by the unthinking intellect of the Universe as it blunders from cock-up to cock-up, claiming it’s a plan.

But, on with the show.

Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star - B&W Rendition

Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star – B&W Rendition

A very nice-looking aircraft first flown in 1948, the Lockheed “T-Bird” T-33 Shooting Star remains in service worldwide. For them who be not inclined to click links, the Cuban Air Force used T-33’s during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, scoring several kills.

The color version

The color version

The T-33 served with over 30 nations, and continues to be used as a trainer for smaller air forces. In 2010, one of the two T33 Shooting Stars owned by Boeing was used as a chase aircraft during the maiden flight of the Boeing 787 and Boeing 747-8.

These next shots are for all them Tom Cruise (or Maverick) fans out there.

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman’s F-14 Tomcat first flew in 1970 and made its first deployment in 1974 aboard the USS Enterprise (the aircraft carrier, not the interstellar warp-capable poorly designed fictional space ship helmed (bridged?) by an unstable philandering toupee-wearing girdled Captain sporting what some considered a deliberate speech impediment which those of us with actual speech impediments found both amusing and vaguely insulting).

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Can’t read that, can you? Tell you what, if you are curious, click HERE and be magically transported to the SmugMug gallery with full size versions of all the photos in this post.

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Grumman F-14D(R) Tomcat

Got to admit, it’s also a nice-looking plane. Here’s an interesting fact for you . . . the F-14 was retired from the Navy’s active service in 2006, supplanted by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and as of 2012, Maverick’s plane of choice was only in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, having been exported to Iran in 1976, when they were still our buddies.

They be somewhat unstable, so it’s understandable how they might be Tom Cruise fans. And maybe a little sad.

20121119_1_DSC3828_DIGI

OK, I’m going to sound like a broken record, but here’s another fine-looking aircraft, despite the vaguely religious-sounding name. I’ve had other opportunities to photograph Vought’s F-8 Crusader, and I regret not having a shot of the full aircraft here. For them interested, there is a better shot here.

Vought RF-8G Crusader

Vought RF-8G Crusader

The Crusader was ready for flight in 1955, and was the last U. S. fighter designed with guns as its primary weapon (four 20mm autocannons).

Vought RF-8G Crusader

Vought RF-8G Crusader

Don’t it look happy? I mean, who wouldn’t be, with four 20mm autocannons?

North American F-86 Saber (also known as Saberjet)

North American F-86 Saber (also known as Saberjet)

North American Aviation F-86 Sabre was the first American swept wings fighter which could counter the similarly winged MiG-15 over the Korea’s skies during the Korean War. Developed in the late 1940s, outdated by the 1950s, it continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces. The last operational aircrafts were retired in 1994 from the Bolivian Air Force. The particular paint job above gives it an unfortunate cartoonish look.

And here is the plane the Sabre fought in the skies over Korea.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15

20121119_1_DSC3837_DIGI

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing fighters, and in the early part of the Korean war it outclassed straight-winged enemy aircrafts in most applications. Given the reporting name of “Fagot” by NATO, the MiG-15 is believed to be one of the most widely produced jet aircrafts ever made, with over 12,000 built, with licensed foreign production raising the number to 18,000.

How about we take a break, and look back to one of this writer’s favorite planes? Okely Dokely.

SR-71

SR-71

If you can’t tell from the photo, this is a big plane.

20121119_1_DSC3838_DIGI

And it has a real bad-ass look, even though it carries no armament.

Here’s a view you don’t often see . . .

20121119_1_DSC3840_DIGI

Before we get back to the planes of the 50s and 60s . . .

20121119_1_DSC3841_DIGI

You see, I was on a catwalk; on one side you overlook the SR-71, and then you can turn around and look at the Space Shuttle and it’s vaguely rodent-like front view (look at the nose).

Anyway, continuing on . . .

The MiG-21

The MiG-21

The MiG-21 (NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most produced combat aircraft since the Korean War. It also boasts the title of longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 counting all the variants).

Like most of the soviet aircrafts from the era, while capable, they do not (at least to my untrained and inexperienced eye) look all that good (neither did the Sabre). Still, people killed and were killed flying these birds.

Republic F-105 Thunderchief

Republic F-105 Thunderchief

The F-105 Thunderchief was documented in Part I of this series, and this is another view of it.

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

The F-4 Phantom II is another plane I find interesting and pleasing to the eye. Perhaps it’s because it was prominent in both news and movies during my teens and 20s. It left service in 1996, and it was also the only aircraft used by both the USAF Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels. The particular airplane on display has a combat history that can be read HERE.

I came across is this article on pilots who attained the status of Flying Ace. Less than I imagined, especially during the Vietnam War. Interesting reading for them who be, you know, interested.

Grumman A-6 Intruder

Grumman A-6 Intruder

The history of this particular aircraft (a Grumman A-6 Intruder) can be read HERE. The Intruder is a long-range all weather aircraft capable of high subsonic performance at very low altitudes. It was designed to penetrate enemy air defenses and destroy small targets.

Grumman A-6 Intruder

Grumman A-6 Intruder

The Navy accepted this very plane in 1968. From the Smithsonian link:

“It served under harsh combat conditions in the skies over Vietnam and is a veteran of the 1991 Desert Storm campaign, when it flew missions during the first 72 hours of the war. It has accumulated more than 7,500 flying hours, over 6,500 landings, 767 carrier landings, and 712 catapult launches.”

Though little bird.

Lockeed Martin X-35B STOVL

Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL

This aircraft is the first F-35 ever built, and in 2006 the production model was officially named the F-35 Lightning II. It’s worth reading about the aircraft intended to provide the bulk of tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy as well as our closest allies over the coming decades. 

The above is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant, and it sacrifices about a third of the volume of fuel to accommodate the vertical flight system. The direct Wiki link is HERE.

How about another shot of the shuttle to close off this post? OK, here you go.

Retired Shuttle Discovery

Retired Shuttle Discovery

Note: many of the words are either paraphrased or directly copied from the corresponding Wikipedia pages, and sometimes from the Smithsonian’s own descriptions.  It’s worth noting Wikipedia is doing a fund drive.  If you can spare a few bucks, please do so.  They offer incalculable value for them who want to learn stuff.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Actual Work

Actual Work

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black & White, Machines, Photography, Photography Stuff, rockets, Satellites, Shuttle Discovery, Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – Part VII

  1. oneowner says:

    Sadly, I’m more familiar with the F14 that with the Tom Cruise movie, which I have yet to see. But we do have our favorite plane in common. I first saw one in an Air Force hanger when it was still highly classified. I never got over it.
    I do own more than seven cameras, if you count the really old stuff my father left me. So if I had a lucky number, it probably wouldn’t be 7. more like 11.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Man, you are missing something else. Tom Cruise almost shows emotion (grief, I think, for the loss of his co-pilot . . . just before he . . . er . . . has carnal relations the leading lady), and otherwise looks all cocky and stuff (even without any sofa to attack).

      The Blackbird . . . I take it you were highly placed? Had a high security clearance? . . . I’m not under surveillance, am I? Who am I kidding!? I’m probably on a number of lists.

      As for cameras, I’ve been buying up old ones when I come across what I think is a good deal (have been burned a couple of times), and thus have, I think, around 18 or 19. Only a few of them work, but the film for them is uber-expensive.

      Like

  2. Greg Urbano says:

    Awesome looking museum and photos! One question, did they mind the fact you were taking photos? I visit a museum in titusville and they almost encourage it, just wondering about this one.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thanks . . . you should check out the previous posts, or just do a search on airplanes.

      As for taking photos, I called ahead of time. Like most museums, they discourage tripods, but allow monopods (I shot free-hand), and otherwise you can snap away to your heart’s content. Some museum (Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, MI) allow tripods if the museum is not busy.

      Also, unless you make prior arrangements with the Smithsonian, you cannot sell the photos you take. I think that is the case with most museums.

      In fact, thanks for reminding me; I need to turn off the shopping cart in my SmugMug galleries.

      Like

  3. sandra getgood says:

    I have only one question. Why not when you’re sleeping?

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I don’t sleep much, so I typically sink into deep sleep almost immediately. Apparently, during that time the mind does its own thing, and I don’t exist until it reconstructs me just before waking up.

      . . . I don’t like it. I’ve tried going a few days without sleep, and while I can, it requires for me to be constantly occupied and focused, and I can only eat so much food before I have to . . . er . . . sit down, and once that happens, well, it’s goodnight Irene (whoever she is).

      Like

  4. colonialist says:

    I particularly like the Tomcat and the Phantom, and would love to get more perspective on the Shooting Star.
    Much to drool over.

    Like

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