Museum of Flight

Eric and Sylvia visit Seattle's Museum of Flight.

Before any crowds formed, Sylvia and I took a tour of an old Air Force One.  It was used by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.Lots of space to have meetings!  Or, in Kennedy's case, Marilyn Monroe.

The super-secret phone!

This is a mock up of Eisenhower in action! "Nuke 'em!!!"This lavatory was remodeled for Jackie Kennedy.  Evidently she had a really wide butt.

This is the communications center for the aircraft.

Of course, a picture of the cockpit is a must.Next to Air Force One there was an old A6 Intruder.  It has two crew who sit side-by-side.

This is a Fiat G.91.  If you thought Fiat cars were small, so were their aircraft!We then went inside the Museum where we took advantage of a free tour.  There were a large number of retired Boeing workers who were giving tours, or just available for information.  They were very friendly.

This is a mock up of the original Wright Flyer, mad by students of the UW in the 60's.  Evidently it is airworthy, but no one was brave enough to test fly it.This craft does not have material on its wings to show the detail of it's construction.  It's amazing what they did with wood.

I found this plane to be really amazing.  It is an early Italian plane which was left un-renovated.  What was strange about it was that the nose cone is attached to the propeller and the two spin together.  Must have been error prone.The main skill needed by the airplane builders was working with wood, of course.  Here the tour guide demonstrates an original lathe.

Here is the second version of the famous Albatross which was human powered, and was flown across the English Cannel.  It weights about 75 pounds!  Which is probably just a bit more than the hang glider next to it, but it's wingspan is many times larger.

This is a tri-motor Boeing.  Very classy for its time.This is a replica of the first airplane made by Boeing.  Evidently the U.S. Government did not think much of it, so two were sold to the Australians and used successfully.

Much of early flight was dedicated to the delivery of mail, which was dropped off and picked up without the aircraft landing.This is a very small unmanned plane which travels at about 50 mph, and flew around the world with less than 2 gallons of fuel!

This is an old-fashioned glider, the predecessor to modern day hang gliders.  It was built by Cessna!This was the newest plane on exhibit.  A spitfire.

A Corsair.This helicopter has no tail because it is powered by jets on the tips of the propeller!

A cruise missile.  Capable of cruising just above the tree-tops, using a computer and landmarks by which it navigates.

A flying car!  Early Americans thought that an aircraft would be something the average person would be able to own and operate.

One of the coolest aircraft at the museum was the SR-71 Blackbird.  A Mach 3+ craft.  A real cockpit to one was available for pictures.  Evidently it is the remains of one which crashed upon takeoff.

It has two HUGE engines which consume 4,000 gallons of fuel an hour.  Flying fast does not come cheap.  It had to be refueled every 2 hours or so.  Must have been very tedious to fly.

These engines were only ever used on the Blackbird.

Upstairs we found the tribute to propellers!They were carved from wood.