Friday, September 26, 2014

A visit to Seattle Pt 2 – The Museum of Flight

 

After finishing with the zoo we headed for our next stop. Well, first we took a meandering trip through Tacoma, admiring all the vintage houses overlooking the amazingly blue water of Commencement Bay – seriously, the most beautiful blue I’ve ever seen! Did I get a picture? Well of course not! I kept thinking we were going to stop somewhere but got caught up in traffic and swept off course onto a freeway before we had a chance. Maybe next time!

We continued north to the Museum of Flight. Knowing the museum would take most of the rest of the day, and not wanting to have to eat a museum-dog for lunch, we stopped at an amazing little thai restaurant in Sounthcenter,  Bai Tong, which was fabulous! We split a Pad Thai and a Crispy Garlic Chicken and it was all amazing! This is our first major trip with a smartphone, and we never would have stumbled into this restaurant tucked away in a strip mall without it’s help!

Full and happy we continued to the museum. Now I love animals and nature, but I also love engineering and machines, and particularly airplanes! I grew up near Portland International, and it was a regular no-money-fun outing to go hang out at the fenceline and watch the planes come and go.

First thing you see as you approach from the parking lot:

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Ah, who doesn’t love a B-17?

 

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Followed by something a little more Cold War…

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The engines seemed so small for what they had to do.

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There was also a restored B-29 Superfortress which would have been a lot more impressive if it hadn’t been shrink-wrapped for protection from the elements.

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According to the signs, this plane spent time being used as an artillery target before it was rescued and restored! I would love to see more pictures of it before the restoration started – I can’t imagine something used for target practice would even be a candidate for restoration!

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We walked around the front of the building and spotted this Intruder, same type of plane one of our college professors had worked on back in the day.

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A Harrier…

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And looking into the gaping maw of a MiG

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It was getting hot, time to head inside…

 

Oh…WOW…

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Wow…

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This may actually BE the definition of OVERLOAD!

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So many planes!

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And pieces of planes!

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Some of our favorites:

The Blackbird

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The Electra (same kind of plane as Amelia Earhart disappeared in)

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Polished like a mirror!

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Once we’d had our fill of eyeballing on the planes in the main display area it was time to head over the skybridge

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What’s on the other side?

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How about a Concorde?

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They have a nice Space museum section, including the Space Shuttle Training mockup from NASA, with a very nice display showing it in use in it’s glory days. Next best thing to an actual space shuttle. Definitely gives you a feel for how big the shuttle really is.

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But the good stuff is parked out on the tarmac…

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Like Air Force One

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Since we love Mid-century design, there was lots to love in this Airstream-like interior of wood paneling and aluminum trim.

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Bunks (not for the Prez, he had his own space)

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Crowded little conference room.

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And the President’s office even had a little doggie door!

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Back out in the hot hot sun we got to see the first 737

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The Concorde

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And my favorite – the first 747! I have a soft spot for 747s for some reason. I think I had a book about it’s design when I was a kid – after all, it was new then. And then it was featured in the Airport movies, and it’s so distinctive when you see one. Anyway, we couldn’t go on that one, had to admire it from the ground.

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So we were hot and tired and ready for a break. Time to head to Seattle…

1 comment:

heather said...

COOL ! I think my favorite would be the shuttle display, but gosh, they are all awe inspiring to be seen up close.