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Author Topic:   Public opening of the Udvar-Hazy (photos)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-15-2003 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today marked the public opening of the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. What follows are a few photographs of the day's highlights.

For a more comprehensive photographic overview of the museum's space offerings, see:

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-121203a.html

Before arriving I had decided to use today to explore the areas of the center I hadn't had a chance to during the press preview and dedication last week. I had planned to take in an IMAX movie in the new theater, experience the view from the Engen Observation Tower, and ride the space simulator.

Museum staff handed out free tickets to the 10:30am IMAX show as we walked in. From there, I went to the ticket booth to collect a free timed entry ticket to the Engen Tower to coincide with my exit from the film.

With some time to spare before the movie, I wandered over to Enterprise. I don't think I will ever be able to visit this museum without spending some time with the shuttle and capturing a few photographs of her.

New on this visit was a docent distributing free postcards with facts about Enterprise (there were similar cards available for each of the major artifacts, including the SR-71).

To the left of the McDonnell Space Hangar, the USPS were offering a special cancellation for the center's opening. They were selling #10 size cachets with artwork of the Wright Flyer as well as the First Flight stamp sheets.

As the cancellation pictures the SR-71 and Enterprise, I had those two postcards (see above) cancelled as well.

Later I discovered in the gift shop the official cover, already cancelled.

(Continued in next post...)

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited December 15, 2003).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-15-2003 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
(Continued from previous post)

The IMAX film I saw was titled "Straight Up: Helicopters in Action" and was narrated by Martin Sheen. Not the best IMAX movie I have seen, but interesting none-the-less. The theater at the Udvar-Hazy will show more than aviation-related movies, as was evident by the trailer for Disney's "Young Black Stallion".

A highlight of the day was the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower. From its 360 degree floor-to-ceiling windows, you are on eye-level with planes approaching Dulles Airport. It was really quite an amazing view! No matter how long the line for this may be when you visit (there is only one elevator), it is definitely worth the time spent.

As I returned to ground level, I saw crowd gathering near the Enola Gay. Apparently a planned peaceful demonstration against the display of the B-29 turned ugly when a protester threw a glass bottle filled with red liquid from a skywalk. Fortunately, the bottle didn't break until it hit the floor, sparing the Enola Gay of any discoloring, but it did create a noticeable dent in the fuselage (which can be seen in the photo above circled in red).

Two protesters were arrested. According to the Washington Post, Thomas K. Siemer, 73, of Columbus, Ohio, was charged with felony destruction of property and loitering, while Gregory Wright of Hagerstown, Md., faced a misdemeanor loitering charge.

Unfortunately, the area around the Enola Gay and the skywalk that crosses right in front of her had to be sectioned off.

The silver lining to this show of immaturity was that it caused a change to the path I was taking to walk around the museum and I ended up near the temporary space exhibits inside the main hangar. As I approached, I recognized a familiar face: Charlie Duke! He was there with his family, incognito, and despite the many Apollo artifacts surrounding him, no one seemed to realize who he was. I quietly approached and spoke with him for a few minutes. He was at Dulles awaiting a flight to the festivities at Kitty Hawk and had decided to come by to see the new center. I didn't want to draw any further attention to him, but he graciously agreed to a photograph (above).

Before leaving, I visited with a friend of several years, David Palermo, who has been part of the two-man team photographing each of the aircraft and spacecraft from the inside out to create QuickTime VR movies. Believe me when I say that his work is a definite must-see as it adds a whole new dimension to the artifacts on display. Standing before a Huey that flew for four years in Vietnam (the first to deploy a smokescreen) and then being able to virtually climb inside was a real thrill. And wait until you see what he was able to capture inside Gemini VII!

David's work needs sponsors, so if you or your company is in a position to help, please see:

http://www.nasm.si.edu/interact/qtvr/uhc/help.htm

A few random notes:

- The Subway ran out of sandwiches at lunchtime.

- The gift shop is small but offers some nice Udvar-Hazy logo products.

- Climbing your way from the first floor to the third floor skywalk is a real workout.

(I didn't ride the simulator as planned as I was feeling a bit off after hauling up and down the stairs. That said, its on the top of my list for my next trip this Friday.)

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited December 15, 2003).]

nojnj
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posted 12-15-2003 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nojnj   Click Here to Email nojnj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much Robert for the update. I really appreciate you being our eyes and ears. The photos are great and your recollection of the events are superb!
Hope to see it all in January!

------------------
Evan

Dave Clow
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posted 12-15-2003 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice report as always, Robert. I had a similar moment with General Duke at the late great Museum of Flying in Los Angeles. He was as gracious than as he was in your report.

astroborg
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posted 12-15-2003 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astroborg   Click Here to Email astroborg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Robert!

I bumped into Frank Borman over 10 yrs ago at the Air & Space museum similarly. Nobody knew he was famous, apparently. My wife told me "you know you're gonna hate yourself if you don't go up to him", so I introduced myself first and then introduced my kids to him. I was thrilled, to say the least. He was very nice.

-Rich
In Northern VA, who had to work today :-(

Jake
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posted 12-15-2003 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jake   Click Here to Email Jake     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the wonderful report Robert...!

------------------
Jake Schultz - curator,
Newport Way Air Museum (OK, it's just my home)

tegwilym
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posted 12-16-2003 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, now that looks like a museum that might have a little bit more in it than Jake's living room!

I'll probably get over there sometime early next year. I've already got my buddy-pass on Frontier airlines from one of my pilot friends.
I can't wait!

Tom

Rodina
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posted 12-17-2003 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

You know, I thought that was Charlie Duke I saw on my flight from Australia a few months ago, and I shuffled past him in the lavatory but I couldn't quite place him -- I stared at him for a moment, and he knew I recognized him, but it was so out of context that I couldn't place him until it was too late (I wasn't going to go hunt him down in his seat).

ARGH!

Tokamak
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posted 12-22-2003 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tokamak   Click Here to Email Tokamak     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My friend's Grandfather, who I have had the pleasure to meet, was among one of the 2 men who desecrated the unholy machine. I support it 100% and would have done it too, if i'd had the means. Japan bombs 2,300 U.S military Personnel, with a response by the U.S of MURDER of over 150,000, of which less than 1,000 were in any way ever involved with the military. It is an atrocity that the damn plane isn't scrap by protesters, who have good reason, and the many Japanese reporters, and protesters who had more than every right to be furious, and the ignorant whitehead who called the act immature obviously has blind faith in this zionist government, and that anything that was ever done in history was right. As for the concern for safety of visitors, I think they would be the ones you would Least have to fear of something like that.

------------------
Rebellion in the name of Morality, Valor and Ethics does, in no way intertwine with legality, spread by corruption.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2003 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for reposting your views in the more appropriate location. Your original post (needlessly starting another thread on the subject) was deleted. Duplication of posts are not allowed.

I am the "whitehead" that called the act immature. Yes, it is immature to first agree to a peaceful demonstration (of which your friend's grandfather was invited in by the Smithsonian to stage) and then disregard that agreement to throw red paint at an artifact. Your grandfather's group already had the media present -- there was no need for a stunt to garner more attention and all you succeeded by the act was to weaken your position further.

The B-29 is an inanimate object. It has no feelings, no purpose, no goal in existence; its a tool. The museum's purpose is to display the tools that have been developed to allow humans to fly.

There are only two B-29s in existence. Both dropped bombs. There are no alternatives for displaying the B-29. Its either Enola Gay or Bockscar, take your pick.

Your friend's grandfather's act was the equivalent of throwing your computer off the desk when a virus claims all your files. Yes, it may give you an initial thrill, but when that passes, you realize you are much farther away from recovering your work.

After your friend's grandfather's act of immaturity, you are even farther away from finding any support for your cause.

kosmo
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posted 12-22-2003 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually the Commemorative Air Force owns one of the only flying B-29's called FIFI

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited December 22, 2003).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2003 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stand corrected -- even beyond what kosmo posted. From the Smithsonian's website:

"Only 30 B-29s still exist and 25 of those are in museums. Of the 15 B-29s built for atomic bombing missions, only two exist--Enola Gay and Bockscar."

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited December 22, 2003).]

Russ Still
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posted 12-22-2003 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Russ Still   Click Here to Email Russ Still     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tokamak: It's a museum. Museum's display historic artifacts. The Enola Gay is a historic artifact. I believe you will also find Luftwaffe aircraft there, bearing the notorious swastika. They, too, are historic artifacts. I am pleased that all of these important aircraft have been saved and placed on display. They are significant parts of our aerospace heritage.

mensax
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posted 12-23-2003 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"My friend's Grandfather, who I have had the pleasure to meet, was among one of the 2 men who desecrated the unholy machine"

My grandfather, my father's father, had a different viewpoint. Perhaps, if your friend's grandfather had had a son fighting in the Pacific and was sure to have participated in the invasion of Japan, his understanding of this tragic war might be more balanced.

Might you consider giving this friend of yours a few history books to read? I have a feeling he'll have plenty of well deserved time to read in the near future.

Vandalizing museum artifacts... now that's something to be proud of.

Noah

Rodina
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posted 12-23-2003 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hey, buddy, that machine saved a million lives, Japanese and American, by finally getting the junta that ran Imperial Japan to tell the Emperor the truth of what had happened to his country.

I'm sorry I wasn't there, because I'd have had the pleasure to slug the old coot.

John K. Rochester
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posted 12-23-2003 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
..pardon me , but didn't the attack on Pearl Harbor occur to a country who had not (at that point ) entered the war? Honorable!!? Didn't that attack provoke the country to not only enter, but end the war as well? I believe so.. Neither event was " Honorable", however to bomb a country that we had least declared war on.... seems to be the more normal act during wartime. Enola Gay is a symbol, but it should be a symbol of what can happen when you " wake the sleeping giant.." and we can hope to God that is an event that never repeats itself again. ( and yes, I do know about Nagasaki as well..)

Gilbert
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posted 12-23-2003 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I'll drive up to Atlanta Airport and throw red paint on the types of planes used to bring down the World Trade Center. Yea, that'll show those terrorists...

Ridiculous!

Jake
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posted 12-23-2003 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jake   Click Here to Email Jake     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't see how vandalism is good in any way...

I understand how people can have VERY different views, but artifacts of history are just that - artifacts. I hate that some of the most amazing aircraft of all time were meant to kill. I work for an aircraft company which makes weapons. I work in the development of commercial airplanes. Even with that said, I sometimes struggle with what some of what my company's "other" products do.

A few years ago I has the pleasure to work with a group of engineers from Japan. We worked on a team for over two years, and one day, one of them (who was about 35 years old) said he was sure glad about the B-29, since it allowed him to have the chance to work here in America for a few years. I questioned why he felt this way. Takeshi said that if we had not dropped the bomb on Japan, his hometown in Japan would have been one of the first invaded and his parents probably would have been killed - he would have never been born. He, a man from Japan, was sure glad the war ended, any way it could. Takeshi now builds models of spacecraft with his son.

WWII is history now. I hope history is kept on display in places like the Smithsonian - so we keep from doing such awfull things to humanity as we did, and sadly still do.

------------------
Jake Schultz - curator,
Newport Way Air Museum (OK, it's just my home)

tegwilym
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posted 12-23-2003 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So is it also wrong to display artifacts from the Titanic? That ship sank with over 1,000 people on board. There are traveling exhibits showing large chunks of the hull.

Of course it wasn't dropped on a city or anything, but it's still an exhibit of a vehicle that killed a lot of people.

Tom

MrSpace86
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posted 12-23-2003 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why don't we throw a bottle of red paint to Space Shuttle Enterprise since two Shuttle accidents have claimed the lives of 14 heroes. Geez...

-Rodrigo

mikepf
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posted 12-23-2003 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must say that after reading Tokamak's entry, I had to wait a day to calm down enough to write this. I am as saddened as anyone that all those innocent people died in the war, not just in Japan, but in every country involved. But the Japanese civilians were no more or no less innocent than the countless hundreds of thousands of murdered civilians in places like China, Indochina, Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia who died at the hands of the Japanese military. For example, my wife's uncle was dragged out in front of his family and beheaded, without trial, by the Japanese military occupiers of the Philippines for the crime of being a male of military age. When any govenment decides to roll the dice and go to war, they must expect that they are putting the lives of thier own citizens at risk. The Spanish Civil War and the Blitz must have made this perfectly clear to the Japanese ladership, especially in light of their own treatment of the populations of occupied countries for years before Pearl Harbor. When the A-bombs were dropped, huge areas were still under brutal Japanese military rule. As has been pointed out in some other posts, it is quite probable that the quick termination of the war by use of the bombs saved far more lives than they took. The ultimate value of the Enola Gay is not as an old airplane, but as a symbol and a memorial not just to those who flew her, but to all the victims, of all countries, of the years of sensless horror that it brought so quickly to an end. I agree that its display is a constant, and to many a painful, reminder of the horrors of war and mass destruction, but feel that this is EXACTLY WHY IT SHOULD BE PRESERVED! As for America's attitude towards the people of Japan, you must look at the larger picture than just what happened during the war, but what happened just afterward, during the US occupation. I'm sure that a Japanese occupation of the US would have been far different.
Happy Holidays to everyone.
Mike

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-31-2003 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A quick question to Robert or anyone: I recently wrote an article on Shepard's MA-10 capsule "Freedom 7 II" for the BIS "Spaceflight" magazine. At the time of writing and publication, it was on permanent exhibition at the Ames Center. Is this new Dulles museum going to be the spacecraft's permanent home, or is it only on temporary loan from Ames?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2003 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the curators, MA-10/Freedom 7 II is on permanent display at the Udvar-Hazy from this point forward.

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-31-2003 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks Robert - handy to know. All the very best to you for the New Year (we've rung it in in Sydney already), and I join the general chorus in thanking you for maintaining collectSPACE so brilliantly well, and for giving all of us a place to flee to every morning in search of information and nourishment for the soul.

farthestreaches
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posted 12-31-2003 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think with regard to this thread, Robert and Russ said it best. We're talking about an artifact here. Nothing more and nothing less. Not a thinking, breathing, living, entity but rather an important piece of hardware that was important part of an event that shaped world history. It deserves to be preserved, protected, and displayed for all to see. Painful memories for many?....Absolutely, but tossing bottles of paint won't do anything to change that fact. Would encourage
Tokamak to consider thinking more in that direction.

------------------
Steve Hankow
http://www.farthestreaches.com

Richard
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posted 01-01-2004 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's amazing how a benign subject of discussing the Udvar-Hazy Center can take such a turn. I actually missed this whole discussion until now, because I read Robert's original post a few weeks ago and just left it at that.

I am absoutely dumbfounded at the post by Tokamak. Mike, that was a GREAT reply - you stole all of my thunder.

mikepf
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posted 01-01-2004 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"According to the curators, MA-10/Freedom 7 II is on permanent display at the Udvar-Hazy from this point forward."

Darn, what a way to start my new year to see this! I enjoyed the fact that I had a genuine Mercury spacecraft just up the highway from me. In fact, I just stopped by the NASA Ames museum the other day with my daughter, hoping to take some pictures of her by it to send to some astros who have been kind enough to sign for her this past year. The museum was closed so we had to settle only for some shots of her in front of the 1/3 size shuttle model. I guess I should have gotten up there more often than I did. I wonder what else has been removed from Ames? Oh well. I hope that those of you back east will enjoy seeing her as much as I did when she was here. Best wishes to everyone for a great new year!
Mike

astpexhibitor
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posted 01-23-2004 06:43 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone find out who the designer of the pictorial cancellation which commemorated the Opening Day of the Udvar-Hazy Center was? Maybe Robert, you can find out this information. Thanks in advance.

------------------
John Macco

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