This large aerospace museum is an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. Located in Chantilly Virginia this museum features some of the most impressive collection of spacecraft and aircraft found anywhere in the world.
The highlight of the museum is the Space Shuttle Discovery, when we took these photos in late 2011 the test Space Shuttle Enterprise was on display but this has since moved to New York. The museum is home to a Air France Concorde, the only surviving Boeing 307 and the Enola Gay the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
The Seattle Museum of Flight is located on King County International Airport better known as Boeing Field on the outskirts of Seattle, Washington. This aviation museum opened in 1965 and is one of the premier museums of its type in the United States, being home to the largest private air and space museum in the world.
The museum is spread over two large annexes and also features a large outdoor area where some of the larger aircraft are on display.
Highlights include the the City of Everett, the first ever Boeing 747, a British Airway’s Concorde and the first presidential jet that served the US President between 1959 and 1996.
New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is a wonderful display set upon the USS Intrepid a Essex class aircraft carrier that was built during World War II. The ship forms part of a spectacular museum that features a wide range of military, civilian and passenger aircraft. The two biggest iconic attractions are the Concorde and the Space Shuttle Enterprise that made its home at the museum in July of 2012.
The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 off 46th Street on the west side of Manhattan within walking distance of many of New York’s major attractions.
Motat is a fascinating museum of transport and technology located in Western Springs a suburb of Auckland. It has an amazing collection of historic vehicles of all types and plenty of heritage and history which will entertain delight and fascinate visitors for hours. The large property is beautifully themed with many heritage style buildings and artefacts to give you a real feeling of what New Zealand was like years ago. There are some incredible vehicles on display from cars, trucks, planes, trains and trams, in-fact the tram is a working exhibit offering trips around the complex and to the nearby annex exhibition which houses many of the aircraft exhibitions. The site was once home to a huge pump which serviced Auckland’s water supply, today this incredible piece of Victorian machinery has been restored and is housed in an beautiful brick building looking more like artwork than a piece of machinery, it is really an incredible sight. Motat also features a historic village with many small cottages all decked out with their heritage fittings and furnishings, they are very interesting and give you a real feel of how people lived years ago.
A result of the cold war’s technology rivalry when the Soviet Union they copied many things the west made including the some pretty impressive technology including the Space Shuttle. Another of their copies was the Concorde, they produced a pretty similar supersonic get which they called the Tupolev TU-144. But they didn’t really pull it off to good and the plane was never certified to fly passengers. They had a bit of a media disaster at the Paris Airshow in 1973 where a TU144 fell out of the sky, break up and crash. They ended up using the plane for mail runs across Russia, then a second one crashed in 1978 followed by you guessed it a third a bit later and this was out of a fleet of 22 which included a prototype. The US ended up buying a few in the mid 90’s and refit them for testing of a future supersonic project. Today one of the remaining TU-144 is on display in Germany at the Auto & Technikmuseum at Sinsheim. Interestingly the craft is on display right next to a Concorde it is interesting to see how similar the aircraft are. For more information: http://www.gizmohighway.com/history/tu-144.htm
Back in February on 1969 The city of Everett made history as the first Boeing 747 to fly. This aircraft was the first flying prototype to what would become one of the most successful aircraft in history with over 1400 of them sold over the last 40 odd years in various variants. The aircraft now lives back in Seattle only miles from where she was built in Everett. The plane is part of the wonderful collection that makes up the Museum of Flight at King County Airport just south of Seattle. The old girl is looking a bit tired and weary these days but the future looks bright although it may be a little time off. The Museum of Flight plan to build a new annex where a restored City of Everett will take centre stage regaining her former glory. Currently the Jumbo is parked in a lot open to the public with a 707 US Air force 1 Presidential Plane and Supersonic Concorde close by.
The Lisa Marie is a Convair 880 jet which was once owned by the King of Rock n Roll Elvis Presley. The plane about the size of a 707 was used by the king and his entourage to travel between Graceland and Elvis’s performances all over the United States. Unfortunately Elvis only owned the jet for a few years before his untimely death in 1977.
There are lots of legendary stories about Elvis and his plane but one of the favorite which gets told time and time again. Elvis was a bit hungry and needed his favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich to quench his hunger, the only problem was the best sandwiches were in Denver. So Ron Strauss his pilot flew the Lisa Marie from Memphis to Denver to pick up enough sandwiches for Elvis’s snacktime.
The airplane is part of the extensive Elvis collection on exhibition as part of Elvis’s Graceland mansion in Memphis Tennessee. The plane sits next to the Hound Dog II which is a smaller aircraft Elvis also flew in. Nearly quarter of a million people visit Graceland every year to celebrate the life and times of Elvis and the Lisa Marie Convair 880 is one of the more popular attractions.
When opened in 1998 the Hong Kong International Airport was the world’s largest and today 12 years later the airport is the one of the world’s busiest for both passengers and cargo and caters for around 300000 aircraft movements a year. There are more than 70 boarding gates with over 60 jet bridges and is used by around 50 million people a year. The airport was built in the sea, two islands Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau were flattened and to make the 12 1/2 square kilometre airport. The airport took only six years to construct at a cost of about $20 billion US, replacing the old Kai Tak Airport which was wedged between Hong Kong’s skyscrapers and Victoria Harbour which had become dangerous and too small to handle the enormous growth in traffic Hong Kong required to move forward. Chek Lap Kok has tow huge runways of 3800 metres in length and suitable for the biggest of aircraft including the new Airbus A380. The runways are able to handle over 60 aircraft movements an hour. Passengers are moved around the massive airport by the HKIA Automated People Movement which is a tram like system and an Airport Express rail service which reaches the heart of Hong Kong in just over 20 minutes.
Only a little over an hours drive from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando Florida is the Kennedy Space Centre home to the Apollo Missions and the Space Shuttle, it was also the setting for the popular ’60’s comedy I dream of Jeanie. The centre offers an amazing chance to get up close to some of the world’s most amazing technology and for some lucky people even the chance to see a launch. The centre has an incredible visitors centre with many artefacts and even an IMAX cinema but the highlight is catching a bus and going out onto the facility and visiting the launch pads where the space shuttle is launched and to visit a proper Apollo rocket and Saturn V modules. The size of these objects are just staggering and the items on display are breathtaking. The centre offers a great option to escape the hustle and bustle of the theme parks for a day and see up close an important piece of America’s history. Read the rest of this entry »
We have been seeing this story around a fair bit for a new US airline dedicated to pets only and we thought we would share it here. The basic story goes instead of shoving your pet in the cargo hold of the plane you can send your pet on Petairways plane where it lives it up in the normal passenger section of a plane and is cared for by a pet attendant. The airline travels across the states from LA to New York stopping at Denver, Chicago and Washington along the way. It sounds like a good idea if your worried about the stress on fluffy in the cargo hold of a plane but we recon the stress of trying to find a pet flight to match up with a human flight and then collecting the pet will stop us ponying up the 149 bucks for fluffy’s flight. We will collect our pets from baggage carousel no 5 thanks. Read the rest of this entry »