Photos from the Museum of Flight

Snapshots from our road trip.

As some of you may know, I just finished up a lengthy trip to the Pacific Northwest, ending it with a 2-1/2 week road trip back to Arizona by way of four national parks with my husband, dog, and parrot. I took over 1600 photos over the past three months, with about 800 of them snapped over the past three weeks.

That’s a lot of photos.

I shared some of them earlier in the summer, but soon got behind in reviewing and processing the shots from my Nikon. I also shared a bunch of cell phone photos taken with my BlackBerry, on Twitter via TwitPic and ÜberTwitter. I hope to share a few more of the interesting ones over the next few months here.

That said, here are some from the start of our road trip. My husband and dog arrived on an Alaska Air flight in Seattle on August 13. I drove from Wenatchee, where I was staying, to Seattle to pick them up. Since we had some time to kill, we visited the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field.

If you’re at all interested in aviation and have a chance to visit Seattle, don’t miss the Museum of Flight. I can’t imagine any museum with Aviation exhibits to be more exhaustive than this one — except possibly the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington.

And now, the photos. Sorry about the obnoxious copyright notice, but I don’t want my work circulated all over the ‘Net without permission or credit. If you want to share any of these shots to friends, link to this page.

The Main Gallery

I made this photo with my fisheye lens from the balcony of the main gallery. Those are real, full-sized airplanes on display — some hanging from the ceiling! It’s a great sight to behold.

At the Museum of Flight

Photo Info:
Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: f/4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/80
Focal Length: 10.5mm

SR-71 Blackbird

This is the second time I’ve been able to get up close and personal with an SR-71 Blackbird. (The first was at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, where one is parked outdoors under a shade.) If you want to learn more about this incredible plane, read its Wikipedia entry.

This particular plane has an unusual feature that it shared with only one other SR-71. Can you spot it?

SR-71 Blackbird

Photo Info:
Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: f/4.2
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Focal Length: 26mm

Jet Engine Detail

This is a closeup shot of some of the tubing on one side of the SR-71 engine on display. You can see the display in the above photo, on the right side of the plane, just inside the white barricades.

I don’t know much about this, but I like the way the tubes look.

Jet Engine Detail

Photo Info:
Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/30
Focal Length: 85mm

Concorde Cockpit

One of the highlights of the museum was the outdoor displays, which included a British Airways Concorde jet. Our walk through was the closest either one of us will get to supersonic fight — and the plane was permanently parked.

A plexiglas panel separated the tourists from the cockpit instuments. But if you put the lens right up against the Plexiglass and hold the camera very still, you might get a shot like this one:

Concorde Cockpit

Photo Info:
Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/30
Focal Length: 85mm

Air Force One Cockpit

The plane that served as Air Force One from the Eisenhower through Nixon administrations was also on display outdoors. Again, the cockpit was on display, protected by a piece of Plexiglas.

There’s nothing like a fisheye lens to get the details in tight spaces.

Air Force One Cockpit

Photo Info:
Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Focal Length: 10.5mm

That’s all for this part of the trip. I hope to have some more interesting shots online soon.

7 thoughts on “Photos from the Museum of Flight

  1. I worked at Boeing in both Wichita and Seattle.I did Fight Manuals for the B-47 and the B-52,and I worked on a gas turbine proposal in the Red Barn.

    On June 25th I spent my 83rd birthday at the Museum of Flight and flew the simulators,and had a wonderful time. I was amazed that they had a prototype of the gas turbine on display.

    Anyone interested in Aerospace will have a great time there! Be prepared to be there all day, and enjoy lunch at the cafe.

    Regards,

    Preston Hancock

  2. Happy birthday to you,Maria

    As an avid photographer myself, I appreciate your gorgeous photos.

    I was born in Bisbee AZ,so I may yet get down to Arizona. I’ll look you up,and take a helicopter tour! A few months ago I took a Bell helicopter tour inside the crater of Mount Saint Helens. It was awsome!

    Regards,

    Preston

  3. The SR-71 has a D-21 Drone on top…. I got to take a tour of the SR-71 hangers At McClellan AFB in the mid to late eighties. The floors were so slippery from all the JP-7 that dripped out of the tanks. The thing that sticks in my mind was just how clean the engine exhausts were. Just about white glove clean from the high temperature of the exhaust gasses. One of the things that was unique about the SR-71 engines was their ability to ingest supersonic air. This came at a price though. If a pilot were to yaw at too great a rate the shock wave off the nose would not enter the engine and what is called an engine unstart would happen. The AC would rapidly yaw in the opposite direction slamming the pilots head against the side of the cockpit window forcing him to pull back on the remaining engine and dive to 10,000 feet to restart the engine. I am told that it is quite stressful when you were an interloper in a country with a single check box on the presidential ballot.

    • I used to know a man who worked in the Skunkworks on the SR-71 project. He had an 8000 square foot home in Wickenburg that he built himself with adobe bricks he made. Fascinating person.

  4. Another memory was being on a tour at the Sacramento TRACON facility when an SR-71 launched. It has a rate of climb that exceeds the ability of their software to track it which resulted in a whole bunch of warnings and beeps.

What do you think?