On June 15, 2019, the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA held an Innovations in Flight event where aircraft like private planes to military transports were on display for the public.
The event ran from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. Unfortunately, I arrived late, so I didn’t get a chance to tour C-17 cockpit or the United passenger jet.
I had the opportunity to speak with several teenagers in the Civil Air Patrol as well as private pilots.
I looked into many of the smaller airplanes like Pipers and couldn’t imagine riding or flying in them simply because I’m 6′ 6″. This was a running thought throughout the day.
I liked this plane for Woodstock. The sign in front says it’s been customized and it won a few timed distance contests.
If you look close the leading edge of the wings have raised edges pointing right and left.
This is the cockpit of a B-25 that flew in WWII. It’s been used in movies. It’s hard to see because the picture picked up the Plexiglas well, but the co-pilot’s seat back (on right) was cut off halfway up so a camera operator could film the pilot.
I’m standing where a pole with a bicycle seat ought to be for the top turret gunner’s position.
As a side note, I my father flew a B-24 and was a top turret gunner. I wish I could’ve seen out turret–it would’ve been cool to see what he’d seen. Obviously, I’d be on the ground without any enemy aircraft about.
Here are a few more pictures.
These next few pictures of C-17 transport. While standing around, the wind spun the turbines on the left of the picture, which made a noise. For a second, I wondered if a switch was flipped by accident.
As the event ended, I ventured into the museum proper. Here is the restoration hanger.
Here are my two favorite exhibits, the space shuttle and SR-71.
I had a great time. Next time, I plan to arrive when the exhibit opens, so I can enjoy everything.
I’m an author living in northern Virginia with a wife and a cat. In the late ’80s, I worked on the International Space Station project. I recently retired from managing a group of software engineers to focus on writing science fiction and speculative fiction. Learn more.