This past Saturday we spent the afternoon in nearby College Park, MD. Our main reason for our visit was to go to the football game at the University of Maryland. It had been raining all day though, and it was still raining when we got to College Park, so we decided to make a pit stop at the College Park Aviation Museum while the rain passed. We’ve driven past the museum several times, but we never had time to stop in. The rain gave us a great reason to finally check it out!
A little background: The museum is at the College Park Airport, which is the oldest continually operated airport in the world. The airfield is over 100 years old and is known for many “firsts” in aviation. A few things we learned: Wilbur Wright trained the first military pilots here in 1909; the first Army mile-high flight took place here in 1912; and the first controlled helicopter flight took place here in 1924. Very Cool!
The museum features ten or so large planes that were made between 1901 and 1946. Some of the planes were parked on the ground and some were suspended from the ceiling. While a few of the planes were reproductions, they were all really cool!
Noah’s favorite plane at the museum was this 1939 Taylorcraft that has been retrofitted as a hands-on “imagination Plane” for kids to explore and sit in. While in the cockpit, Noah got to use the controls to move the ailerons and elevator. Pretty cool! He couldn’t quite reach the pedals to move the rudder, but I’m sure he’ll be able to soon enough. He’s growing fast!
Since the plane is a two-seater, Ryan got to join in too!
In the hands-on area, Noah got to play with flight simulators. As you can see, the big kid did too!
The hands-on area also included an exhibit that used beach balls and air blowers to show how low pressure and high pressure enable a plane to fly. According to the explanation on the placard, this is known as the Bernoulli Effect…just for future reference in case any of us end up on Jeopardy. Ha.
After we finished at the museum, we headed to the football stadium to watch the Terps play Purdue. As I mentioned before, it had been raining all day, but the weather cleared up a bit for the second half.
Here are a few photos of the game.
Here’s a photo of the cannon and fireworks at the end zone too. Maryland shoots off the cannon every time the Terps score…and since the Terps did really well (they won 50 to 7), we saw and heard a lot of the cannon.
And of course, no sporting event is complete without concessions food. Cheese pizza and French fries – yummy!
Yep, we had a fun weekend and we hope you did too!