Innovations in Flight Family Day

Yesterday we went to the annual Innovations in Flight Family Day at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Noah and Ryan went to this event last year, and they loved it—and so they were really excited to go again this year.

The Udvar-Hazy Center has two massive hangars full of military, recreation, and commercial aircraft, but we spent most of our time at the special outside display.

We got to tour a United Airlines Boeing 777. Noah has been on quite a few flights, but he’s never been on a plane this big!

Here is Noah lounging in first class…

And here he is with the pilots in the cockpit.

We talked to many pilots and flight attendants during the tour; many of them were volunteering for the day. One pilot showed us how they use electronic tablets (like iPads) to chart flight paths and navigate around turbulence and other weather obstacles. United Airlines sponsored the event, and they really went all out.

By the way, Ryan tracked the plane’s tail number while we were in line, and it was scheduled to fly to Frankfurt, Germany last night. Pretty cool!

Next we saw two planes from the Air Force. This plane is a C-17 Globemaster, which is a large transport aircraft.

And this plane is a KC-10 Extender, which is an aerial refueling tanker.

And here’s a Navy plane too…

We also saw a few helicopters. The yellow helicopter is from MedStar, and the white helicopter is from the Fairfax County Police Department.

Then we saw emergency and maintenance vehicles from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Noah got to “drive” an ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting) truck—very fun!

We also saw an ambulance and airport snow removal trucks.

And then we headed inside, because no trip to the Udvar-Hazy Center would be complete without seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery. Awesome!

We checked out some of the other aircraft in the hangars too…

Yep, we had a very fun day at the Innovations in Flight event. The Udvar-Hazy Center is definitely one of our favorite places to visit!

Categories: Airplanes, Fun outings, Space | Leave a comment

Fun father and son outings: weather, planes & science!

April and May were full of fun outings for Noah and Ryan. In late April, Ryan took Noah to a special “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” event at his FEMA office in Washington, DC. The theme this year was “Service Force: Agents of Positive Change.”

Here is Noah checking out a MERS truck, which provides emergency communications and support to disaster areas.

They had a flood demonstration to show what property owners and communities can do to reduce flood risk.

And they showed equipment used by Urban Search and Rescue teams. This is a thermal imaging camera—very cool!

They also discussed earthquake safety tips, canine search teams, and the importance of having a family plan for emergencies.

Around 200 kids attended this fun FEMA event. Yeah, “Take Your Child to Work Day” is pretty cool when your office has trucks and rescue equipment!

And the day’s fun didn’t end there. After they finished at FEMA, they walked a few blocks to the National Air & Space Museum, and they saw lots of planes and NASA equipment.

Noah got to “fly” this Cessna 150—he loves this plane!

They checked out a few space exhibits too, and Noah stepped on a scale to find out how much he would weigh on different planets. He would weigh 133 pounds on Jupiter. Who knew?

For another hands-on exhibit, Noah built towers to see if they would withstand high winds. They fell down, so we’ll have to go back and try again. Ha.

Noah also tried a few plane simulators…

Later that month they went to the Aviation Museum in College Park. Noah played a few flight simulators there too.

And there was a really cool hands-on demonstrator of what it takes to fly a human-powered quadrotor helicopter. The helicopter simulated here is called Gamera and was designed by students of the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. Pedal faster, Noah!

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah loves all the air and space museums in the DC area. They’re always a sure bet for a fun outing!

Then in early May, Noah and Ryan attended the “Science Unrestricted” event that the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) hosted for local students. The event was held at the Mark Center here in Alexandria, and participants got to ride the school bus there.

Noah’s favorite thing at the science fair was seeing the robot built by students at TC Williams High School—awesome!

And here is Noah standing by a model rocket. Also very cool!

The event also had numerous hands-on activities, including making paper airplanes. Check it out!

Noah got a goody bag with fun science activities to do at home too. One of the activities was growing a mystical tree made from crystals. We did this the next day…

Noah has really enjoyed learning about science lately, so this was a great event! We look forward to attending again next year.

Stay tuned to read more about our recent adventures. The last few months have been busy!

Categories: Airplanes, DC, Fun outings, Maryland, Science, Space, Weather | 1 Comment

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