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!