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Friday, July 17, 2015

THE ENOLA GAY: FROM HIROSHIMA TO VIRGINIA

My posting yesterday on the Atomic Bomb triggered a few  e-mail responses from colleagues.  Patty Golden, for one, sent me a reference to former secret photos of Fat Man and Little Boy on Tinian (40 square miles, 12 hours roundtrip for a B-29) as the bombs were being assembled and loaded on to the bombers.  Little Boy on the Enola Gay left for Hiroshima.  Enola Gay Tibbets was the mother of pilot Colonel Paul Tibbets (waving to the left) of the Superfortress. The plane is on display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy (he owned an aircraft leasing company and donated $65 million  to start the effort) Center at Dulles International Airport:


It's open every day except Christmas and admission is FREE.  There are more than 300 planes and space artifacts there, including:
  • Space Shuttle Discovery
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (my office at the Ames Research Center in the seventies was close by where this plane was parked)
  • Air France Concorde supersonic airliner
  • Only surviving Japanese Nakajima J1N1 Gekko
  • Lockheed X-35 Joint Strike Fighter (prototype of the ultimate lemon, the current F-35, projected to cost taxpayers $1.5 trillion)
  • A piece of fabric from the actual LZ 129 Hindenburg that burst into flames in 1937
  • Soviet MIG-15 and MIG-21 Fighters
  • IMAX theater
There is a shuttle bus from the airport to the museum.  More than a million visitors/year.  Bet you never went there.

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Halola is still a tropical storm at 40 MPH, but will strengthen into a typhoon, with a landfall currently projected to be over Shikoku Island where Typhoon Nangka just damaged:


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