Images by John Ratzenberger >> The Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
I have been fortunate to make two trips to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) since it opened the new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (UHC) at the Washington-Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. As big and as open as it is, there are still lighting problems for photography but not as bad as the "caves" downtown. The photos herein required significant work to overcome these lighting issues, although not always successfully.
When I go photographing at air shows, museums, etc, my primary purpose is to get shots useful for modeling detail. I tend to view color schemes as suspect or better addressed in the literature of history and the hobby. This walk-around is an exception, because this is the actual aircraft & while there may be a few glitches in the restoration, I doubt they are significant. (Well, see but ignore the "We Were There" stencils in Pic#31 -- you wouldn't include them in a WW2 Enola Gay).
The NASM UHC website
provides full details on the aircraft itself. It is THE actual B29 "Enola Gay", enuff said !!!.
The aircraft is displayed on the ground level but is only directly accessible from the nose gear section -- otherwise it is surrounded by other aircraft and it is difficult to get anything but long-range shots. A catwalk runs right by the cockpit, making it and the engines/props easy to see, but hard to photo because of the protective glass screen -- a few too many folks want to throw paint & protest the bomb without talking about Pearl Harbor. The underside is tough to get, so there are no bomb bay pictures (it isn't open anyway).
The pictures fall into 8 groups, spread across 4 pages. Unfortunately these do not break neatly and thus sections will span pages.
Page 1: Fuselage, Wing Root, Navigator Station, Tail (part 1)
Pix#01-06 are of the portside fuselage, starting with an overview and honing in on the details of markings, stencils, etc, around the nose/cockpit on the left side.
Pix#07-12 are of starboard wing & root, focusing into detail, then moving up to the navigator bubble area.
Pix#13-16 start the tail area with the port side working around to a shot from direct rear of the tail guns.
Page 2: Tail (part 2), Cockpit (part 1).
Pix#17-22 continue the tail section pictures by working around the right side, then focusing on the tail-skid.
Pix#23-36 are the 1st part of the cockpit section from the outside.
• Pix#23-24 are of the bombardier station from front/under.
• Pix#25-27 are of the bombardier station from left/upper.
• Pix#28-29 are of the bombardier station from right/upper.
• Pic#30 is thru the glass of the co-pilot seat.
• Pic#31 is of the right-side cockpit; note the un-historical "we were there" stencils.
• Pic#32 is a shot into the cockpit from the upper front.
Page 3: Cockpit (part 2), Nacelles, Flaps (part 1)
Pix#33-38 finish the cockpit section.
• Pic#33 is a shot of the back of the pilot instrument panel.
• Pic#34 is of the pilot & copilot seats from the left side.
• Pic#35 is detail of the pilot seat.
• Pic#36 is a shot of the engineer station controls.
• Pic#37 is the pilots' throttle quadrant.
• Pic#38 is a shot of the tunnel door out of the cockpit.
Pix#39-45 cover the engine nacelles.
• Pix#39-43 are of the port inner nacelle, from the left or outboard side.
• Pic#44 is of the starboard outer nacelle from the right/outer/under.
• Pic#45 is of the port outer nacelle from the left/outboard side.
Pix#46-48 are the 1st part of the flaps.
• Pix#46-47 are of the left flaps, from rear/under.
• Pic#48 is of the right flaps from rear/under.
Page 4: Flaps (part 2), Main Gear, Nose Gear
Pic#49 finishes the flap section with the right side upper surfaces from the rear.
Pix#50-56 cover the main gear.
• Pix#50-53 are of the left main gear, from the front.
• Pix#54-55 are of the left main gear from the outboard/rear.
• Pic#56 is of the right main gear from the outboard/rear.
Pix#57-63 cover the nose gear.
• Pix#57-61 are from the left side
• Pic#62-63 are from the right side.
I welcome any comments on style, content, or technique that would improve future submissions.
Model On !!!!