The Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named for Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, who selected the aircraft while it was still on the assembly line. On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb. -Wikipedia
The Enola Gay can be seen at The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center/ Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum near Washington DC. This is a ‘free’ museum that charges $15 dollars for parking. Still not a bad deal But I do have few gripes about the layout of the place.
The museum is basically a couple of very large rooms with as much random crap as possible stuffed into them. Without the extensive use of Photoshop, it would be impossible to get most of the aircraft in insolation. Add to this the fact that a lot of the aircraft on display have little or no historical value and there were dozens of planes that didn’t even appear to be of any interest at all.
There were planes that were interesting to me, the Blackbird, the Space Shuttle, and the Enola Gay. The Blackbird and the Space Shuttle were given prominent placement, while the Enola Gay is surrounded on all sides by other aircraft. I realize that the Enola Gay has been the center of controversy due to the fact that most people now living in America want to pretend Americans have never done anything bad and many still view the dropping of the atomic bomb as a necessary action. Revisionism aside, this plane was part of a huge historical event and deserved better than being one more random hunk of junk in an overcrowded room.
Then there was something on the slightly silly side-the Mother Ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind was on display in the same room as the Space Shuttle. What. The. Hell!!!?? Purists threw a hissy fit when the Enterprise from Star Trek was hung in the Air and Space Museum not too far from the Wright Flyer and the Spirit of St Louis. So how the hell does the Mother Ship from Close Encounters rank a place of honor in this museum?
And if this is ok, then why is the Enterprise still buried in a back corner of the basement of the damned Smithsonian gift shop? Put it on display here as well.
Ok, rant over. The Museum was nice, but it was a little cluttered for my taste.
These images of the Enola Gay were taken with my Olympus E-1 digital camera and processed to HDR using Dynamic Photo HDR and then further tweaked in Lightroom.