Space Shuttle Discovery to be flown into Dulles on April 17th

Space Shuttle Discovery’s final resting place is going to be the Udvar Hazy Air and Space museum, just off Washington, DC’s Dulles airport (IAD). It is going to be a flown in to Washington riding piggy-back on a 747 on April 17th. It is expected to arrive early morning, as reported on WTOP. I happen to live in the flight path of one of the runways and between the flight paths of two others (IAD has four runways – three are parallel to each other and one diagonal). I am used to having low flying aircraft flying bye, but this is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I plan to camp in my lawn all morning. The only problem is if the runway configuration is in the opposite direction, I will miss the show. I will have to keep my car ready to go in case the air traffic is in the opposite direction.

I plan to take lots of pictures of the 747 with the shuttle strapped on, with my recently acquired Sony NEX3, with its awesome 200mm zoom lens. Will post them as soon as I have them.

For those curious, the Air and Space museum already had a space shuttle (Picture attached to this post). That one was Space Shuttle Enterprise. That shuttle is being relocated to New York city.

If anyone in the DC area is planning to come watch the Space Shuttle be ‘shuttled’ in, let me know. Maybe we can have our own viewing party. As the article on WTOP mentions, several viewing sessions are being planned in the Air and Space Museum parking lot. Follow¬†#SpotTheShuttle on twitter to find locations. I will post updates here and on @unroadwarrior on Twitter, as the date approaches.

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  1. Hi,
    I plan on trying to view the landing at dulles along with my wife and son. Do you know of good viewing areas for landings on either ends of the runways? I’m guessing it will need one of the longest runways at Dulles and the direction of landing will depend on the wind direction that morning. Should be a good time!
    Thanks, Ray

  2. THat is correct. It never went into Space. Discovery on the other hand is the most flown shuttle.

  3. Thomas; While the Enterprise never flew in space, it has flown during flight testing. To conduct airworthiness and flight performance assessments, the Enterprise was carried aloft and separated from the 747 from an altitude of ~30,000 feet and flown to landings on the runways at Edwards AFB. So to call it just a model is a bit misleading — it was fully equipped with computers and other equipment needed for atmospheric flight.

  4. Her’s a link to a video of the landing we took from the grassy area right outside the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum. It was inline with the runway used for the landing.

  5. Ray, Awesome video! Do you mind if I share this with everyone via a post? Most people may never see this comment.

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