2010-05-20 -- Paris

Not much touring of Paris today, but overall an enjoyable day. I had a nice sandwich at Lina's, around the block from the hotels, and spent a small amount of time at the Musee de l'air et de l'espace at Le Bourget airport. I mostly ran through it, stopping at the very interesting things. Too bad, because this looks like a very interesting museum. About 1/3 of it is devoted to the early days of aviation (I'm guessing 1890-1920), a small-ish section on space (missiles mostly), the rest of the collection seems to be from the Second World War. Not too Cold War or Modern aircraft (but remember, I ran through here). A sizable number of larger planes are on display outside, including a Boeing 747 that you can walk through, and an Ariane 5 rocket. The museums largest claim to fame at the moment is a pair of Concordes, the prototype test aircraft, tail F-WTSS, and a "production" model, tail F-BTSD. That alone was worth the hour and a half of time in a taxi, and the extra hour I waited while other business was finished.

Dinner was free, Dad, Giulliam, Thierry and I ate at Chez Andre.


Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/160 sec, f/2.7, ISO 400
Lunch at Lina's ("createur de sandwiches"), a club sandwich. Not much meat, more veggies than an american club, and tasty. Actually, at the time I wondered if this was a veggie club.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 11.4 mm; 1/20 sec, f/3.5, ISO 500
It's out of place here, but this chocolate sculpture greeted us on arrival (well, it greeted those of us that stayed in the fancy hotel). They're definitely delicate, and ours broke.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/5 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The Old Timey Gallery (my name) at the Musee de l'air et de l'espace.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600
A Levavasseur "Antoinette", produced between 1908 and 1912. It set an altitude record on January 7th, 1910 at 1,000 meters. Looks like a boat, no?



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600
Another view of the "Antoinette" and the Old Timey Gallery. Note all the catwalks, lots of fun, but I didn't explore each and every one.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600
The first-class deck of a Boeing 747, with panels removed to show the structure.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/10 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600
The cargo hold of a Boeing 747.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600
Reverse angle view of the first cut-away view. I was hoping for more access, but this was all that was open.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 25.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
A Republic F-105G Thunderchief, with an Ariane 5 rocket in the background.

The plaque says: A heavy fighter whih performed its maiden flight in 1955, the F-105 Thunderchief was operated in a fighter-bomber role by the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. The Wild Weasel variant's role was to locate enemy surface-to-air missile sites before the fighter-bombers flew within their range. The F-105s were decommissioned in 1984. The aircraft displayed here was assigned to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, staitioned in Spangdahlem in Federal Republic of Germany.

From the front, it looks like the teeth are smiling, not terribly fierce.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 35.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
The smiling Republic F-105G Thunderchief.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 27.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
An Aerospatiale SE-210 Caravelle 12 with Air Provence markings. F-GCVL. Only 12 of these were produced. Here is an abandoned one. Air Provence was either a subsidary of Virgin Express France or was merged into West Air Sweden (or here.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 21.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
From the front, it sure does look...happy?



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 30.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Side view.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 21.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Another mystery plane with no plaque. A yellow twin-engine amphibious plane. The only marking on the plane is "23". `.endpicture .picture="IMG_6107.JPG" Almost completely underneath an Ariane 5 rocket. The base of the motor was about 6 feet off the ground, so you can walk up under that too. It was moving freely in the wind, and covered with chicken wire on the inside.

The lens is very wide, and it distorts the engine greatly. I'm standing a foot or two in front of the rocket and looking up.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Looking up at the booster of the Ariane 5 rocket.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/4 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
The entrance to the Concorde exhibit was through the rear. I don't know if this is a service entrance or an emergency exit.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Inside the fuselage of the test aircraft. It was empty. Lots of the windows were cracked, and it is in need of restoration.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
At the front of the cabin of the test aircraft was an impressive collection of instrumentation. At first, I didn't realize this was a test aircraft, and was amazed they let passengers see all the instruments.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 0.5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Two Concordes parked in an exhibit. Looking down the fuselage of the test plane, and the nose of the production model.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Two Concordes parked in an exhibit. Looking down the fuselage of the production model, and the node of the test plane.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 35.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Sadly, this is the best image I took of the flight deck. I was handheld, it was very dark, and they blocked off access very far away. It looks better with a little cropping, to happen sometime.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Like the flight deck, the passenger compartment was blocked off. Sure, the pristine "restored" section was blocked off, but even the mockup (not shown) was blocked off. We couldn't even sit in the seats! Walk through, but don't touch -- or even see -- any of the good stuff!



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800
Curious shape of the Concorde wing. I'm reminded of the SR-71 and the little bump near the end of the wing.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600
Detail of how they mated the two planes to form one exhibit. Very nicely done. The entrance is in the tail of the test aircraft on the right, then continues to the main entrance on the production model.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/8 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1600
A DC-3. The exhibit has a plane you can walk into, but the cockpit is blocked off at the start of the cargo area. Along the entrance is another cockpit sliced out of a plane. It is also blocked off, but the blockage is just after the seats. The plane is tail "N 2100558".



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/8 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1600



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600
A quick diversion during the DC-3 tour, a Polikarpov I-153 "Tchaika" in the corner of the building behind the DC-3.

Plaque: One of the last biplanes that operated during World War II, the I-153 was totally outperformed during the June 1941 German invasion. Despite being technically inferior to the German aircraft, it was flown by several Soviet Aces. The aircraft displayed here was captured by the Wehrmacht in Ukraine in November 1941, and brought to France to be evaluated.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600
Radio gear in the DC-3. I'm not sure this qualifies as COTS or just the only solution available.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 23.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800
A V-1 Buzz Bomb.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800
Cutaway of a missile/rocket showing the amazing engineering crammed inside.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800
The H1 rocket engine. First use was on 27 October 1961.

Plauqe: Realised under the direction of Wernher von Braun, the H1 liquid propellant (Kerosene and liquid oxygen) engine was an improved version of a model designed in the mid-fifties for the propulsion of the US Army Jupiter missile.
Eitht H1 engines were assembled in a pundle to propel the first stage of the Saturn 1 and 1B rockets, developed for the manned Moon flights programmes.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 35.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400
An advertisement for the Premier Congres International d'Astronqutique, 30 Septemver to 2 October 1950.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 32.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400
Sputnik! OK, a model of Sputnik. One of the few times a wildly underexposed image actually worked.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Outside the entrance to Musee de l'air et de l'espace, three fighters in formation.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 22.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
Musee de l'air et de l'espace.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/80 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
While waiting for a test flight to finish, I got a close look a a TBM-700 (#145, Certificate #181) in the middle of an inspection. Here, the radar dome and boots are removed.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The PT6 engine. A lot smaller than I expected. It also appears to be mounted 'backwards' -- the intake is at the rear, and the exaust is at the front. Makes sense, sin the output is where the power comes out, and that's where the fan needs to be.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
Electonics on the right side of the forward storage compartment. Note the tangle of wires coming out of the box on the upper right, and the sloppy connector. Sure, this needed to be custom manufactured, but at least it could have been custom manufacured and not bashed together with a mallet.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The wing bolts. This was shot blind from the floor looking slightly up and towards the rear.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The outflow and safety valves in the rear of a TBM-700.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The ELT in a TBM-700.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The hanger here was spacious, and gave the impression of being somewhat old. 50s? 60s?



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM + 2x at 380.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
LAND SHARK! TBM N-850SJ returns from its test flight.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 45.0 mm; 1/6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400
On the way to dinner, we passed a butcher, who was preparing...something. We knocked, she walked away. All the time talking on the phone. Hands free?



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 73.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/5.7, ISO 800
After making a reservation (20 minutes) we wandered over to Avenue des Chaps-Elysees to try and get hit by cars while taking pictures of the Arch de Triumph.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/20 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Dinner was lentil salad, and white asparagus to start. I was expecting some greens with the salad; it turned out to be a lot of the same kind of lentils, with a flavorful dressing.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/20 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
The main course was pepper steak or steak tartare. My first choice, a gourmet hamburger, was sold out. I just wanted to see what makes a hamburger 'gourmet', but ended up wondering how you can run out of hamburgers. Fries for everyone though.



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