The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of manned flight this year with a new facility and high-tech public access to aircraft and space artifacts. The 11 million visitors a year to the National Air and Space Museum will be able to enjoy historic aviation displays in person, while looking inside the craft using QuickTime VR, Apple’s virtual reality technology.
QuickTime VR is Apple’s award-winning, photo-realistic, cross-platform virtual reality technology that makes it possible to explore places as if you were there. All major applications that play QuickTime movies can also play QuickTime VR movies.
Dennis Biela of LightSpeed Media and David Palermo of WorldVR have teamed up to record 200 aircraft and 128 space artifacts using high resolution digital photography and QuickTime VR. The exterior of each item is photographed in 10 degree increments, creating a 3D virtual reality image.
The cockpit of each aircraft is also photographed using multiple images blended together. This level of detail lets you view a huge aircraft, spinning it like a toy to view from any angle. In addition, you can “sit” inside the cockpit and look around.
The National Air and Space Museum has a historic aircraft collection that includes: the Space Shuttle “Enterprise”; the Dash 80 prototype of the Boeing 707; the B-17 Flying Fortress named “Swoose”; an F-4 Phantom fighter; the B-29 “Enola Gay”; the de Havilland Chipmunk aerobatic plane, and more. The latest addition to the museum is Air France’s Concorde, which landed a few weeks ago.
You can learn more at the NASM Public Archive Project. Site visitors can download free screensavers.