Photo Essay

National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center


Some of the text for this story was taken directly from the National Air & Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center website.

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.

The hangar is 2 1/2  football fields long and 10 stories high, and will house more than 300 aircraft and spacecraft, including the space shuttle Enterprise and an SR-71 Blackbird. Along with state-of-the-art storage and restoration facilities, the center will feature educational facilities, an archival resource center, a large-format theater, museum stores and restaurants, and an observation tower from which visitors can watch aircraft arriving and departing from nearby Washington Dulles International Airport.

Things to keep in mind when visiting this site. Parking costs twelve dollars per vehicle no matter how many people you have in the vehicle. Entering the museum is free just like all the Smithsonian museums. All packages and bags will be inspected when you enter the museum. Tripods are not allowed but monopods are. Flash photography is discouraged. Wear very comfortable shoes. The floor of this hangar museum is the hardest floor I have ever walked on and every time I visit my feet are killing me by the time I leave. School groups are a common here so be patient and in a moment or two they will move on to another exhibit. Free tours are offered on a very regular basis and the docents are quite knowledgeable and very nice. The observation tower is worth the trip especially if you want to see planes landing and taking off from a major international airport.

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