Being completely obsessed with flying, the National Air & Space Museum was always my favorite part of a visit to Washington, DC. Five years ago the Smithsonian raised the stakes, adding the Udvar-Hazy Center as another facility where they can show off some of the amazing pieces that they’ve collected. When you’re dealing with flight the pieces aren’t small, so it is not completely surprising that the new facility was built as a hangar out near Dulles airport. Fortunately the Smithsonian runs a bus service from the Mall downtown if you’re without wheels. Like all the other museums that the Smithsonian operates admission is free, though the bus ride or parking will cost a few bucks.
There are scores of planes on display, from some that are so small it looks like you could pick them up and walk away with them to the B-29 SuperFortress “Enola Gay” that is huge.
There’s also a Pan Am Stratoliner on display with its shiny aluminum skin
There’s a SR-71 Blackbird on display
as well as a Concorde.
There’s the original FedEx plane, the model Boeing used to build the 707 (the same body was also used for modeling the KC-35 and to test engines for the 727), bi-planes, gliders, flying wings, experimental craft, spaceships, missiles, war planes, human powered planes and many, many, many other things to see. And if that’s not enough, you can also head up to the observation deck and watch planes come and go live at Dulles International Airport.
If you’re into planes, it is a must-see on the list of aviation museums.
More pictures from my visit to Udvar-Hazy are here
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You forgot to mention how cool your wife was to go there with you :-P.
Or, I guess, fiance at the time.
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