Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Get a taste of the massive facility that houses a vast collection of airplanes aviation artifacts.

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The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located adjacent to Washington Dulles International Airport, 28 miles west of Washington, D.C. The center opened its doors on December 15, 2003 to provide space for historic airplanes and artifacts that could not fit at the Museum on the National Mall. Here is a look at what the center has to offer. (Photos courtesy of Smithsonian Institution)
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The intimidating SR-71 Blackbird is one of the first airplanes visitors can see when they enter through the main entrance of the Boeing Aviation Hangar, where most of the museum’s thousands of pieces are displayed. The SR-71 has been at the center since it first opened its doors.
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The Boeing Aviation Hangar is filled from floor to ceiling with airplanes from all eras. Many warbirds are hanging from the ceiling, such as this Curtiss P-40E Warhawk, painted like Lope’s Hope flown by fighter pilot Donald S. Lopez, who served as deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum until his death in 2008.
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Beneath taildraggers, biplanes and aerobatic airplanes are several large historic airliners. Among them is the German Junkers Ju52 tri-motor, the Boeing 367-80 “Dash-80,” which became the Boeing 707, and the first supersonic airliner, the Concorde Fox Alpha, which was donated by Air France.
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Another large airplane on display is the Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. The Enola Gay is displayed beside a P-38 and a collection of propeller- and jet-powered Japanese fighters.
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An extensive collection of space artifacts is displayed at the James S. McConnell Space Hangar, including the space shuttle Discovery, which has been on display since 2012 when it replace the center’s previous space shuttle Enterprise.
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With 293,707 square feet of space, the Boeing Aviation Hangar makes space for an impressive collection of historical airplanes. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center also houses an IMAX theatre where mostly aviation themed movies are shown.