A Museum Full of All the Cool Things about Flying

This should be a post about writing, but it’s not! Instead it’s about my visit to the Stephen F Udvar-Hazy Center, which is part of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This is a separate facility from the one on the National Mall, located near Dulles Airport. And it’s full of amazing things, even for someone like me who doesn’t know much about aeronautics or space flight.

There are two huge hangars for display of hundreds of spacecraft and planes, as well as windows looking into the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar. The Concorde is there, as well as a variety of vintage passenger and military aircraft, a U-2, and space-related items like a Sojourner Mars rover.


“Ascent”, by John Safer, outside the Udvar-Hazy Center.

The space shuttle Discovery is here as well:

Discovery (front)
Side view of Discovery and the Canadarm Remote Manipulator System

Here’s a link to a Washington Post video of Discovery arriving at the Udvar-Hazy Center in 2012.

There are plenty of historical exhibits relating to space flight, including early capsules, a SpaceLab module and Mars rovers.

That old logo, though. 😝
Android built in the sixties to help NASA develop spacesuits. Very early sci-fi.


This delicate-looking thing is a Tracking and Data Relay satellite.


“Sky Baby”. A piloted aircraft that is only 9 feet long.


Langley Aerodrome A, 1903. Not a success, but looks very steampunk.


Another picture of the Langley Aerodrome. Samuel Langley was a physicist, astronomer and aviator. Buildings, an Air Force base and various aircraft and ships have been named after him.

The Enola Gay is also at Udvar-Hazy. The Enola Gay is the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. It’s one of the many military aircraft that are at the museum, a reminder that the history of aviation and space flight is about exploration and science, but is also inextricably linked to war.

Enola Gay

Here are links to the museum website, and also the Wikipedia page listing many of the exhibits at the Udvar-Hazy museum.



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