The National Mall in Washington is lined with many enjoyable museums and galleries, but one of the most popular is the National Air and Space Museum.
Established in 1946, the current museum building was opened in 1976. This larger site was able to bring together the vast collection of air and space history where significant artefacts could be exhibited and preserved. In 2003 the museum opened an additional site, The Steven F. Udvar – Hazy Center near Washington’s Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
No recreations here! This fascinating museum on the mall holds some of the world’s most historic aircraft and spacecraft, almost all of which are original. Just some of the famous items on display here are the Wright Brother’s 1903 flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis aircraft and the Apollo 11 Command Module used during the mission for the first moon landing.
There is also an extensive exhibition on America’s commercial aviation history. The America by Air exhibit includes a complete forward section of a Boeing 747 as well as some of the most significant planes in commercial aviation history such as an original Ford Tri-Motor, Boeing 247 and the illustrious DC-3. The military aspect of aviation is also explored in several exhibits in both museum locations. One of the most fascinating is Cold War Aviation at the Virginia facility.
The museum’s second site in Virginia is equally fantastic. This is where the largest, most modern ‘artefacts’ are located, including the first Boeing 707, a former Air France Concorde, and just to top it all off, the NASA space shuttle Discovery.
Anyone with an interest in history and flight will thoroughly enjoy these unique attractions and rare items from history. The main museum in located on the National Mall and is close to the Smithsonian Station on the Metro. The Steven F. Udvar – Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia and just minutes from Dulles Int. Airport.