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“Probably better than the downtown NASM” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151
703-572-4118
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Ranked #1 of 9 attractions in Chantilly
Type: Museums, Specialty Museums, Science Museums
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction Details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Virginia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Probably better than the downtown NASM”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

If you want to see the actual air and space artifacts, this is the place. The downtown NASM has some great exhibits and explanations of how flight happens, but the quantity and quality of aircraft here can't be beat. The place is enormous and a great place to let kids go. The biggest drawback is the $15 for parking.

Visited March 2012
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DC
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214 reviews 214 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Huge! all the planes you miss from downtown are here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

Great place to spend the day. They do charge $12 for parking though and that is not an option. But it is well worth the drive out here. Especially if you like to planes. The Enola Gay, Concore and the Shuttle are here to name just a few.

Visited October 2011
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Ashburn, Virginia
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24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
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“A treasure place to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

I've been to the Air & Space Museum many times and am excited each time.
I take all kinds of visitors form smalll children to seniors in their 90's. Everyone enjoyed the visit.

A tresure trove of air and space artifacts - from the early 1900's to the present. Ride simulators; go up in the air traffic control tower to see planes land at Dulles airport; see the IMAX movies. Go back many times to see more details about such history makers as biplanes, race planes, space shuttle, SR-71, fighters, and Enola Gay.
We just saw the Space Shuttle Discover land - what a treat. Look for the shuttle inside the museum beginning April 20, 2012! Fee for parking- $15

Visited April 2012
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Cleveland, Ohio
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“America's Hanger - A Must See”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Even though I am not particularly interested in aviation and space, this was an extremely impresseive museum. In fact, by the time I left, I was actually keen to learn more about aviation (and stopped by the great gift shop to purchase a booklet about the aircraft).

This is an incredibly large hanger with planes everywhere -- it almost looks like a piece of art. I wandered about in a bit of a daze just soaking in all the different crafts. Then I decided to take a free docent lead tour of the highlights -- tours occur regularly and run about 90 minutes. I highly recommend taking a tour; our guide (Richard Ledbetter) was excellent. The guides are all volunteer, very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The tour really makes this place come alive. For example, our guide pointed out that when the Concorde was constructed jet fuel was $0.13 / gallon, but the Concorde started to becoming less economical when jet fuel jumpted to $0.55 / gallon during the ealy 1970's oil embargo. (Today jet fuel is over $6.50 / gallon!). The guide really made this visit very, very interesting to everyone -- from young children to seniors, from buffs to those who knew even less that I knew (very little).

There are several major must see items - make certain to get a map / floor plan which helps you identify the various planes. The aircraft are on three levels - from ground floor to two levels hanging from the top of the hanger. There are various walkways so that you can see them from different perspectives. My favorites are:

1. The Concorde; an Air France supersonic plane

2. The WWII Enola Gay; dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima

3. Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud; back when commerical flying was glamorous

4. Lockhead Blackbird; still scary and futuristic looking

5. Space Shuttle Enterprise; when I was there they were just preparing to move it out to be replaced by the Discovery -- very interesting to learn how they move this large space ships around.

In addition to the aircrafts, space ships, missiles and satelites, there were lots of smaller interesting displays -- from clothing, engines and memorabilia.

I only wished I had more time to spend there as I never even made it to the observation tower where you can hear the air traffic controllers direct the landings at Dulles Airpor while watching the planes land.

There is no fee to tour the museum (but a large $15 parking fee). There are additional fees if you want to see any of the IMAX films or try out one of the simulators. Great gift shop and a large (but pricy) cafe to eat.

This is a fascinating place that everyone should enjoy visiting. Now I want to go visit the sister museum of the National Air & Space Museum on the DC Mall.

Visited April 2012
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Erie
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7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“See the IMAX movie on Hubble!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

The museum is fabulous, but the IMAX on Hubble really helped us and our kids to appreciate all the exhibits.

Visited April 2012
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