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» Glider soaring, Ridali, Estonia
» Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington Dulles Airport
» Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum, Washington DC
» London Science Museum
» Riga aviation museum
» RAF Waddington Air Show 2008
» Goodwood Festival of Speed, United Kingdom
» Duxford IWM, United Kingdom
» Flying Legends air show 2008, United Kingdom
» London Imperial War Museum, United Kingdom
» Prague Kbely, Czech Republic
» Old Aeroplane Company, VIC, Australia
» Ansett Transport Museum, VIC, Australia
» new! War Memorial, ACT, Australia
» new! Canberra NASA Deep Space Communication Complex, ACT, Australia


:: Visit photos ::
» Aeroseum, Gothenburg
» Glider soaring, Ridali
» Tartu aviation museum
» Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
» Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum, Washington DC
» London Science Museum
» Riga aviation museum
» RAF Waddington Air Show 2008
» Goodwood Festival of Speed, United Kingdom
» Duxford IWM, United Kingdom
» Flying Legends air show 2008, United Kingdom
» London Imperial War Museum, United Kingdom
» Prague Kbely, Czech Republic
» Old Aeroplane Company, Australia
» Ansett Transport Museum, Australia
» War Memorial, Australia
» Canberra NASA Deep Space Communication Complex, Australia

:: Book reviews ::
» Visions of a Flying Machine

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:: Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum ::

When visiting the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, I also went to see the main National Air and Space Museum - right smack in the central of Washington DC. Both the Udvar-Hazy center (by means of public transport), as well as the entire Washington DC center, including the Air and Space Museum was very nicely accessible by foot from the Holiday Inn I was staying in (550 C street SW).

You are greeted here, in the most popular of the Smithsonian museums, the same way you are in almost all other Smithsonian museums - by security guards and metal detectors. Unluckily I had forgotten a Swiss knife in my backpack, but the staff was receptive and polite when I brought their attention to it before proceeding through the security check. The museum is free. Only the simulators and the cinema areas are paid for "attractions".

The main hall normally has the permanent exhibition of Milestones of Flight. During my visit there were minor renovations going on, but one could see the embodiments of significant leaps peeking out from underneath white tarps - the Bell X-1, the fastest rocket plane X-15, the Voyager no refueling around the world flight and the SpaceShipOne.

On the west end there's a giant glass wall that is used as a door for planes and opposite to it is the Apollo Lunar Module on the east end. Moving through the museum, I was especially glad to see the How Things Fly exhibition - kids flocked to it and allowed themselves a long agreeable while to play with exhibitions like you'd normally only find in science museums. They were also entertained by a speech with tips on paper airplane construction and end it with a fly-off like the big boys do. Or they could learn to fly a plane by keeping it stable in the onslaught of air from fans.

My personal favorite exhibitions were the Space Race with a V-1 and V-2 on display (the latter being practically the sole path from which all other rocketry evolved) as well as Looking on Earth with aerial photography. With the immense size of the museum, I'm sure everybody else will find their cup of tea as well.

Further information:
- My Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum photos
- My Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center travel report
- My Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center photos
- Wikipedia: National Air and Space Museum


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