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Museums: The UDVAR-HAZY Center

Anyone traveling to Washington, DC, should take the time to head west to Chantilly, Virginia (near Dulles International Airport), and visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which opened in 2003. Affiliated with the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, this museum, in a massive, 760,000-square-foot hangar-like structure, features many rare and special aircraft and spacecraft—from the earliest days of flight to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird to the space shuttle “Discovery.”

Warplanes of all sizes, varieties, eras, and nationalities—including the B-29 “Enola Gay”—fill the 760,000-square-foot hangar ay the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Warplanes of all sizes, varieties, eras, and nationalities—including the B-29 “Enola Gay”—fill the 760,000-square-foot hangar ay the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Of special interest is the B-29 “Enola Gay” Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Several other immaculately restored WWII aircraft are also on display—a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver, Grumman F6F Hellcat, Grumman F8F Bearcat, Lockheed P-38J Lightning, Martin B-26 Marauder, North American P-51C Mustang, Northrop P-61C Black Widow, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, and many others.

German aircraft include a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Dornier Do 335A-1 “Pfeil,” Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, and parts of a Horten Ho 229 “Flying Wing,” to name but a few. Japanese aircraft in the collection include a Kawanishi N1K20Ja Shiden Kai (“George”), Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (“Nick”)

As if seen in flight, this Vought-Sikorsky U.S. Navy Corsair R4U hangs close to a visitor viewing platform.
As if seen in flight, this Vought-Sikorsky U.S. Navy Corsair R4U hangs close to a visitor viewing platform.

Also located here is the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, where visitors can watch museum specialists at work restoring artifacts. Free daily tours are conducted by aviation experts.

And don’t forget to also visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, which also houses an equally impressive number of aircraft and spacecraft. Including a German V2 ballistic missile.

Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151

Open 10am-5:30pm daily (except Dec. 25), (6:30 PM during extended hours), Free admission ($15 fee for parking)

Website: www.si.edu/Museums/air-and-space-museum-udvar-hazy-center

A MiG 21-F-13 is on display in the Vietnam War section of the museum.
A MiG 21-F-13 is on display in the Vietnam War section of the museum.
The museum has several rare warbirds, including this German Arado Ar 234 used as both a bomber and a reconnaissance plane in WWII.
The museum has several rare warbirds, including this German Arado Ar 234 used as both a bomber and a reconnaissance plane in WWII.
Major Richard I. Bong, America’s leading fighter ace, flew this Lockheed P-38J-10 Lightning.
Major Richard I. Bong, America’s leading fighter ace, flew this Lockheed P-38J-10 Lightning.

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