View of the Udvar-Hazy Center – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
Everyone has heard of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC (at least if you read this site, you likely have). The museum’s main location, prominently located on the National Mall, has long been a favorite stop for tourists exploring the nation’s capitol. Less well-known, however, is the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located 25 miles to the west, adjacent to Dulles International Airport (IAD). I recently took the opportunity to spend a few hours before a flight exploring this amazing facility, and I was not disappointed.
The museum, which opened in 2003, consists of two massive hangars housing over 3,000 aircraft, spacecraft, and other historical items. All told, there is nearly 300,000 square-feet of floor space in the museum. The collection includes the space shuttle Discovery, an SR-71, an Air France Concorde, and the B-29 bomber Enola Gay among many other fascinating pieces.
This website gets pitched to review quite a few books and most of the time, we respectfully decline. But when I was asked to take a look at Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History, I was intrigued. SEE BELOW ON HOW YOU CAN WIN A COPY [it is easy and fun].
The book is an entertaining and light way to explore the history of aviation. People who are not too interested in aviation and those who are hardcore AvGeeks will be able to enjoy different aspects of the book.
Really, the book is more of an information starting point than an tell-all source. Although there is not much information for each aircraft, there are tons and tons of aircraft and photos in the book. Keep a computer near, because there were more than a few times I become interested in wanting to learn more about a plane and did some additional research.
The book is divided into different decades and starts with zeppelins “Before 1920” and goes to SpaceShipTwo in “After 2000.” There are about 300 pages of content and thousands of photos = tons of eye candy.