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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: For Those Who Enjoy Aeronautics

Are you looking for a fun and educational day out in Virginia? Do you love epoxy flooring and want to see some fantastic examples of it in action? If so, you should visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the companion facility to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

The Udvar-Hazy Center is a substantial hangar-like building that houses thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery. You can explore the history and technology of flight, from the earliest pioneers to the latest innovations. You can also enjoy films, simulators, and activities for all ages.

interior of the airplane depot at steven f

The History of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center was opened in 2003 as an annex to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, founded in 1946. The center was named after Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, a Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist who donated $65 million to the Smithsonian Institution to construct the facility.

The center was built to display the large and diverse collection of air and space artifacts that could not fit in the main museum in Washington, DC. The center has two main hangars: the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar. The center also has an observation tower, an IMAX theater, a flight simulator zone, a restoration hangar, and a gift shop.

The center is near the Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia. It covers an area of 760,000 square feet (71,000 square meters) and has a floor space of 600,000 square feet (56,000 square meters). The center can accommodate up to 10,000 visitors per day.

aerial view of steve f airport

What can you find in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center?

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center has over 3,000 aviation and space artifacts on display, ranging from small models and instruments to full-size aircraft and spacecraft. Some of the highlights include:

  1. The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is a supersonic reconnaissance plane with the record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft.
  2. The Concorde was a supersonic passenger airliner that could fly across the Atlantic Ocean in less than four hours.
  3. The Space Shuttle Discovery is one of history’s most flown and historic spacecraft.
  4. The Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II.
  5. The Wright Flyer is a replica of the first powered aircraft the Wright brothers flew in 1903.
  6. The Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis was the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in 1947.
  7. The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia is the spacecraft that carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon in 1969.
  8. The Lunar Module LM-2, a backup spacecraft for the Apollo 11 mission, was never flown.

The Voyager was a lightweight aircraft that flew worldwide without refueling or landing in 1986.

Advice for Visitors

Here are some valuable tips to make the most of your visit:

When is it open?

The center is open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, except on December 25.

What to wear?

The center is climate-controlled so that you can dress comfortably for any season. However, you should bring a jacket or sweater if you plan to visit the observation tower, which can be chilly or windy.

Is it family-friendly?

Yes! The center has many activities and programs for kids of all ages, such as story time, hands-on demonstrations, scavenger hunts, and flight simulators. There is also a McDonald’s restaurant on-site for your convenience.

When is it best to visit?

The center is usually less crowded on weekdays than on weekends or holidays. Avoid visiting during school field trips, which typically take place between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on weekdays.

A Piece of Virginia At Your Reach

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a fantastic place to visit for anyone who loves aviation and space. You can spend hours admiring the impressive collection of aircraft and spacecraft, learning about their history and technology, and having fun with interactive exhibits and simulators. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you should not miss this opportunity to see one of the best museums in Virginia!

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A Trip Through Virginia's Landmarks to Reach Castle Floor Coatings

Route Overview: Morven Park Grounds to 42575 Sunset Ridge Square, Ashburn, VA

Stop 1: Morven Park Grounds

 Address: 17339 Southern Planter Ln, Leesburg, VA 20176, United States

  1.  Get on VA267 E/Dulles Greenway in Leesburg from Fairview St NW and VA7 E: 11 min (5.1 mi)
  2.  Follow VA267 E to VA286 N/Fairfax County Pkwy in Reston. Take exit 11 from VA267 E: 15 min (16.0 mi)
  3.  Continue on VA286 N/Fairfax County Pkwy. Drive to St Francis St: 4 min (1.2 mi)

 Arrival: Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St, Reston, VA 20190, United States

Stop 2: Reston Town Center

 Address: 11900 Market St, Reston, VA 20190, United States

  1.  Get on VA267 E from Bluemont Way and Reston Pkwy: 5 min (1.4 mi)
  2.  Follow VA267 E and I495 E to US1/S Patrick St in Alexandria. Take the US1 N exit from I495 E/I95 N: 26 min (26.2 mi)
  3.  Continue on US1/S Patrick St. Take Franklin St to S Fairfax St: 4 min (0.9 mi)

 Arrival: S Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA

Stop 3: S Fairfax St

 Address: Alexandria, VA 22314, USA

  1.  Get on I495 S/I95 S in Fairfax County from Gibbon St: 4 min (1.4 mi)
  2.  Continue on I495 S to Wolf Trap. Take exit 15 from VA267 W: 21 min (20.8 mi)
  3.  Follow Trap Rd to Beulah Rd in Hunter Mill District: 4 min (1.8 mi)

 Arrival: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182, United States

Stop 4: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

 Address: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182, United States

  1.  Get on VA267 W in Reston from Beulah Rd, Browns Mill Rd and Crowell Rd: 6 min (3.2 mi)
  2.  Follow VA267 W and VA28 S to Air and Space Museum Pkwy. Exit from VA28 S: 11 min (10.8 mi)
  3.  Merge onto Air and Space Museum Pkwy: 26 sec (0.3 mi)

 Arrival: Steven F. UdvarHazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA 20151, United States

Stop 5: Steven F. UdvarHazy Center

 Address: 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA 20151, United States

  1.  Head west on Air and Space Museum Pkwy
  2.  Turn left toward Air and Space Museum Pkwy
  3.  Continue straight onto Air and Space Museum Pkwy
  4.  Use the right lane to take the VA28 N ramp to VA7/Dulles Arpt
  5.  Keep left at the fork and merge onto VA28 N
  6.  Use the right 2 lanes to take the exit toward Dulles Airport

 Arrival: Dulles International Airport, 1 Saarinen Cir, Dulles, VA 20166, United States

Stop 6: Dulles International Airport

 Address: 1 Saarinen Cir, Dulles, VA 20166, United States

  1.  Get on VA267 W from Rudder Rd, Autopilot Dr, Ariane Way, and VA606 W: 8 min (3.5 mi)
  2.  Follow VA267 W to US15 S/VA7 W/Leesburg Bypass in Leesburg. Take exit 1A from VA267 W: 10 min (10.8 mi)
  3.  Continue on VA7 W to your destination in Purcellville: 15 min (11.3 mi)
  4.  Arrival: Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink, 250 S. Nursery Ave., Purcellville, VA 20132, United States
  5. Stop 7: Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink
  6.  Address: 250 S. Nursery Ave., Purcellville, VA 20132, United States
  7.  Get on VA7 E from N Hatcher Ave and Hirst Rd: 6 min (2.4 mi)
  8.  Continue on VA7 E. Drive to Old Dominion Dr in Great Falls: 37 min (28.0 mi)
  9.  Turn right onto Old Dominion Dr

 Arrival: Great Falls Park, 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102, United States

Stop 8: Great Falls Park

 Address: 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102, United States

  1.  Get on VA267 W from Old Dominion Dr and VA684 S: 9 min (4.4 mi)
  2.  Follow VA267 W to VA659 S in Ashburn. Take exit 4 from VA267 W: 18 min (18.4 mi)
  3.  Continue on VA659 S. Drive to Sunset Ridge Square: 2 min (0.7 mi)

 Arrival: 42575 Sunset Ridge Square, Ashburn, VA 20148, USA