Smithsonian Air & Space Museum or Udvar-Hazy

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
For those who have been to one or the other or both...

which would you recommend as a "must see" - if - you had to choose only one?

and why.....
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
I've been to the Air & Space museum more times than I can count (used to walk there from AA's overnight hotel all the time). I was in awe, amazed, and just generally humbled every time I walked out of that place.

Incredible. Just incredible.
 

SeanD

Well-Known Member
The Udvar-Hazy is my pick. They have the tower mock up which overlooks the runways at IAD. We were there during the international rush. Very cool stuff. Lots of planes including the original Enola Gay and a Conchord. Its by far the best museum I have ever visited. It is a must see.
The Smithsonian version is geared more towards the history of space exploration.
 

Scandinavian13

New Member
I love the Udvar Hazy, mostly because I went to the Smithsonian one about a hundred times when I was a kid.

BUT

I chose the Smithsonian. It's larger, has more exhibits, doesn't have $12 parking (the Udvar Hazy has $12 parking - $0.50 each way if you take the shuttle from the airport). If it's a total bomb, which I assure you it won't be, you can always go wandering about the mall. Then you can catch the metro over to Gravelly Point and pull out cameras and spot for a while.

Despite the UH Centre's tower, it isn't very good for spotting and the parking lot is actually the best spot for it. As for the exhibits, there are a lot less than the Smith, but that's also because they're still trying to fill it. The UHC has a couple more interesting aircraft than the Smith (Concorde, SR-71, Virgin Global Flyer, Space Shuttle, etc), but you'll be able to spend more time at the Smith (even in the A&S Museum alone).

So I recommend going to the Smith first and then the UH. Both will be around later if you have to visit the other on a second trip.

Either way, whenever you head to the Hazy, send me a PM, I can give you a ride up there at the very least. Afterwards we can hit up a Mexican joint that rivals or even out-does the mexican joints down here in Arizona.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
I have only been to the main NASM many years ago and it was awesome. Which one to go see would be personal preference based on what major exhibits you wanted to see. Below are just a few of the main exhibits in each building.

The Udvar-Hazy building offers
  • SR-71
  • Concorde
  • B-29 Enola Gay
  • Space Shuttle
  • Various Famous Fighter aircraft
The Main building offers
  • Wright Flyer
  • Apollo 11 Command & Lunar Modules
  • Bell X-1
  • Cray Super computer
  • Ford Tri-motor
  • U-2
  • Sputnik
  • Famous airliners
If you want to research it before heading out here is the link to which museum has what.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/collections/objectsondisplay.cfm?view=alpha&type=all
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
It all depends on whether or not you have a car.

If you have a car or you are flying in and out of IAD, do Udvar Hazy.

If not, do the one on the Mall.
 

Seggy

Well-Known Member
Kristie, you CAN NOT decide between one or another.

Both are must sees for anyone involved in aviation. No debate about it.
 

VATechPilot

Well-Known Member
I chose the Smithsonian. It's larger, has more exhibits, doesn't have $12 parking (the Udvar Hazy has $12 parking - $0.50 each way if you take the shuttle from the airport).
That or $5.00+ for metro or $10.00+ for a taxi or $35.00ish for parking ticket when going the Smith. Not to mention you have to fight yourself through all of the tour groups, in particular school field trips.

I'd would have to go with the Udvar. Other than the reason stated above, I like Udvar because of its tower and its more interesting planes (in my opinion). In addition Udvar offers offers all of the cool stuff that the Smith does such as simulators and Imax.
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
I agree with Seggy as well. Both are a must see and have different things to offer. NASM has a lot of good historical flight/space exhibits plus they have the planetarium. Both have IMAX theaters. The Udvar-Hazy is where you can see the larger aricraft and newer generation aircraft exhibits.
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
Well, i wouldn't worry about the tower part... seems we have some connections that can get us into the towers/tracon at either IAD or DCA.

Altho the spotting at Gravelly Point sounds like an interesting idea too....

and if both are must see...which would you go with first, then second?

My diabolical plan at the moment is to try and shoot for DC for NetworkJC '09.....but to do both museums would require more time than the typical 3-4 days from everyone. so i'm on the quest to find out which would be more worthwhile just in case we can't get to both.....

we might still end up doing vegas next year...but i wouldn't mind moving it as long as everything can be set up effectively and efficiently.
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
ok... so another quick question.... do you think it's possible to do both museums in one day?

how much time would you use for each museum?

both museums are open from 10-5:30pm
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
ok... so another quick question.... do you think it's possible to do both museums in one day?

how much time would you use for each museum?

both museums are open from 10-5:30pm
For those of us who've been there before, we can get through pretty fast, since none of the exhibits really change. But for those who have never been, it can take quite a chunk of time to get through just one. I've personally gone throught NASM, going through all the exhibits by myself in less than two hours. Now when I took Nona for the first time it took all day. That was taking time to see each exhibit and catch an IMAX and planetarium show. As far as the Udvar-Hazy, I've only been once and I still haven't seen everything.
 

B767Driver

New Member
The Udvar Hazy Center is actually an annex to the NASM...so it is part of the Smithsonian Institutions.

The week the Udvar Hazy Center opened, I and 8 other airline guys jumpseated into DCA and checked it out. It's really well done.

If you are more interested in airplanes...see the Udvar Hazy annex...more interested in space...go to the National Mall complex. But definitely see them both.
 

maschmi2

Well-Known Member
I'd pick Udvar-Hazy any day, mainly b/c of the McCafé which has awesome desserts, but also b/c of the tower mock up, and you can see some cool stuff if you get there at the right time. FYI, they stop charging for parking officially at 430pm, but usually they stop at 415 or earlier. Mind you, they close at 530. In regards to if you can see both in one day, asbolutely yes. My friend took a visitor from out of time to the Udvar at 415 to avoid parking fees and they were out by 530 and felt they had spent enough time in there. There used to be a shuttle in between the two museums, but I think I heard they stopped that for lack of interest.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
ok... so another quick question.... do you think it's possible to do both museums in one day?

how much time would you use for each museum?

both museums are open from 10-5:30pm
No. Figure on four hours for each museum. Then add in the hour to get between the two and it's not going to happen. Not enough hours in the day!
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
i agree with the hairy one.
I guess the real question would be....

Which one do you have to wear a suit to?:D


(Sorry, Amorris. Blame the hairy one...I saw the shot and had to take it. (or whatever the quote may be.)

My vote was for other:Thunderbird Museum...(shoot, that's in another city) ;)
 

Old Pete

Cockpit Authoritarian
Kristie, you CAN NOT decide between one or another.

Both are must sees for anyone involved in aviation. No debate about it.
I would have to agree with Seggy. It's not an "either- or " choice, if you can't see both, just plan to see the other next time. While I have not seen the Udvar-Hazy Annex, I have seen many of the displays when they were on display at the mall or at the annex in MD.
 

Scandinavian13

New Member
ok... so another quick question.... do you think it's possible to do both museums in one day?

how much time would you use for each museum?

both museums are open from 10-5:30pm
Yes, but I wouldn't count on public transport. The metro only gets you as far as Vienna/Fairfax/GMU and the Washington Flyer bus to IAD is $8 (more than the cost of the metro tickets).

Depending on when you're there, I could probably meet you in DC and give you a ride out to IAD. I could drive you out there if you fly into IAD, too. I haven't been to the original NASM in ages. I could always bugger off to go spot for a while if you want to take it all in without a townie there.
 
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