Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center


The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, also called the Udvar-Hazy Center, is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)'s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. It holds numerous exhibits, including the Space Shuttle Discovery, the Enola Gay, and the Gemini 7 space capsule.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Aerial view of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in 2004
LocationChantilly, Virginia, United States
Coordinates38°54′41.2″N 77°26′38.8″W / 38.911444°N 77.444111°W / 38.911444; -77.444111Coordinates: 38°54′41.2″N 77°26′38.8″W / 38.911444°N 77.444111°W / 38.911444; -77.444111
TypeAviation museum
Visitors1.6 million (2017)[1]

The 760,000-square-foot (71,000 m2; 17-acre; 7.1 ha) facility was made possible by a $65 million donation in October 1999 to the Smithsonian Institution by Steven F. Udvar-Házy, an immigrant from Hungary and co-founder of the International Lease Finance Corporation, an aircraft leasing corporation.[2] The main NASM building, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., had always contained more artifacts than could be displayed, and most of the collection had been stored, unavailable to visitors, at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Silver Hill, Maryland. A substantial addition to the center encompassing restoration, conservation and collection-storage facilities was completed in 2010. Restoration facilities and museum archives were moved from the museum's Garber facility to the new sections of the Udvar-Hazy Center.[3]

Architecture and facilitiesEdit

Entrance view with observation tower

Designed by Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum, who also designed the National Air and Space Museum building, the Center required 15 years of preparation and was built by Hensel Phelps Construction Co.[4] The exhibition areas comprise two large hangars, the 293,707-square-foot (27,286.3 m2) Boeing Aviation Hangar and the 53,067-square-foot (4,930.1 m2) James S. McDonnell Space Hangar. The Donald D. Engen Observation Tower provides a view of landing operations at adjacent Washington Dulles International Airport. The museum also contains an IMAX theater.[5] A taxiway connects the museum to the airport.[6]

An expansion of the Udvar-Hazy Center is dedicated to the behind-the-scenes care of the Smithsonian's collection of aircraft, spacecraft, related artifacts and archival materials. On December 2, 2008, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center received a gift of $6 million for phase two from Airbus Americas Inc. — the largest corporate gift to the Smithsonian Institution in 2008.[6]

The wing includes:

  • The Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar — spacious enough to accommodate several aircraft at one time with a second-floor viewing area designed to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look.[7]
  • Archives — the foremost collection of documentary records of the history, science and technology of aeronautics and space flight will be housed in a single location for the first time, providing researchers with ample space and equipment.[6]
  • The Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory — provides conservators much-needed space to develop and execute specialized preservation strategies for artifacts.[6]
  • Collections processing unit — a dedicated loading dock and specially designed secure area for initial inspection and analysis of artifacts.[8]

A further expansion of the collections center was approved in December 2016.[9] The addition will be made up of three additional storage modules on the south side of the building.[10]

Main exhibition display area.


Gemini 7 space capsule.
Space Shuttle Discovery in the space wing of Udvar-Hazy.

The center was opened on December 15, 2003. The Udvar-Hazy Center displays historic aviation and space artifacts, especially items too large for the National Air and Space Museum's building on the National Mall, including:[5]

The museum is still in the process of installing exhibits, and 169 aircraft and 152 large space artifacts were on display as of May 2012,[5] and plans call for the eventual installation of over 200 aircraft.[17] The current list is maintained at the Objects On Display page of the Smithsonian Institution NASM Collections site.[18]


A number of events are held at the museum throughout the year.[19] These include lectures, book signings, sleepovers, and events for children. Some of the museum's larger events include Air & Scare for Halloween,[20] an open house,[21] and Innovations in Flight: Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display.[22]

Media appearancesEdit

The center made its first media appearance in the 2009 film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The center remained open while filming took place, although certain areas were closed.[23] The SR-71 that is on display in the museum was used as Jetfire, a Decepticon who switches sides to become an Autobot, in the film. In the film, it is referred to simply as the National Air and Space Museum.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Visitor Statistics". Smithsonian Newsdesk. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Small, L. M. "A century's roar and buzz: Thanks to an immigrant's generosity, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opens to the public". In "From the Secretary". Smithsonian. Vol. 34, p. 20.
  3. ^ Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center History
  4. ^ Triplett, W. "Hold everything!" Smithsonian. Vol. 34, December 2003, p. 59.
  5. ^ a b c "National Air and Space Museum Press Kit: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Fact Sheet". Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on April 7, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Ezell, Linda Neuman; Museum, National Air and Space (2004). Building America's hangar: the design and construction of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum. ISBN 9781904832072.
  7. ^ Irvine, Madison (October 11, 2017). "Experience the History of Wartime Aviation at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center". Argunners Magazine | Military War History Website. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  8. ^ National Air and Space Museum Receives Gift from Airbus for Phase Two of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Archived January 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Commission Action" (PDF). National Capital Planning Commission. December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  10. ^ "Executive Director's Recommendation" (PDF). National Capital Planning Commission. December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  11. ^ "Space Shuttle Discovery Flies to the Smithsonian". Smithsonian Nationalk Air and Space Museum. April 17, 2012. Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  12. ^ "Lockheed 1049F-55-96 "Constellation" - National Air and Space Museum". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  13. ^ Dornier Do-335 Archived May 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Gondola, Breitling Orbiter 3". Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  15. ^ "Goodyear Blimp Gondola Goes to Smithsonian". Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  16. ^ "The Airships Land at the Udvar-Hazy Center". Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  17. ^ "Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Looking Ahead" Accessed September 30, 2006
  18. ^ "NASM Collections, Objects On Display" Accessed August 15, 2021
  19. ^ "Events | National Air and Space Museum". Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  20. ^ "Air & Scare | National Air and Space Museum". Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Open House | National Air and Space Museum". Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  22. ^ "Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display - Innovations in Flight Aircraft Display". Innovations in Flight Aircraft Display. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  23. ^ Keith Knight (June 7, 2008). "More High-Fliers at Air & Space". The Washington Post.

External linksEdit

  • Official website