I recently had some meetings near DC finish up early, and I was staying near Dulles, so I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity I’ve been interested in a while. I finally went to the Udvar-Hazy Center near the airport. For those that are not aware, this is a companion facility to the Air and Space Museum on the Capitol Mall, with lots more space for artifact display. It is free to enter, but a bit difficult to access. They have lockers for baggage storage if needed.
The Udvar-Hazy Center
There are a few options to get to the museum.
There is a shuttle bus from IAD to the museum, which costs $0.50, unfortunately, the schedule is a bit limited. A cab is also an option, but its much more expensive. I took a cab there since I had only about 90 minutes before the museum closed, and I didn’t want to wait for the next shuttle. The cab fare was $15. Parking is available as well, which is $15. The shuttle schedule is below: (sorry for the poor scan)
Note: the shuttle I took is no longer available, but there is another option besides the Washington Flyer taxi monopoly. Fairfax Connector Bus route 983 is $2, and goes to the museum every 20 minutes during the week.
The Udvar-Hazy center is a great way to spend a long layover at IAD. Due to the limitations of the shuttle schedule, and the joy of reclearing security, I would suggest at least a 4 hour layover in order to visit the museum. Shorter IAD layovers could be well spent at the Lufthansa Senator Lounge that Matthew has covered before. That lounge requires Star Alliance Gold status and a same day boarding pass on a *A carrier for access.
The museum is has a wide array of military and civilian aircraft on display from the early 1900s to modern day, including a large wing with spacecraft including a Space Shuttle.
SR-71, which landed at IAD and taxied to hangar for display, as did many of the aircraft on display, but none likely flew as fast to get there as this one.
The infamous F-35. Decals on engine for Pratt & Whitney also seen on United 777s (and the RR logo on Continental 757s)
Neither Maverick nor Goose were anywhere to be seen
View of IAD airport from the control tower which had interesting displays on ATC.
Boeing 367-80, a prototype for the 707
Lufthansa Ju 52
Pan Am Boeing 307
Air France Concorde
Space Shuttle prototype