Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Aerial view of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in 2004
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Virginia
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Location of the Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in USA
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (USA)
Established December 15, 2003; 15 years ago (2003-12-15)
Location Chantilly, Virginia, United States
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Type Aviation museum
Visitors 1,186,493 (2009)[1]
Public transit access Shuttle bus between museum and Dulles International Airport

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.

The 760,000-square-foot (71,000 m2) facility was made possible by a $65 million gift 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 is underway; once complete, restoration facilities and museum archives will be moved from their current location at the Garber facility to the Udvar-Hazy Center.[3]

Architecture and facilities

Entrance view with observation tower
The Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar in January 2013. The Space Shuttle Discovery is in the background.

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.[1] A taxiway connects the museum to the airport.

Phase Two of the Udvar-Hazy Center will be 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.

The wing includes:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory — will provide conservators much-needed space to develop and execute specialized preservation strategies for artifacts.
  • Collections processing unit — a dedicated loading dock and specially designed secure area for initial inspection and analysis of artifacts.[5]


Enola Gay
The Space Shuttle Discovery in the space wing of Udvar-Hazy

The center finished construction and 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:[1]

  • The MiG 15
  • The F-86 Sabre

The museum is still in the process of installing exhibits, but 169 aircraft and 152 large space artifacts are already on display as of May 2012,[1] and plans call for the eventual installation of over 200 aircraft.[8] The current list is maintained at the Objects On Display page of the Smithsonian Institution NASM Collections site.

Media appearances

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.[9] 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.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "National Air and Space Museum Press Kit: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Fact Sheet". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved May 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. National Air and Space Museum Receives Gift from Airbus for Phase Two of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
  6. "Space Shuttle Discovery Flies to the Smithsonian". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. April 17, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Dornier Do-335
  8. "Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Looking Ahead" Accessed September 30, 2006
  9. Keith Knight (June 7, 2008). "More High-Fliers at Air & Space". The Washington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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