June 15. The Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display, held annually at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, featured a star attraction this year: Solar Impulse. The innovative aircraft, which has the wingspan of a jumbo jet but is as light as a small car, is the first aircraft to fly day and night powered solely by the sun. While it was on a week-long public display on the grounds of the Udvar-Hazy Center, members of the Solar Impulse team were on hand to explain the aircraft and its technology.
July 26 — December 1. A triple art exhibition was on display in the Flight and the Arts gallery: High Art: A Decade of Collecting, Searching for Goldilocks, and Suited for Space. High Art presented 50 artworks acquired by the Museum from 2003 to 2013. Searching for Goldilocks showcased a sculpture created by artist Angela Palmer. The name refers to the term "Goldilocks planet" — a world not too hot or not too cold to be habitable for life. Suited for Space revealed the remarkable ingenuity of nearly a century of spacesuit design and featured original photography by Museum photographer Mark Avino.
Searching for Goldilocks was made possible through the generous support of the Smithsonian United Kingdom Charitable Trust. Suited for Space was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in partnership with the National Air and Space Museum. Generous support was provided by DuPont.
September 13 — October 7. In a rare opportunity, Leonardo da Vinci's Codex on the Flight of Birds was on display in The Wright Brothers & The Aerial Age gallery at the Museum in Washington, DC. The Codex, an early form of a personal notebook in which Leonardo recorded his thoughts and sketches about flight, was on loan from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, Italy, and was accompanied by interactive computer screens showing the codex’s pages and a model of a Leonardo-inspired ornithopter suspended just outside the gallery. Originally scheduled to be on view until October 22, the exhibit lost 16 public viewing days because of the U.S. government shutdown. During the 24 days it was on public view, a total of 85,111 people went through the exhibit.
The exhibit was organized by the Museum and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Italian Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC, and the Biblioteca Reale in Turin with the support of the Bracco Foundation and corporations Finmeccanica and Tenaris. It is part of “2013: Year of Italian Culture in the U.S.,” an initiative held under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Embassy with the support of corporate ambassadors, Eni and Intesa Sanpaolo.