Flying Circus

February 18, 2017 | 10:30am - 4:00pm
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Free, Parking $15

It’s 1927, and famed pilot Jimmy Doolittle is about to debut an aerobatic maneuver called an Outside Loop. Your mission: design a plane that will beat Jimmy Doolittle to the Outside Loop.

Join us for a free alternate reality game set in the thrilling era of aviation when daring pilots zoomed across the sky and airplane designers pushed boundaries. 


In Smithsonian TechQuest: Flying Circus, learn about the four forces of flight as well as basic aerobatic maneuvers such as spins, loops, and rolls. Use this knowledge to design a plane that can pull off the daring Outside Loop. Explore several of the Museum’s artifacts and experience three hands-on stations covering wings, propellers, and tails, where you will collect pieces of your own plane to put together at the end of the game.

Smithsonian TechQuest is designed primarily for families with children ages 10 to 14, but anyone can play.

Begin the Smithsonian TechQuest: Flying Circus challenge by attending one of the game orientations in the hallway outside the Claude Moore Education Center. Then, begin your adventure in the world of aerobatic flight. When you are finished with the game, return to the orientation area where you began the game for your Aerobatic Design Review. In these reviews, we will take a look at the choices you made and their impact on your aerobatic plane design. All game players will be able to keep their aircraft and receive a special prize for their participation.

Orientations are offered at regular intervals between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm. Visitors play at their own pace. Overall program time is estimated at about 60-90 minutes.

Visit the Smithsonian TechQuest website for more information, as well as dates of other upcoming Flying Circus games.

Smithsonian TechQuest is made possible by the generous support of McDonald's USA, LLC.