Exhibitions

Visit our Museum and other popular Smithsonian destinations on the National Mall in Washington, DC, or visit our Udvar-Hazy Center in nearby Chantilly, VA.

Showing 1 - 12 of 18
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Aerobatic Flight

Millions of spectators watch aerobatic demonstrations each year, but it isn't all just for show. Aerobatic flying has influenced major advances in aircraft technology and military pilots develop aerobatic maneuvers to improve fighter tactics.

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The Bucker Bu-133C Jungmeister at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Museum in Washington, DC On View Exhibition

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

The Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall showcases historic aircraft and spacecraft that illustrate how aviation and space exploration have transformed the world.

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Wallpaper: Spirit of St. Louis
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Business Aviation

See examples of business aircraft ranging from small, propeller-driven airplanes for shorter hops to fast, well-appointed "bizjets" that can fly internationally nonstop.

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Lear Jet Model 23 at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Clouds in a Bag

The invention of the balloon struck the men and women of the late 18th century like a thunderbolt. The objects in this exhibition provide a sense of the wonder and excitement experienced by those who witnessed the birth of flight over two centuries ago. 

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Decorative Fan from the Kendall Collection
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Cold War Aviation

Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War resulted in a competition to create advanced technologies aimed at gathering intelligence. Aerial reconnaissance played an important role, and the Lockheed SR-71 was a a direct result of this struggle for supremacy.

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Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Commercial Aviation

Flying was new and daring in the early years of the 20th century. Traveling by airplane was rare. Airlines, airliners, airports, air routes—none of these existed. But by century's end, you could travel to almost anywhere in America by air in a matter of hours. Commercial aviation is now both a commonplace and an essential aspect of modern life. It has revolutionized the world.  

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Concorde at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

General Aviation

Learn about the history and aircraft that are part of general aviation, the civilian aircraft not flown by commercial carriers or the military.

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Piper J-3 Cub at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Museum in Washington, DC On View Exhibition

How Things Fly

How Things Fly explains the basic principles that allow aircraft and spacecraft to fly.

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How Thing Fly Explainer Assists Visitors with Gyro Chair Interactive
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Interwar Military Aviation

The airplane emerged from World War I recognized widely for its potential as a military weapon. In the United States, Army pilots and Navy and Marine aviators worked to realize their different visions of the airplane’s ultimate role in American defense.

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Interwar Military Aviation

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Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Modern Military Aviation

The development of more advanced and precise air power after World War II.

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Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Pre-1920 Aviation

The Wright brothers inaugurated the aerial age with their historic first flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. The influence of their invention is beyond measure. The transport by air of goods and people, quickly and over great distances, and the military applications of flight technology have had vast economic, geopolitical, and cultural impact around the globe. The Wrights helped fashion a radically new world.  

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Pre-1920 Aviation

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Nieuport 28C.1 at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center On View Exhibition

Sport Aviation

It's not for military, commercial, or business — sport aviation is all about flying for pleasure. Learn about gliders, homebuilts, ultralights, and more.

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Sport Aviation

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Grob 102 Standard Astir III at the Udvar-Hazy Center

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