AAR Design Hangar

The AAR Design Hangar is an interactive space that engages students in fun, creative projects that introduce them to the engineering design process.

Hands-on activities in the Hangar encourage students to design, build, and test prototypes to overcome different design challenges.

Where: The AAR Design Hangar is located inside the How Things Fly gallery on the first floor of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, across from the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater.

Who: All design challenges in the AAR Design Hangar are geared toward students in upper elementary to middle school.

When: The AAR Design Hangar is generally open seven days a week from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. However, operating hours are subject to change. 

Groups: Groups of up to 15 total students and adults can reserve a 30-minute challenge at 10:15 am, 11:00 am, and 11:45 am. 

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The AAR Design Hangar is sponsored by AAR, David P. Storch, and Ira Eichner.


Image of the outside of the Museum's Design Hangar workshop.

Examples of design challenges: 

Design an airplane that can generate enough lift to get off the ground and maintain stable flight for more than five seconds in our wind tunnel.

Design a stable aircraft that can remain in a vertical airstream for at least five seconds and fly to a height of at least eight feet.

Design an aircraft or spacecraft component that weighs less than one pound (450 grams), is less than 20 inches tall, and can withstand various amounts of applied force.