The Donald D. Engen Observation Tower provides a 360-degree bird's eye view of Washington Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area. From here, you can watch planes land and take off from the nearby airport. The tower is named in honor of late director of the National Air and Space Museum Vice Admiral Donald D. Engen.
Exhibits on two levels of the observation tower explain how the U.S. air traffic control system works. The lower level has an air traffic control workstation, equipment, and artifacts. The observation level has an exhibit explaining the basic features of an airport.
The tower is accessible by elevator. Strollers are not permitted on the elevator, but there is a stroller parking area on the ground floor. Lines for the elevator can be long, and the tower closes at 4:30 pm, so you don't miss out on the view.