The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
The Center was names in honor of the major donor, and features the large Boeing Aviation Hangar in which aircraft are displayed on 3 levels. Visitors can walk among aircraft and small artifacts in display cases located on the floor, and view aircraft hanging from the arched ceiling on elevated walkways. Many engines, helicopters, ultra-lights, and experimental flying machines are on display on a museum setting for the first time. Among the aviation artifacts on display are the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet in the world; the Boeing Dash 80, the prototype of the 707; the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay; and the deHavilland Chipmunk aerobatic airplane.
The James S. McDonnell Space Hangar opened in November 2004 and displays hundreds of famous spacecraft, rickets, satellites and space-related small artifacts. The centerpiece of the space hangar is the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Other space artifacts include the Gemini VII space capsule; the Mobile Quarantine Unit used upon the return of the Apollo 11 crew; and a Redstone rocket.
In addition, the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower provides an excellent location from which visitors can watch air traffic at Dulles Airport.
There is no admission charge for the National Air & Space Museum but there is a parking fee of $15.