Dlx737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1956 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5283 times:
My friend 727Lover and I spent about 4 hours in IAD on Feb 12 when we flew up to DC to shoot pics for the weekend. I'd say the best place to watch planes and maybe get a few shots is the bridge between concourse B and A. It is elevated and great for watching. If you're willing to leave security, the parking garage isn't too bad but if I were you, I'd stay within the borders of security. Concourse B is where all the international stuff usually comes into (ANA, Korean, BA, etc, etc) during the morning hours. Not bad for viewing. Good pics are impossible due to the damn double glass windows. But anyway... have fun. I love IAD and can't wait to go back. What airline are you flying on? Enjoy yourself!
AADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5275 times:
IAD is rather weak, with few windows facing the runways and limited restaurants and shops. The "temporary" Terminals C & D are dumps, crowded with tiny windows. The newer Terminals A & B are better with bigger windows and higher ceilings but views of the runway are blocked by C & D. The Saarinen main building is more impressive from the outside than the inside.
If you had a little more time, a trip to the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center would be interesting, located on the south end of the airport grounds. It is one of the largest hangers in the world, with several complete planes on display, including an SR-71, a Concorde, the 707 prototype, the Enola Gay and the space shuttle Enterprise. Unfortunately, some of the displays are still incomplete and you cannot walk through any of the planes. They should park a 747-200 there and let people walk through the cargo hold or something. The center has an observation tower with a clear view but far away. If you have a camera with a long lens (200mm or more) you might be able to get some decent shots.
If you have a 4 hour layover, I presume you are connecting to an international flight, which would make getting over there a little tough. If you are on a domestic flight you might be able to squeeze in a couple of hours. The problem at Dulles is that depending on the time of day, going through security can take 5 minutes or 40 minutes and it is hard to know when it will be 40.