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mke717spotter
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How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:33 pm

I got the itch to plan a daytrip on DL and catch a few flights on the Mad Dog 88s. I was thinking of flying to IAD so that I could also check out the Udvar-Hazy Center as it looks like they've got some cool exhibits there (Space Shuttle, Concorde, etc.). How much time would I need to set aside to properly visit the place? Based on the current itinerary I've got picked out I'd have exactly 3 hours between my arrival and departure time at IAD (I do have TSA Pre and obviously won't be checking bags). What's the best way to get from the airport terminal to the museum? Walking? Uber? Bus?


Thanks.
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asuflyer05
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:45 pm

3 hours on the ground is not enough time. You will probably short change yourself with 3 hours just at the museum.

And yes, I would Uber between the airport and the museum. There is a bus service but the Uber will help you maximize your time on the ground.
 
Runway28L
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:07 am

I'd at the very least double your ground time to 6 hours. Both times I've been there though, it was an all day thing. Would get there at 10am from downtown DC and stay until 4:30pm. Any extra time I had would be spent spotting the arriving TATL flights.
 
dstc47
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:41 am

It would probably take you 3 hours about just to walk there and back from IAD, if you even could do so safely. It is a long way with an indirect routing.

The last time I visited a rare minibus service ran very infrequently from IAD and IFRC it was not really signposted or timetabled at IAD. You really had to dig out the information on the web. Udvar-Hazy is overrun with kids and if a group of them are ahead of you in the bus queue, outward or especially back to IAD, you might not get on either. Of course most kids arrive there on charter buses but this link to IAD is the only public bus link. Finding transport back to IAD might also be tricky, drivers would much prefer a longer trip.

As for time, well 3 hours there would be too little time to see everything properly but would be a good introduction. It is well worth a visit.
 
dstc47
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:48 am

The bus link is Fairfax Connector Route 983
 
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ricport
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:45 pm

Short answer is, it depends. Are you especially interested in any particular aspect (i.e., space, military aviation, commercial aviation)? U-H has a tremendous variety, but I'd say it leans more towards space and military items. I don't need to stare at an exhibit for dozens of minutes to get the full impact and appreciation. So, for me, 3 hours or so (not counting transportation time to/from IAD) is usually enough. However, given that you only have 3 hours total, I'd taxi or Uber. Also, you may want to visit their website, so you can plan out your visit better. I don't think you'll be able to see everything, but if you plan, you won't miss out on what you really want to see.

They also have an IMAX, planetarium and observation deck (my personal fave)... If you decide to do those, add considerable time to your schedule. I'd also recommend visiting in the winter during the week, as obviously, that would be the low season. The closer you get to summer and weekends, the more crowded it'll get. Hope you have a great time! It really is an amazing, one-of-a-kind place!
 
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CrimsonNL
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:32 pm

I'd say a minimum of 2 hours for the museum, it's a fantastic collection!

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mke717spotter
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:06 pm

asuflyer05 wrote:
3 hours on the ground is not enough time. You will probably short change yourself with 3 hours just at the museum.

Runway28L wrote:
I'd at the very least double your ground time to 6 hours. Both times I've been there though, it was an all day thing.

dstc47 wrote:
As for time, well 3 hours there would be too little time to see everything properly but would be a good introduction.

Well in that case, another option would be to fly out at 6 AM instead and then I'd have 5 hours and 40 minutes in between flights at IAD. It might be a tiring day but I guess I will try and go to bed early the night before.
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jupiter2
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:09 am

I had 3 hours there earlier this year and seriously, it was nowhere near enough. I rushed around the complex to see as much as possible, which I did do, but I didn't get to appreciate the exhibits to the level I would've preferred. To do the place justice it is a full day experience, if you aren't as interested in certain sections, you can reduce that, but you are only short changing yourself on one of the truly great aviation museums. Coming from Sydney, my time in Washington was limited as well as travelling with people who weren't interested, so I had no choice. If I get the chance to go back, it will be for the full day, I want the chance to just stand there on the balconies and take in all of the history that is laid out in front of you, without having to rush.
 
PI4EVER
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:39 pm

Note as well that food service in the Center is limited to a McDonald's so no other food or beverage is permitted other than a bottle of water.
I too enjoyed the outdoor observation during a beautiful day in the Washington area.
While not applicable in your case I used the Metro from the DC area to Reston Town Center and connected to the Fairfax bus connector to
IAD and on to the center. The ride on my bus from IAD terminal to the center took just 10 minutes.
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Kent350787
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:03 am

We arrived at the museum around 11 and left around 4 (2 adults, teen and 9 yo). 4 hours min for me. And very worthwhile taking a guided tour - I usually avoid them, but excellent here.
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jeffh747
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:27 pm

At least 4 hours for me as well. That 5 hours 40 minutes you have on the ground should be enough if you get off the plane and go straight to the museum, then arrive back at IAD an hour before your flight. It’s truly an amazing experience with all of the great exhibits they have there, and not something to be rushed half-heartedly. I’ve been there three times and it’s wonderful.
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neomax
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:29 am

All day experience. You will not regret it. No other place in the world has an authentic Concorde, authentic Shuttle, and authentic SR-71 under one roof. Remains the best aviation museum and museum period I have ever visited.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:10 am

I love that it's like a giant toy box. Youd definitely need more than 3 hours on the ground. IMO you should sacrifice one of those MD88 legs and be there longer. There is so much to see. And ditching an MD88 leg to take a picture of an SR71 and Space Shuttle at the same time is totally worth it. They also have an observation deck that looks over IAD.

BTW, does anyone know if theyre going to receive a 747?
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opticalilyushin
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:28 am

I'm going in November, but will either have a small backpack or a tiny trolley case carry on with me. I have read there are lockers to store such things, is that true?
 
Kent350787
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:38 am

opticalilyushin wrote:
I'm going in November, but will either have a small backpack or a tiny trolley case carry on with me. I have read there are lockers to store such things, is that true?


Yes, there are lockers. I don't recall a charge, but may have forgotten.
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DaveFly
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Re: How much time needed to visit National Air and Space Museum at IAD?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:58 am

My son and I did a day trip to Udvar Hazy a number of years ago.

We flew from SWF to IAD on Independence Air (remember them?), a CRJ, first thing in the morning.

Took a taxi from IAD to the museum. Spent the entire day there until closing time. We called a taxi to return to IAD, and caught an 8pm flight back to Stewart.

Amazing day, but very tiring!
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