Become a Pilot

Safety briefings are mandatory for all visitors. Briefings are held throughout the day, with the last session at 3:15 pm.

  • Outdoor Aviation Display
    See nearly 50 vintage, military, recreational, and home-built aircraft flown in for one day only. Meet the pilots and talk about how and why they fly.
  • Vintage Car Display
    See vintage cars paired by era with the airplanes.
  • A United Airlines Wide-Body Boeing 777
    You can hop aboard this Boeing 777; line closes at 1:00 pm
  • WWII Reenactors
  • Virginia Department of Aviation
  • Federal Aviation Administration Communications Support Team Emergency Response Vehicle
  • Tethered Flights in Hot Air Balloons (weather permitting)

In the rear of the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

  • Pat Valdata Reading and Discussion About Early Aviators
    10:30 am
  • U.S. Coast Guard Hurricane Katrina Rescues Panel
    11:30 am
  • U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Missions Panel
    1:00 pm
  • Adams Balloon New Artifact Ceremony
    2:00 pm

10:00 am – 3:00 pm, various locations throughout the Museum.

  • Experience hands-on learning through Discovery Stations and interactives.
  • Take part in the Paper Airplane Design Challenge.
  • Participate in Air Traffic Control “Smart Skies” computer simulations.
  • Navigate through the stars in a Portable Planetarium Show.
  • Build and decorate your own sled kite.
  • Make and decorate paper helicopters.
  • Participate in da Vinci Challenge: Build a Drone Workshop hands-on activities with the Kashmir World Foundation staff.
  • Try your hand at the Wind Tunnel Design Challenge.
  • Join Museum educators for story time and hands-on activities.

10:00 am – 3:00 pm, various locations throughout the Museum.

  • Learn about vintage, military, sport, and emergency parachuting with pilot Mike Hamsby.
  • Learn about remote control model airplanes and drones with the Northern Virginia Radio Control Club, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and the Washington, DC Drones Users Group.
  • Discover how to be more involved in aviation with professionals.
  • Take part in aviation podcast talks and interviews with Airplane Geeks and pilots.
  • Learn about careers in aviation with the U.S. Air Force Academy.
  • Discover how aviation and space history is collected with the Museum’s Archives department
  • View extraordinary 1950-1960 vintage R/C model airplanes with Giuseppe Fascione and Marc DeAngelis.
  • Talk with International Plastic Modelers Society members about the history of scale aircraft modeling.

Outside the Museum store.

  • Mark James, author of Christopher’s Kite, Christopher’s Little Airplane, and Christopher’s Little Airplane Coloring Book
    12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Patricia Valdata, author of Where No Man Can Touch
    12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Wolfgang Samuel, author of American Raiders, Coming to Colorado, German Boy, Glory Days, I Always Wanted to Fly, In Defense of Freedom, The War of Our Childhood, and Watson’s Whizzers
    12:00 pm – 5:00 pm