Activities

Become a Pilot

Each year, the National Air and Space Museum hosts the Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display. This year’s event is over, but below are some of the types of activities that you can expect to find next year.

See nearly 50 vintage, recreational, and home-built aircraft flown in for one day only. Meet the pilots and talk about how and why they fly. See vintage cars paired by era with the airplanes. Other outdoor activities include:

Outdoor Aviation Display, Pilots and Special Announcer Ron David!

  • Wing walking demonstration
  • Single, dual and quad-line kite flying demonstrations, kite flying tips, and Bol (kite) “Races”
  • Fairfax County Government. Visit the Fairfax Connector Bus for rider information on the new Udvar-Hazy Center bus stop
  • NASA Mobile Unit

Presentations & Highlights Tours

  • Wings Over Washington Kite Club, American Kite Fliers Association, and Eastern League Sport Kite Association. Kite Q & A, roaming small indoor kite flying demos, and building miniature kites demonstration
  • Roger Connor, Museum’s Aeronautics curator. Quadcopter drone flying demo
  • Ask an Expert Talk. Valerie Neal, Museum’s space shuttle curator. Discovery, a Remarkable Flying Machine
  • Ask an Expert Talk. Tom Crouch, Museum’s Aeronautics senior curator. The Langley Aerodrome
  • Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department. Q & A
  • Highlights Tours. Meet at the Docent Desk in the Boeing Aviation Hangar. 

 Hands-on Activities (Various locations throughout the Udvar-Hazy Center)

  • Decorate and Build Your Own Sled Kite
  • Experience hands-on learning through active looking, discussion and interaction with Discovery Stations & Hands-on Interactives
  • Learn About Naval Careers in Aviation and Science with the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Discover the science behind rocket flight and see a model rocket showcase with the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA).
  • Take part in Paper Airplane Contest. North End, Boeing Aviation Hangar
  • Monocopter demonstration by Evan Ulrich.
  • Robot demonstrations and hands-on activities with the First Robotics, Virginia & Washington, DC Teams.
  • Hobby Hangar Model & R/C Airplane Showcase and Activities
  • WWII memorabilia display and talk with Jan Sylvester, Commemorative Air Force, National Capitol Squadron.
  • Aviation talks, interviews, and podcasts with Airline Geeks. Q & A with local pilots
  • USAF Academy Graduates Way of Life Alumni Group. Learn about careers as a professional pilot
  • Airplane Geeks Radio Show. Aviation talks, interviews, and podcasts
  • Learn about USAF careers in aviation with the U.S. Air Force Academy.
  • Model airplane building demonstration and history of scale aircraft modeling with the International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS).
  • Radio controlled model airplane display and Q & A with Northern Virginia Radio Control.
  • Flight Simulators
  • Learn how the Museum’s Archives Department assisted with the restoration of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.
  • Parts of an airplane and Fighter pilot suit paper dolls
  • Air Traffic Control Flight Pattern Activity for Tots
  • Flights of Fancy Story Time and Hands-on Activity.

Books Signings (Upper Level Overlook and across from the Museum Store)

  • Songs from a Distant Cockpit with author John J. Schulz
  • Top Gun Days with author Dave Baranek
  • Tuskegee Airman:  The Biography of Charles E. McGee, Air Force Fighter, Combat Record Holder with author Col. Charles E. McGee
  • X-15, The World’s Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots Who Ushered in the Space Age with author and National Air and Space Museum aeronautics curator John Anderson