The National Air and Space Museums New General Aviation Gallery Moves to Installation Mode

  • How many exhibits are going to be renovated
  • Additional exhibits coming soon to the National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) is diving into a renovation project that includes all 23 exhibits being completely reimagined and the addition of new presentation spaces and attractions. The NASM said the transformation of the museum “represents an unprecedented moment in the conservation and preservation of thousands of artifacts, as well as a remarkable evolution of the museum’s immersive experience, with 23 galleries and spaces being reimagined for immersive learning.” In all, there will be 1,400 new objects on display and more than 5,200 artifacts moved and preserved when galleries start to open in 2022. 

One of the most exciting additions to the NASM will be the Thomas W. Haas “We All Fly” gallery, a new exhibit space devoted to general aviation. “We have moved into installation mode in the new Haas GA gallery,” said Dorothy Cochrane, NASM’s curator, general aviation/aeronautics department. “And one of the first airplanes to be suspended was Jerrie Mock’s 1953 Cessna 180, N1538C, or just ‘Charlie’ to people who know the story about her historic solo around-the-world flight in 1964. This aircraft is, of course, just one small but integral part of the discussion on general aviation, what it is, and how it affects our daily lives. We want people to know that general aviation supports rescue, firefighting, food supply, environmental work, health, local economies, as well as private and business transportation.”

Another addition coming to the NASM through the renovation project is a new Wright Brothers exhibition that will provide visitors with unprecedented access to the iconic 1903 Wright Flyer. The NASM is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. in Washington, D.C., while the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport.


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