At Udvar-Hazy, Enjoy Holiday Travel Without the Hassle

 Last week, three major U.S. airports opened new runways—Chicago O’Hare, Seattle-Tacoma and Washington Dulles International Airport

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Last week, three major U.S. airports opened new runways—Chicago O'Hare, Seattle-Tacoma and Washington Dulles International Airport. At Dulles, the new runway reportedly will handle 100,000 more airplanes a year, which translates to an additional three million passengers—and, we hope, fewer delays this Thanksgiving weekend.

If you’re staying grounded this Thanksgiving or, dare I say, you find yourself with a delay at Dulles, you ought to check out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Donald D. Engen Tower at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The 164-foot tower offers a 360-degree bird's eye view of the airport's runways and may afford a more relaxing view of the holiday bustle than you'll get at the airport.

And while you're there, check out the museum's Boeing Aviation Hangar that highlights other shining moments in commercial flight. A retro brown and yellow Boeing 367-80 Jet Transport, a prototype for the 707, is in the permanent collection.

(Photographs by Chip Py)

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