The Air & Space Museum is the most visited museum in the
world, but the cavernous building accomodates the crowds nicely. One hardly notices how
many people are actually in the facility because most are engaged in viewing the exhibits
that are suspended from the ceiling. Exhibits include the "Wright Flyer"- the
original plane from Kitty Hawk, the X-1- the plane in which Chuck Yeager first broke the
sound barrier, and the X-15- the fastest plane ever built.
The current exhibit of "Business Wings" doesnt pack the punch of the
other displays unless youre looking for the latest in corporate jets, but it hardly
detracts from the museum as a whole. Kids will want to check out the Langley
Theaters IMAX movies that are projected upon five- story high screens or see one of
the shows in the Einstein Planetarium. Either of these activities will be a welcome break
for parents, as on busy days the museum has few unoccupied places to rest. The show in the
planetarium is a bit dry, but the experience of being in a planetarium makes up for it.
Similarly, if youve never seen an IMAX movie you should take this opportunity to
check it out.
Kids will enjoy the Sky Lab back-up that visitors can walk through as well as the
actual Apollo 11 command module. There are over fifty interactive stations where kids and
adults can learn about flight, most housed in the " How Things Fly" gallery.
Star Wars: The Magic of Myth is the current feature at the Air and Space Museum.
Its worth seeing if youre a fan of the movies but might be old hat for real
Star Wars junkies. There is a 15 minute documentary to start the tour that includes
interviews with George Lucas and cast members interspersed with clips from the movies. The
subject of the documentary centers on the process of transferring the idea of Star Wars to
film, but is reminiscent of any interview with Lucas or the film in general. The fact that
the documentary is shown in a room with no seats doesnt help.
The exhibit itself consists of costumes and production models from the movies,
including the model of the Millenium Falcon, Darth Vaders costume and the Yoda
puppet. Headphone devices that accompany the exhibit can be rented for $3.75 and will
definitely enhance the experience.