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Semi-Private Guided Tour: Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Explore the Skies with Expert Guides in a Semi-Private Setting

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  • Babylon Tours Washington D.C.
Duration: 2hs Semi-Private Tour
Tour Description

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The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum covers everything from the early history of flight to the Space Race and moon landings. Learn all about the history of flight and what it takes to be an astronaut with one of our expert guides on this 2 hour semi-private guided museum tour which welcomes up to 8 guests.

65 years, 7 months, 3 days to turn a 12 second flight wobbling over the sands of North Carolina to the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is the best place in the world to understand that journey! Even at half the exhibition space due to exterior reconstruction, this museum is filled with iconic historical firsts. On your tour you will imagine the terror and excitement as the Wright Brothers first lifted above the beach of Kitty Hawk gazing upon the first airplane- the 1903 Wright Flyer. As you journey to Early Flight you can see the variety that explodes from that first proof of concept including the first military airplane (also designed by the Wright Brothers in 1909). It first flew at the military base attached to Arlington Cemetery just outside Washington DC! Studying the tiny Spirit of St. Louis you can empathize with the exhaustion Charles Lindberg felt as the first to complete a non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He gives up his windshield to add an extra fuel tank to be sure of his success. Is it crazy if it works? Check out the hidden gems of the development of commercial aviation in the America by Air Atrium, as society develops the technology (and infrastructure) to move people across the globe in hours instead of days! No trip to the museum would be complete without time in Destination Moon. Starting at Alan Shepard’s capsule and spacesuit allowing him to be the first American in space on a 15 minute flight (it doesn’t have to be very long if its the first), the exhibit culminates with the Columbia Command Module of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit allowing him the first steps on the moon. Now we could have stopped there but what fun would that be?!? Jackie Cochran’s T-38 Talon is the perfect place to talk about pushing the limits just to see what can be done for the sake of it. While Amelia Earhart may be more famous due to her disappearance, Jackie Cochran claimed more aviation records at her death in 1980 at 74 years old than any other pilot (FEMALE OR MALE), so you know there are some stories there! From satellite backups, drones, and flying cars the future is on view. As well as the inspiration that draws future (and current) scientists to the exploration of the unknown with the original filming model of Star Trek Enterprise and an X-wing from the Star Wars films! Leave your tour speculating where the next
65 years, 7 months, and 3 days will take us!

Highlights generally include (as long as not on loan or being restored):

1903 Wright Flyer

1909 Wright Military Flyer

Spirit of St. Louis

Jackie Cochran T-38 Talon

Alan Shepard space suit

Freedom 7 capsule

Neil Armstrong space suit

Apollo 11 Columbia capsule

Filming model of Star Trek Enterprise

Filming model of Star Wars X-Wing

Semi-Private Tour

“Semi-Private” means group size is never more than 8 guests maximum.

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“Private Tour” means tour guide exclusively for you.

Latest Reviews
Latest Reviews
  • maconsulting2 maconsulting2

    We enjoyed every minute of our tour. Terry Gish was our guide and he was extremely knowledgeable and fun. We were all fascinated by his genius when discussing the air and space museum. Thank you so very much for a rich experience and a great day.

  • Elmorehouse Elmorehouse

    Our tour guide was great! He took us through the museum to ensure we saw the places he knew would get backed up quick first, so hardly any lines. He was very knowledgeable and told us about the other air and space museum by Dulles as our son is a huge WWII plane buff. It was definitely worth it!

  • Eric B Eric B

    Our guide was informative, friendly, prompt and eager to answer our questions.

  • Gary B Gary B

    The guide was very helpful and very nice!

  • Barry B Barry B

    This tour was amazing!

  • brianmcm2017 brianmcm2017

    Fantastic tour at the National Air and Space museum We had Jennifer for our 3 hour tour and it was fantastic She had all the facts and it was a great adventure Would recommend Jennifer as she was fantastic

  • Shardono Shardono

    We had a great tour with Glynnce. We booked the small group tour but we were the only ones on the tour. She did a great job hitting the highlights of the museum and was extremely knowledgeable about the details. My son and husband were steady asking questions and she was on point. Great tour!

  • MAWilbur MAWilbur

    We took Air and Space Museum tour with guide Terry Gish – it was GREAT! We would highly recommend. It can be a little overwhelming at the museums, there is so much information. It is worth having someone tell you the background on some of the displays, information that you would not be able to read off the display signs. Terry was so knowledgeable and nice. My husband is an engineer and had lots of questions, Terry was terrific in answering them and giving lots of important history. If we get back to DC we will surely book through this company again, and would hope that Terry G was available.

  • Handywoman9 Handywoman9

    Our guide, Rebecca, was great! We had been to the Air and Space years ago, and decided do a small group tour this time to find out about the things you can miss because you don't know what to look for. It was the best decision. She had a wealth of information and a true enthusiasm for the subject of planes and such. Since the museum is free, you can always go back on your own if you want to spend more time with some exhibits.

  • Richard R Richard R

    Aaron was our personal small group guide. It turned out to be a private tour for my wife, myself, and 2 boys 11 and 13. It was terrific. Aaron was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. He was well organized and made it enjoyable, especially for my boys. I think that if we went by ourselves, it would have been chaotic and not as educational. Big thumbs up.

  • Tink1882 Tink1882

    I booked the semi-private tour for our family, but since we were the only ones who booked, we got a 'private tour.' Aaron was so knowledgeable and friendly that he totally enriched the experience for my husband, son and I. I loved watching my son who has recently come to learn about WWI and WWII fighter planes get into the conversation with Aaron and my WWII buff of a husband. I highly recommend if you have the dollars, book a tour with a knowledgeable guide. We didn't do special tours in the other museums and I'm sure there were things we missed because of it, but Air & Space was the most important to have someone with an extra understanding of the stories.