National Air & Space Museum Aircraft

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA

The National Air and Space Museum’s building on the National Mall displays only a small fraction of the Smithsonian Institute’s collection of aircraft and large space artifacts. With limitations on expansion at its site, the museum constructed the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia in 1993. This vast hanger-like structure houses much larger galleries where iconic planes, including the Enola Gay, a Concorde, an SR-72, a Space Shuttle Orbiter, and other historic planes could be displayed. Many are hung from the ceiling in a dramatic display within the cavernous space.  The museum’s conservation labs are also housed here.

EverGreene was contracted by the Museum to perform regular cleaning of the 144 historic aircrafts and spacecrafts on a cyclical basis. This complex task requires safely navigating boom lifts between the tightly packed aircraft to reach all of the surfaces of the planes and scheduling the work to be completed before the museum opens to the public each day.  Cleaning is performed with care to avoid damaging the historic paint and metal surfaces. Each work day begins with the upper level aircraft and progresses downward. We slowly and carefully work our way through the collection, which evolves as the exhibition changes over time. Once a cycle is complete, which requires approximately 6 weeks, we begin the process over again.