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Smithsonian TechQuest: Flying Circus is a new FREE alternate reality game at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center set in the thrilling era of aviation when daring pilots zoomed across the sky and airplane designers pushed boundaries. 

It’s 1927, and famed pilot Jimmy Doolittle is about to debut an aerobatic maneuver called an Outside Loop. Your mission is to design a plane that will beat Jimmy Doolittle to the Outside Loop.

The game begins with the below video welcome from a U.S. national aerobatic champion describing some of the basic aerobatic maneuvers such as spins, loops, and rolls. You will learn about the four forces of flight and gather background knowledge on your design challenge.

You will then explore several of the Museum’s artifacts and experience three hands-on stations that cover wings, propellers, and tails. At each station, you will collect pieces of your own plane to put together at the end of the game.

Once finished you will return to the briefing area and our Aerobatic Design Specialists will review and explain the choices you made along the way. If you made the right choices then your plane’s design should be able to pull off the Outside Loop and beat Jimmy Doolittle. If your airplane comes up short, you can go back and correct your designs and try again. You can also visit our Design Space for some additional optional hands-on aerobatics activities.

TechQuest is designed primarily for families with children ages 10 to 14, but anyone can play. Groups are welcome with advanced registration.