Having been to this museum numerous times, I can shed some light on this. While technically, it is the air and space museum, it's actually the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
. It's adjacent to Washington Dulles international airport and is close enough that calling it Washington D.C. is understandable, it's only a few miles away. They obviously filmed the interior shots in the museum itself, it's exactly how it appears in the movie. Of course, last I checked, the SR-71 is still very much there. One difference that stood out to me though, I don't remember a bathroom being at the entrance to the area where the space shuttle Enterprise is. Of course, I may be wrong on that. This museum is basically a satellite museum of the Smithsonian air and space museum that is in downtown Washington.
Also, there is no desert outside that end door. There is no aircraft graveyard out there also. There's actually probably not enough room to put one there, the museum is located between the flight path of the two runways. It's been since the late 80's since I've been to Davis-Monthan AFB, but it appears the graveyard shots are from there. I noticed the C-130 in the background had Pope AFB markings, that's only relevant to me as Pope was located in Fayetteville, N.C. where I'm from and was closed just a few years ago.
God Magnus wrote:
8. The Back of the Smithsonian is a desert?
I wondered about this one too when I first saw the movie. However, after seeing it again last night, I realized that the area in the back of the hangar wasn't just sand. It was actually a huge area covered in grass, even the area Sam cuts the symbols into. The way it's described in the article, you'd think they stepped into the Sahara. I just assumed for the sake of sanity that the way the museum is in this "movie universe", it has a big open area of grass outside with old planes parked there.