Reviews of Aviation Museums, Exhibits, and Airparks in the United States
Located across the United States are a number of aviation museums and airparks which provide excellent historical aviation and warbird overviews.
We are currently offering personal reviews and highlights of several renown air museums which we have visited and highly recommend. Our reviews include the history of the museum, highlights of exhibits and planes on display, tips on visiting, photographs, and maps.
Included below are highlights of our reviews, with links provided to detailed pages on each.
National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
It is the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world, with over 360 vintage airplanes and missiles in its collection.
We highly recommend a visit for aviation enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in, and appreciation for, the efforts and service of the fine men and women of the United States Air Force!
National Navy Aviation Museum
The National Navy Aviation Museum is located at Naval Air Station Pensacola in the panhandle of Florida.
At the core of the Museum’s collections are more than 700 aircraft — most of which are on display at other museums, with approximately 150 located at the Naval Air Station Pensacola museum.
The Museum is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. The museum documents Naval Aviation’s rich history and features a fleet of beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviation.
Pima Air and Space Museum
Pima Air & Space Museum, located at 6000 E. Valencia Road in Tucson across from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, is one of the largest such facilities in the world.
Opened in 1976 with 35 classic airplanes, it has evolved into the largest non-government-funded air museum in the United States.
Its vast collection includes more than 300 historic planes and spacecraft, housed in both interior hangars and exterior spaces, and spread over 80 acres.
You can tour yourself, on your own pace. Or you can join docent-led tours, either on walking tours or tram tours.
Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian
The Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum opened at Dulles Airport in December of 2003, providing additional space for the Smithsonian Institution to display thousands of vintage aviation and space artifacts that could not be exhibited at its facility on the National Mall.
A centerpiece is the Boeing Aviation Hangar which permits visitors to see planes and exhibits from three different levels.
Visitors can walk among antique aircraft on the bottom floor, and view classic airplanes hanging from the arched ceiling on elevated skywalks.
Castle Air Museum
A group of dedicated enthusiasts in the Atwater-Merced area formed the Castle Air Museum Foundation, Inc. which is now a non-profit organization. Its purpose is to build a facility in which faithfully restored historic airplanes could be exhibited for public enjoyment.
It opened in 1981, on a site adjacent to the former Castle Air Force Base. Most of the workers there are volunteers, and the small admission charge helps defray restoration and maintenance projects on the vintage airplanes. The U.S. Air Force does not provide any funds for maintenance and repair. Today, the facility displays 54 restored World War II, Korean War, and Cold War era planes.
Hill Aerospace Museum in Ogden, Utah
Hill Aerospace Museum is located on approximately 30 acres on the northwest corner of Hill Air Force Base, Utah, about five miles south of Ogden. It was founded in 1981 as a part of the United States Air Force Heritage Program and first opened in 1986. It moved to its current facility in 1991.
This fine facility exhibits more than 90 vintage military planes, missiles, and aerospace vehicles on the grounds and two major indoor galleries: the Major General Rex A. Hadley Gallery and the Lindquist Stewart Fighter Gallery.
The list of classic airplanes on display is extensive, and includes the B-29 Superfortress "Hagarty's Hag", a B-24 Liberator, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, F-100 Super Sabre, B-47 Stratojet, B-52 Stratofortress, SR-71, P-38, A-10, F-105 and many more.
A gate pass onto Hill AFB is NOT required to visit the facility.
Museum of Aviation in Warner-Robins, Georgia
The Museum of Aviation is located at Robins Air Force Base in Warner-Robins, Georgia. It is situated on 51 acres adjacent to the base, and is the second largest facility in the U.S. Air Force museum system. Robins AFB is located in middle Georgia, 100 miles south of Atlanta and 16 miles south of Macon.
It is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is one of only seven in the United States to earn such a professional distinction.
The list of old aircraft and vintage warbirds on display is impressive, and includes the B-29 Superfortress, B-25 Mitchell, B-52 Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer, SR-71 Blackbird, P-51 Mustang, A-10 Thunderbolt, F-105 and many more.
A gate pass onto Robins AFB is NOT required to visit.
Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington
The Museum of Flight is located in the Seattle, Washington area, at King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field.
Established in 1965, it is the largest private air and space facility in the world. It also hosts the largest K-12 educational programs in the world.
It is a huge, beautiful facility, and spans several buildings and many acres. A vast array of historical airplanes and space artifacts are displayed. Included is the B-29 Superfortress "T-Square 54", a B-47 Stratojet, B-17 Flying Fortress, the original Boeing 747, the first 727, VC-137B Air Force One, Concorde SST, Soyuz Space Capsule, DC-3 ... and the list goes on and on!
Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum in Colorado
The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is located six miles east of Pueblo, Colorado on U.S. Highway 50 at Pueblo Memorial Airport.
The airport is located on the site of historic World War II Pueblo Army Air Base constructed in 1941. The base conducted advanced training for crews of the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator and the B-29 Superfortress.
The time-consuming restoration of vintage warbirds is all done by volunteers. Their work is seen in the incredible restorations of many of the planes on display, such as the F-100 Super Sabre, B-29, C-131A, F-86D, F-84 Thunderjet, F-104 Starfighter, T-37 Tweet and others. More airplanes are scheduled for future restoration, such as the B-47 Stratojet outside.
Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Seattle, Washington
Located approximately 25 miles north of Seattle, the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America. Known as the "Boeing Everett" facility, it is actually closer to the city of Mukilteo.
The Aviation Center, located at Paine Field, is where tickets for the tour are purchased, and bus loading begins.
The tour lasts about 90 minutes, and a short movie is shown before boarding the busses. There is strict adherence to rules that forbid cameras, cell phones and other electronic devices, as well as food and drink. The opportunity to see actual assembly of Boeing 747, 777 and 787 airliners is unique, and well worth the time to take the tour.
Global Power Museum at Barksdale AFB
The Global Power Museum is located at Barksdale Air Force Base and is a major national repository of historic Air Force planes. It is free and open to the public, accessible via the Barksdale AFB north gate. It was formerly known as the 8th Air Force Museum.
The facility features a series of indoor exhibits and displays, and an outdoor airpark of restored, vintage planes and related equipment. The airpark also includes numerous sculptures and monuments to various groups of the Eighth Air Force.
The collection includes over 20 classic military aircraft including the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress, B-52 Stratofortress, the SR-71 Blackbird and many others.
Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum in Nebraska
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum is located just off Interstate I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, near the town of Ashland.
The museum features over 300,000 square feet of exhibit, education, and event space to educate, inspire, and entertain its guests who come from across the country, and around the world. The museum moved to its current location in Ashland in 1998 upon completion of an impressive new indoor facility.
Most of the more than twenty aircraft in the collection are located indoors, in two large hangars, connected to a central area housing the entrance, gift shop and cafe. Additional aircraft and missile displays are located outdoors.
Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB
The Air Force Armament Museum is located at Eglin Air Force Base and is a major national repository of historic Air Force airplanes. It is free and open to the public, and near the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area.
The facility features a series of indoor exhibits and displays, and an outdoor airpark of 25 restored, vintage aircraft and related equipment.
It features several famous, and rare, aircraft, most of which are located in an outdoor airpark; several are located inside the building.
The facility is easily accessible from various parts of the Florida Panhandle, and is located near Fort Walton Beach and Destin.
South Dakota Air and Space Museum at Ellsworth AFB
The South Dakota Air and Space Museum is located just outside the gate of Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City and is a major national repository of historic Air Force airplanes. It is free and open to the public.
It features a series of indoor exhibits and displays, and an outdoor airpark of more than twenty restored, historic aircraft and related equipment. The collection includes several famous airplanes such as the B-52 Stratofortress, B-25 Mitchell III, F-86 Sabre, F-84F Thunderstreak, EC-135, F-101 Voodoo, F-105 Thunderchief and many others.
Among the many fine aircraft on display are the B-29 Superfortress "Legal Eagle II" The aircraft has been recently experted repainted, as S/N 484112. It is among the finest B-29 restorations that we have seen across the country.
Charles B. Hall Airpark at Tinker AFB
Military and Oklahoma City civic leaders opened the Heritage Airpark to the public in January of 2000 to showcase historic aircraft that had been a part of Tinker's operations during the previous six decades.
On June 18, 2002, the park was renamed the Charles B. Hall Airpark, in honor of Major Hall, a Tuskegee Airman and highly decorated pilot from the 99th Pursuit Squadron. During World War II, Major Hall was the first African-American pilot to down an enemy aircraft in combat.
The Airpark is free and accessible to the general public and features a B-29 Superfortress, B-52 Stratofortress, B-47 Stratojet and several other expertly restored aircraft.
Combat Air Museum in Kansas
The Combat Air Museum is located at the Topeka Regional Airport on Forbes Field in Topeka, Kansas.
The museum has on exhibit over 40 aircraft ranging from the early years of aviation to the present day.
In addition to historic aircraft and rare replicas, the museum houses a number of exhibits, engines, maps, uniforms, photos, noseart, bombsights and more aviation artifacts.
Also offered are a series of education classes, tours, rental facility and a gift shop.
Historic Aviation Memorial Museum
The Historic Aviation Memorial Museum (HAMM) is a large regional aviation facility at Pounds Regional Airport's old passenger terminal building in Tyler, Texas. Parking is free, and a small entrance fee is charged.
Its archives include tens of thousands of commercial aviation and military history items. A variety of indoor exhibits, aircraft models, military uniforms, oil paintings, a Norden bombsight, historic aviation photographs, and much more are well displayed.
Outdoors is an exhibit area of restored, historic Air Force, Navy and Marine planes. The HAMM hangar facility provides space for aircraft restoration.
Selfridge Military Air Museum
The Selfridge Military Air Museum and Air Park is located on Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Michigan. It is the primary outreach effort of the Michigan Air Guard Historical Association (MAGHA).
The airpark includes about 40 restored aircraft, such as the F-86A Sabre, F-106, RF-101C, RF-84F, F4C Phantom, two F-100 Super Sabres, C-130 Hercules, A-26 Invader and many more.
The museum and air park is open to the general public from April through October on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), Memorial Day, and Independence Day from 12:00 (noon) to 4:30 p.m.
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