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USA air museums to visit

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USA air museums to visit

Old 14th Mar 2023, 15:50
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A very good Navy one in Pensacola.


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Old 14th Mar 2023, 16:09
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Forty years ago ,having previously seen most of the Museums near Washington,I drew up a map of locations of museums which likely fulfilled my interests and which could be most visited in a 16 day or so circuit . In my case this resulted in a swing though the Southern States down to to Texas and back in a hired ( cheap) Plymouth Chevette staying in mostly small town hotels with generous hospitality. I can't think much has changed to negate a similar approach..
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 17:52
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Of the ones I've visited, here is my ranking:
1) Tie - USAF Museum in Dayton (be sure to see the lone surviving XB-70) and Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy near Dulles Airport (Washington DC Area).
3) Smithsonian Air and Space on the Capitol Mall
(big gap...)
4) Seattle Museum of Flight (Boeing Field) (I contributed to a few displays there)
5) Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum (Paine Field near Everett, WA - this used to be the private collection of the late Paul Allen - his heirs sold it to one of the Walton family (Walmart) who has said they intend to leave it as is - it's been closed since Covid hit but is supposed to re-open soon)
5a) If you're at Paine field, be sure to also check out the Future of Flight (connected to the Museum of Flight) and the Historic Flight Museum (another rich guy's private collection that he's put on display)
6) San Diego Air and Space Museum
7) New England Air Museum (Bradley Airport in Connecticut).
8) Pueblo Air Museum (Pueblo, Colorado Airport)
9) Palm Springs Air Museum (Palm Springs, California airport)
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 18:30
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Originally Posted by Meikleour
Palm Springs has an excellent museum foccusing on naval aviation.
It actually has a variety of warbirds, not just Navy. Excellent display of the real stuff.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 18:40
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Originally Posted by desertjockey
Assuming a modest budget and a 2 week time frame, what air museums on mainland USA would be worth visiting? Would be prepared to cross the country as required. Obvious choices would be USAF in Dayton, Steven F.Udvar-Hazy Center and Smithsonian, Davis Monthan. Any hidden gems or slightly off track/beat places to be recommended?

I like what the others have suggested, been to most of them. Pima Air Museum in Tucson is a don't miss,not far from the boneyard at Davis-Montham. It has perhaps the broadest variety of extremely interesting aircraft, plus an excellent building dedicated to an 8th Air Force bomb group with a restored B-17, plus a ton of personal momentos, oral histories, etc. I needed several days to plum the depths of this museum.

Another fascinating museum is the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas. https://cosmo.org
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 18:44
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We were lucky enough to get a tour of the Air Force Flight Test Museum within Edwards AFB, lots of unique stuff. Check their website for details of when itís open to the public.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 18:55
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If visiting Pima Air Museum, AZ, there is a Titan ICBM Museum nearby https://titanmissilemuseum.org/

Also note that it is no longer possible to get a bus tour of the Boneyard


There is a SR-71 indoors at March Field, Riverside, CA


A collection of Century Series fighters outside the gate at Edwards AFB https://www.air-and-space.com/200709...y%20Circle.htm

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Old 14th Mar 2023, 19:21
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Originally Posted by Decafkid
Personally I was recentally in Savannah where there is a museum dedicated to the 8th Air Force. A B47 and B17 etc however the sheer amount of history, memorabilia and dedication to those who served in the East of England was simply fascinating. I bitterly regret not allocating more time to it as it was simply one of the most interesting museums I have been to.
Visited that in 2015 ... many detailed exhibits, a bit short on airframes. Much enjoyed.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 19:31
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I don't think anyone has mentioned the Air Mobility Museum at Dover AFB, Delaware, which has a great collection of "heavy metal" - tankers and transports of all sizes and other types besides. Also in the general area of Washington DC is the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum at Martin State Airport near Baltimore. There are good indoor displays about Martin aircraft, many of which were built there, and an outdoor collection further down the field, which is accessed with an escort from the museum staff.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 19:43
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Kitty Hawk, NC for the site of the first powered flight. Itís surprising how short that flight was - and they didnít even lose Wilburís luggage!
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 19:53
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Kermit Weeks’ Fantasy of Flight museum and restoration center in Central Florida was a fantastic day out when I was there in 2013, but sadly it has scaled back to a very small display, with only about 25 aircraft on regular show.
According to their website, it is still possible to book a personal guided tour to the complete collection - pricey at $500 per head, but if money is no object, a fascinating view of restoration workshops as well as a vast collection.

(Kermit Weeks’ YouTube videos are a great watch as well, walk rounds and in flight video of his collection).
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 19:58
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The SAC & Aerospace Museum, a few miles south east of Omaha off I-80. Visited a few years ago. They have a B36 and it is huge! They also have a Vulcan.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 20:05
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The US Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama as well as the US Navy Museum at Pensacola, Florida....not all that far from the Army Museum.

The USMC Museum near Quantico is also a good one.

Patriots Point in Charleston, SC is a good stop as well.

Pima Museum next door to Davis-Monthan AFB and its Boneyard where US Military Aircraft go to die.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 21:31
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Oh, I totally forgot about the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. The "Spruce Goose" along with lots of aircraft and a very, very good Space Museum. I'd put it 4th on my list, ahead of the Seattle Museum of Flight.
Plus, if the rest of the family doesn't share your interests, there is a waterpark right next door, featuring a 747 on the roof (yes, a waterslide is incorporated into the 747).

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Old 15th Mar 2023, 01:56
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Mideast coast gems

Charlotte North Carolina is a relatively big hub, so if you're passing through, they've got a good museum that covers a wide range of space and includes Sully's a320 that ditched in the Hudson.

Hampton roads Virginia (includes Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach) has tons of great museums. If you're there check out the Hampton Air and space museum and there's a small museum at the entrance to Langley Field. Of course Norfolk has all of the naval aviation and ship tours and Newport News has the incredible maritime museum.. And keep in mind that Williamsburg and Jamestown are less than an hour away.

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Old 15th Mar 2023, 03:05
  #36 (permalink)  
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Give yourself a couple of days, or a full day each to visit the National Air and Space Museum in downtown DC and the Udvar-Hazy Museum near Dulles Airport in Virginia. Both are free, but you have to pay for parking at Udvar Hazy. If you have extra time, there are small museums at the College Park Airport in Maryland (oldest continuously operated airport in the entire world) and at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center visitors center in Greenbelt, Maryland, but they pale in comparison to the National Air and Space museums.




NAS Wildwood at the Cape May Airport in New Jersey, but it is out of the way.

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Old 15th Mar 2023, 03:18
  #37 (permalink)  
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National WWII Museum in New Orleans is worth a visit.


USS Midway aircraft carrier museum in San Diego, California.


With all of these, check about availability of tickets in advance (some places have “timed tickets” saying when you can visit to minimize crowds.)
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 06:21
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My 2.5 week itinerary.

In January 2020 I flew to the USA from Australia and did the following in 2.5 weeks:

Land at LAX, pick up hire car and drive:
Chino- Planes of Fame/ Yanks Air Museum.
Riverside- March Air Force Reserve Base.
Palm Springs- Air and Space Museum.
San Diego- USS Midway and Air &Space.

Fly San Diego- Tucson:
PIMA Air & Space (3 days)
Davis Monthan AFB Boneyard bud tour.
Titan Missile Museum.

Fly Tucson- Reagan National:
Udvar Hazy Museum (2 days)
Smithsonian Air & Space (1.5 days)
DC sightseeing (1.5 days).

Fly DC- Orlando, collect hire Car:
Kennedy Space Centre (2 days)
Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville.

Fly Orlando- LAX:
Chilling out on Santa Monica Pier-
fly home.

I was tired by the end, but absolutely loved it.
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 09:04
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Kalamazoo, MI - especially if you have kids with you https://www.airzoo.org/
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 09:58
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Another vote for Kermit Weeks here.......wasn't aware it had been scaled back though. Watching the Fieseler Storch take off was really something.......as was just sitting in the Short Sunderland.
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