Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

USA air museums to visit

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

USA air museums to visit

Old 15th Mar 2023, 11:37
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 186
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Excellent suggestions

So many excellent suggestions. So many excellent museums. Not enough time!
Good luck with choosing. Perhaps make a decision on main interest..props, jets, rockets, military or civilian a/c. Or History making a/c.
Again good luck on choosing.

PS:I have been to many of them
Good Vibs is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 13:13
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Pewsey, UK
Posts: 1,974
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Wings of History Air Museum, San Martin, CA - https://www.wingsofhistory.org/
Hiller Aviation Museum, Palo Alto - https://www.hiller.org/
The Nr Fairy is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 14:16
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bolton ENGLAND
Age: 78
Posts: 1,058
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by rigpiggy
The EAA museum in Oshkosh
Yes, I will give that one a vote too..... If you time your visit for around the last week in July, they throw in another 12000 odd aircraft on the adjoining field.... ( The annual Oshkosh EAA Convention, said to be the largest air show in the world!!).
Planemike is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 15:36
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westnoreastsouth
Posts: 1,766
Received 6 Likes on 5 Posts
Owing to the size of the country - we did our visits by region
2017 we flew into SFO and did the following loop....
North out of SFO - to (1) Madras,Or (2) WAAAM,Hood River,Or (Fly In) (3) Rockaway,Or (railroad) (4)Tillamook,Or (5) McMinnville,Or (6) Eureka,Ca (7) Reno,Nv (races) (8) Tahoe then Yosemite (9) Sugarpine Railroad,Ca (10) Castle AFB,Ca (11) back to SFO - from memory about 2,500 miles inc using coast road down to Eureka,Ca on way to Reno (too many roads closed on google maps at present to do complete journey .2 week holiday

2018 we flew into Dulles then (1) Udvar Hazy (2) Reading,Pa (airshow) (3) Golden Age Museum,Bethel,Pa (4) Strasburg Railroad ,Pa (5) Scranton,Pa (steamtown) (6) Elmira (glider museum) (7) Curtiss Museum,Hammondsport,NYS (8) Niagara/Horseshoe Falls NYS and canada (9) North Creek Depot,NYS (railbike trip ) (10) Old Rhinebeck,NYS (11) New England Air Museum,Windsor Locks,Ct (12) Kinzua Viaduct,Pa (12b) Durbin,WV (Durbin Rocket Railroad ) (14) Fayetteville,WV (Stearman Ride,unplanned - family invite from Reading Airshow) .
Once again approx 2,500 miles inc a side trip to Raquette Lake,NYS
One other little attraction at Udvar Hazy is the 'Tower' (Donald Engen Tower) which gives 360 deg view of the airport and great closeish view of arriving/departing airliners - although it sometimes gets invaded by schoolkids - the day we flew out of Dulles we visited U-H for a 2nd look around whilst waiting for our return flight.3 week holiday
longer ron is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 15:39
  #45 (permalink)  
622
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hants
Age: 55
Posts: 1,482
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Originally Posted by longer ron
Owing to the size of the country - we did our visits by region

.... Udvar Hazy is the 'Tower' (Donald Engen Tower) which gives 390 deg view of the airport .
Those damn Americans ...always going bigger than the rest of us!
622 is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Old 15th Mar 2023, 15:44
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westnoreastsouth
Posts: 1,766
Received 6 Likes on 5 Posts
Originally Posted by 622
Those damn Americans ...always going bigger than the rest of us!
AL 1 refers 622
longer ron is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 15:53
  #47 (permalink)  
See and avoid
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 666
Received 6 Likes on 4 Posts
I don’t know if it is still true, but post 9/11 NASA required that foreign nationals have their passport on hand before they were allowed on the premises, so make sure you have it with you.

Years ago, I enjoyed a great tour of the Boeing manufacturing plant in Everett, Washington, but they seemed to have stopped that when Covid hit.

https://www.boeing.com/company/tours/
visibility3miles is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 16:18
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: virginia, USA
Age: 56
Posts: 1,046
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 8 Posts
I caution that a few well meaning folks have mentioned great places, but they are currently closed or have access issues- I would hate for you to plan on something and find a closed gate/building, specifically:

-The Naval Museum at Pensacola is currently closed/difficult to get to unless you have a US Military or retired ID. I think they have an escort/sponsor program, but it sounds challenging.
- Kermit Weeks/Fantasy of Flight is essentially closed until Kermit re-imagines Phase III of the site.
- The Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum, Washington State. Been closed for about 2 years, but plans to re-open during summer months for the next 2 years before moving to Arkansas. Details pend.
- Mention of Galveston likely refers to the former Lone Star Museum which was heavily damaged during a Hurricane. Some of the collection has been moved to their Houston site.
- Charlotte. I believe it is currently closed pending a new building/lease.

And a few that were recommended that I can pass my thoughts on (standing by for incoming!)
- World War 2 museum in New Orleans. A storytelling museum that tells the story very well, but as an aviation enthusiast it felt flat for me. The aircraft are mostly suspended and hard to see.
- Quantico. Great story telling museum of the US Marine Corps, but most of the aircraft are hung high in the Atrium or mounted above displays making them hard to see. Same flat feeling.
- Hiller Museum. Small and was OK, but don't need to go again. Would not go out of my way.

A few I can second or third:
-USAF museum, Dayton Ohio- an absolute must, 2 full days
-Udvar Hazy, Smithsonian, Virginia. Half day
-Smithsonian Mall, half day, but not fully open due to remodeling.
-Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover Delaware, great collection of "Trash Haulers" . Only place you can go inside a C-5 Galaxy (lower deck) and the C-130, C-141 are usually open and the C-133 if you ask a docent. neat.
- USS Midway in San Diego, very impressive.
- USS Intrepid, new York
- Caslte, California but a long way from anything else
- SAC Museum, but you will see most of the same the USAF Museum
- Chino, California. A must if into WWII warbirds.
- Palm Springs

And a few I can add
- Patuxent River Naval Air Station. a small collection on Naval test jets outside the main gate, but a long way form anywhere else.
- Warner Robins Air Force base, Warner Robins Georgia. Large collection, but you will see the same things if you go to the USAF Museum, and a long way from anything.
- Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach, Excellent WWI and WWII collection. Most are flyers. Great up close airshow in October and few smaller event each year from the grass trip.

Finally we have all recommended things all over the USA, and many visitors, especially from Europe, fail to appreciate how big the place is ("what do mean we are still in Texas, we have been driving for 10 hours!?) Some of these could take you a whole day or more to drive between. I might recommend an Eastern Focus and maybe a jaunt to California, but you can't do it all in 2 weeks on a budget. Enjoy.

Last edited by sandiego89; 16th Mar 2023 at 12:51.
sandiego89 is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 17:39
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 68
Posts: 4,100
Received 69 Likes on 35 Posts
Originally Posted by sandiego89
- The Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum, Washington State. Been closed for about 2 years, but plans to re-open during summer months for the next 2 years before moving to Arkansas. Details pend.
Where did you see that it was going to be moved? Last I'd heard Walton had decided to leave it in place at Paine (I only live a few miles away from Paine Field)?

Originally Posted by sandiego89
-Smithsonian Mall, half day, but not fully open due to remodeling.
I believe that the Smithsonian Air and Space on the Mall has fully reopened - I'm a member of the Smithsonian and got an email to that effect not too long ago. Timed entry passes are required however, so go to their website ahead of time.

Originally Posted by sandiego89
Finally we have all recommended things all over the USA, and many visitors, especially from Europe, fail to appreciate how big the place is ("what do mean we are still in Texas, we have been driving for 10 hours!?)
About 25 years ago, I was heading to a big race at Road America, Wisconsin with my wife and her sister. Driving a small motorhome pulling the racing trailer so my pace was somewhat relaxed . Following Interstate 90, we stopped in Montana for the night, started in again at 8am. Drove a solid 12 hours before I again called it a night and we found a place to park - we were still in Montana.
tdracer is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 18:19
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 29,990
Received 1,369 Likes on 615 Posts
Not seen it mentioned but if you fly into say NY what about intrepid?
NutLoose is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 18:28
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 68
Posts: 4,100
Received 69 Likes on 35 Posts
Originally Posted by NutLoose
Not seen it mentioned but if you fly into say NY what about intrepid?
Toured the Intrepid a few years ago - nice collection but a bit on the small side (and be prepared for weather since ~half the collection is on-deck). And while you're there, you can tour the "Growler" submarine - the first sub equipped to launch nuclear armed cruise missiles.
tdracer is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 20:19
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westnoreastsouth
Posts: 1,766
Received 6 Likes on 5 Posts
Originally Posted by sandiego89
.
Finally we have all recommended things all over the USA, and many visitors, especially from Europe, fail to appreciate how big the place is ("what do mean we are still in Texas, we have been driving for 10 hours!?) Some of these could take you a whole day or more to drive between. I might recommend an Eastern Focus and maybe a jaunt to California, but you can't do it all in 2 weeks on a budget. Enjoy.
Which is why I posted in post #44 that we did our museum visits by region.

Another possible factor is weather and wild fires - On our West coast holiday we were quite affected by forest fires,up at Hood River,Or - it was when the teenager caused huge fire was still burning - this seriously curtailed the fly in at WAAAM - we were extremely lucky that the museum decided to fly their (very original) Jenny,at Sugarpine there had been a large forest fire just days before and whilst we had a good look round there were no choo choos running.
On our East Coast trip we were dogged by (or rather luckily avoiding) some really nasty weather.

Our Stearman flight came up in an interesting way - there was a good looking chap at Reading (Airshow and re enactors) dressed as a private in a particular british uniform,my GF said to him ''that was my Dad's Regiment'' - we got chatting and were invited to the family tent on the flight line - the family tent was a large Army Tent and at that point we had no idea this chap had anything to do with aviation.The upshot being we were invited down to WV for a flight in his stearman,he would not take a penny for this,flew both of us and they were a truly delightful family.It meant we had to reorganise our last few days and missed an airshow but it was a unique opportunity.
longer ron is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 22:42
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Washington.
Age: 73
Posts: 955
Received 58 Likes on 26 Posts
Originally Posted by visibility3miles
I donít know if it is still true, but post 9/11 NASA required that foreign nationals have their passport on hand before they were allowed on the premises, so make sure you have it with you.

Years ago, I enjoyed a great tour of the Boeing manufacturing plant in Everett, Washington, but they seemed to have stopped that when Covid hit.

https://www.boeing.com/company/tours/
Interesting yes, but hardly worth the time and cost, though I have taken visiting guests there several times.
Boeing makes airplanes in very large assembly buildings with a very complex assembly line. Good for them.
GlobalNav is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2023, 23:11
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 68
Posts: 4,100
Received 69 Likes on 35 Posts
Originally Posted by GlobalNav
Interesting yes, but hardly worth the time and cost, though I have taken visiting guests there several times.
Boeing makes airplanes in very large assembly buildings with a very complex assembly line. Good for them.
For a long, long time, the Boeing Everett tour was free.
Then Phil Condit became CEO, and declared that everything had to be a "profit center" - that good PR and good marketing no longer mattered (never mind that most people who took the free tour then visited the Boeing store and purchased overpriced souvenirs). So they started charging for the tour ($7 IIRC).
tdracer is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2023, 01:04
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA (back from Germany again)
Posts: 220
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lots of great options here. Most everything I could think of was listed. Similar to USS Intrepid, USS Yorktown is on display in Charleston, SC, with a nice airplane collection.
LTCTerry is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2023, 11:17
  #56 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 59
Posts: 11,793
Received 41 Likes on 26 Posts
Not sure if anyone has mentioned these three:

Hiller Museum at San Carlos Airport just south of San Francisco is quite nice if you are in the area - also there's a small museum at Oakland Airport which has a Short Solent amongst its exhibits.

Helicopter Museum at Brandywine in Pennsylvania - lots of interesting airframes, we happened to do a touch and go in a C172, noticed an early V-22 outside and went round for a full stop and a tour. Again, worth it if you are in the vicinity.

Finally, Old Rhinebeck up the Hudson from NYC - lots of interesting old aircraft and if you can do a show, they are fun...
treadigraph is online now  
Old 17th Mar 2023, 08:55
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: East Riding
Posts: 60
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another thing to help plan your trip is to work around airshows, usually the best (only?) way to get to see the services at work and their collections.
I use info from Scramble:
https://www.scramble.nl/planning/sho...sa_canada_date
teeonefixer is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2023, 02:46
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 146
Received 9 Likes on 4 Posts
Another small but interesting one is Wings Over the Rockies in Denver. https://wingsmuseum.org/
Small but interesting collection, primarily Cold War focused (Century series, F-111, B-1A, F-14) housed in one of the WWII era hangers at the former Lowry Air Force Base. Can get up close and personal with the aircraft, chat with the volunteers working on restoring some of them, and view a fascinating collection of miscellaneous 'stuff' like avionics, ejection seats, and engines.
Tango and Cash is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Old 20th Mar 2023, 09:00
  #59 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: australia
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ladies and Gents, thank you for all your replies. The thought, depth and effort put in to answer my query was humbling.
The Boss has semi approved the concept (well she didn't say no, so I am taking that as a win), I will update the story as required. Looking at Mid 24 to tie in with Oshkosh.
My heartfelt thanks again.
desertjockey is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2023, 10:23
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 29,990
Received 1,369 Likes on 615 Posts
And if you escape Norf over the border...

https://www.warplane.com/aircraft/collection.aspx

NutLoose is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.