Top 3 Aviation Museums
Aviation enthusiasts and pilots can see airplanes from the different eras and learn about the history of air travel at these three popular aviation museums located across the U.S.
Smithstonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC: The nation’s largest collection of aircraft is housed in the National Air and Space Museum’s two facilities in the DC area. Visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington’s National Mall to view the country’s largest collection of historic aircraft including the Wright Brothers 1903 flier and Charles Lindbergh’s famed Spirit of St. Louis, suspended from the ceiling. Check out the museum’s Flight Simulators as well as various exhibits. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centerin nearby Chantilly, Virginia near Dulles Airport complements the National Mall location. Visit the National Air and Space Museum’s Virginia outpost to see thousands of aircraft and artifacts. See the world’s fastest airplane, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird as well as prototypes of other planes in the museum’s Boeing Aviation Hangar.
Pima Air & Space Museum, Tuscon, Arizona: If travels take you to the southwest,visit the country’s largest privately funded air museum. Set on 80 acres, Pima Air & Space Museum is home to approximately 300 airplanes, artifacts, and exhibits. Stroll through the museum’s hangars to see technologically advanced airplanes from around the world as well as historical airplanes. Hangar 1 South home to rare planes including the Martin PBM-5A and the world’s fastest airplane, the Lockheed WR-71 Blackbird. See World War II planes in Hangar 3 where you will find gliders, bombers and German war planes including a rare German light observation plane. The museum also houses flight simulators, engines and other artifacts.
The Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington: Visit the west coast’s largest aviation museum to see the William E. Boeing Red Barn where The Boeing Airplane Company got its start. Try out the museum’s various flight simulators including the 2-person X-Pilot Pods and the 13-seat 4D-X ride. Learn about World War I and II history by visiting the J. Elrow McCaw Personal Courage Wing, an interactive exhibit featuring planes from the World Wars as well as a World War I bi-plane simulator. At the museum’s Airpark, find historically significant airplanes including the first jet Airforce One, the Concorde, the first 747, and a Boeing 727. The museum’s Harl V. Brackin Library & Archives houses resources about aircraft technology. See over twenty airplanes set in a modern glass and steel structure at the T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. Airplane enthusiasts will enjoy sightseeing opportunities while in Seattle including the Jet City Airtours, a three-passenger Cessna 172 which soars over Seattle landmarks including the Space Needle, Mt. Rainier and the waterfront.
Airplane enthusiasts and pilots can see large collections of historic and modern aircraft throughout the United States.