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14 Air Museums That Every Aviation Enthusiast Needs To Visit

From warplanes to helicopters, there is no shortage of amazing places for aviation enthusiasts to explore and learn. Before heading out to tour any museums, remember to bring great shoes and allow enough time to take it all in. Some people who left reviews for some of these museums stated that they wished they had more time. Many visitors underestimated how much there was to see and explore.

While these museums are primarily known for their aviation, many also offer other exhibits. Most museums also offer special events and exhibits throughout the year, so check the websites before you visit. This list is only United States based museums, but stay tuned for more from other countries.

National Naval Aviation Museum

nc4 flying boat display
National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum resides in Pensacola, Florida. It features over 150 restored aircraft from the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. Some featured displays include the Dawn of Naval Aviation, the Korean War, and the Great War. There is even an NC-4, a flying boat that was the first to cross the Atlantic.

Pima Air and Space Museum

boeing b17 390th museum display
Pima Air and Space Museum

Located in Tucson, Arizona, the Pima Air and Space Museum offers a look at over 300 aviation marvels. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits and a variety of specialty hangars. The 390th Memorial Museum hangar showcases a variety of historical elements from the 390th Bomb Group.

National Air and Space Museum

simulation of space flight from museum
Air and Space Museum

Undoubtedly, it is the most well-known air museum on this list. The National Air and Space Museum is located in Washington, DC, and its exhibits show many of the “firsts” in aviation. There are aviation items from the Wright Brothers to space items like a pressure suit worn on Apollo 11. If space and flight interest you, this is the place to be.

Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum

plane and vintage car at waaa museum
Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum

Located in Hood River, Oregon, Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum is a museum filled with history the whole family can enjoy. The planes on display go as far back as 1902 and have been lovingly restored – and every one of them still flies. The museum also features smaller collections of autos, motorcycles, tractors and more. 

Steven F. Udvar – Hazy Center

grumman F-14D R tomcat aircraft
National Air and Space Museum / Smithsonian

If you want to view a Concorde or a Blackbird SR-71, the Steven F. Udvar – Hazy Center has them. This museum is an extension of the National Air and Space Museum and is located in Chantilly, Virginia.

Fantasy of Flight

1931 gee bee z aircraft in museum
Fantasy of Flight

Fantasy of Flight is located in Polk City, Florida, was started by aviation enthusiast Kermit Weeks. It has seasonal hours, so be sure to check before you go. The museum used to have a large hangar where a large collection would be showcased, but that is only used for restorations now. The museum still houses one hangar with approximately 25 aircraft. There are planes from WWI to the Golden Age and more to enjoy.

War Eagles Air Museum

The War Eagles Museum is located in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Started in 1989, it offers one of Southwest’s most extensive aircraft collections from Vietnam and World War II. Explore over 40 bombers, fighters, helicopters, and more in the 64,000-square-foot display.

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

evergreen aviation museum display
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is probably best known for its Spruce Goose exhibit. The Spruce Goose is the largest wooden airplane ever built and lives out its days at this Oregon-based museum. But there is so much more to this museum. From the F-117 Nighthawk to the observatory, there is something for every air lover.

Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Museum

agricultural plane display
Mississippi AG Museum

This museum, located in Jackson, Mississippi, features a unique display of planes that flew over Southern farms and plantations. It is part of the general Mississippi AG Museum, which features 39 acres and 44 unique exhibits that are all agriculturally focused. Explore the aviation museum, then enjoy the living farm, small town, and more.

Museum of Aviation

F1010F voodoo air force aircraft
Museum of Aviation

Located just outside Macon, Georgia, the Museum of Aviation is a place to immerse yourself in antique planes that were part of our military. From bombers to fighters, these aircraft have been essential to our history.

National Museum of the US Air Force

Beech UC-43 Traveler on runway
National Museum of the United States Air Force

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the premier place to visit if you are interested in the Air Force’s air history. Exhibits include missiles, the Cold War, the Korean War, and more. Over 350 vehicles and missiles are on display alongside thousands of historical items. The museum is located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base outside Dayton, Ohio.

The Museum of Flight

antonov an-2 colt flying
The Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight is located in Seattle, Washington, and received TripAdvisor’s top Traveler’s Choice award in 2023. The museum features many displays, including aircraft and spacecraft. Have you ever seen an Albatros D.Va or a Boeing CH-47D Chinook “My Old Lady”? Well, you can here.

Hill Aerospace Museum

a-1e skyraider bomber plane
Hill Aerospace Museum

The Hill Aerospace Museum is located at the Hill Air Force Base in Utah and is a top-rated aviation museum. Their aircraft collection includes fighters, cargo, attack, and more. The museum features over 4,000 objects visitors can enjoy.

Air Mobility Command Museum

F 101B voodoo aircraft
Air Mobility Command Museum

The Air Mobility Command Museum is located next to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. What makes this museum unique is that it is the only museum that focuses on the history of airlift and air refueling. Over 30 aircraft are on display and tell the stories of the history of humanitarian efforts in airlift and refueling.

The World War II Weekend Every History Buff Needs To See

wwII event parade of trucks
Jill Caren Photography

If you love military history, there is a place you can actually live it. In Reading, Pennsylvania there is an event every June that will immerse you back in time to World War II and it is worth the trip.

Explore the WWII Weekend

Transportation Museums Along The East Coast That Make A Great Road Trip

trolley driving on street
Connecticut Trolley Museum

Whether you are into trucks, trains, or even trolleys there is a museum out there for you. This guide showcases some of the top picks.

View the East Coast Transportation Museums

2 thoughts on “14 Air Museums That Every Aviation Enthusiast Needs To Visit”

  1. You should also consider the WAAM museum at Hood River< Or. It is certainly in the same category as the previous selections.

    Reply

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