Millions of people of all ages visit institutions such as museums and science centers each year. Many museums specialize in a particular field, such as art or natural history. The aviation industry is no exception…..
An aviation museum, air museum, or air and space museum is a place that displays history of aviation photos , maps , plane models , miniatures , clothes and tools used by pilots or anything related to that industry. Some of these museums provide technical documents and images that academics might use in their research. Others discuss the history of space exploration, as well as the distinctions between aeronautics and astronautics.
The size of an aviation museum is determined by the number of aircraft it exhibits. They may be privately owned or owned by national, regional or local governments.
There are a huge number of aviation museums around the world, possibly more than 700. Only in the United States there are over 250 museums.
Here are some of the famous, must visit, museums:
1. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
This museum is located in the United States of America, in Washington, D.C. It is considered as the largest aviation museum in the world. It receives eight million visitors each year, making it one of the world’s most popular museums. It shows space and aviation exploration, as well as the history and timeline of aviation. Also it displays aircraft’s technology, invocations, and materials.
2. Musée de l’air et de l’espace
This museum is located at Le Bourget Airport, just north of Paris. It was established in 1919, shortly after World War I ended. It is one of the world’s oldest aviation museums, with 150,000 square meters of exhibit space and far more than just planes. Some of the items are from the sixteenth century. Others could be a nuclear weapon.
The airplane displays are divided into several eras. There are pre-WWII aircraft on display, as well as the Farman Goliath, a WWI bomber that arrived late in the war but had a significant impact on civil aviation. The V-1 flying bomb, the Sky raider (of “dropping a toilet on Vietnam” fame), two Concordes, and the Breguet Atlanti are all displayed .
3. Aerospace Bristol Museum
This museum is located in Bristol, England
In this museum you will discover loads about airplanes, helicopters, missiles, satellites, engines and interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages.
The legendary Concord aircraft is the museum’s highlight. Visitors might enjoy roaming around the world’s fastest passenger plane and even get a glimpse of its cabin.
4. Qantas Founders Museum
This museum is located in Longreach Airport, Australia
If you are fond of Qantas , then this is a must visit museum where you can learn about the company’s history through interactive displays and original and modern aircraft. The consolidated PBY Catalina Flying Boat, the Douglas DC-3, the Boeing 707, and the iconic Boeing 747 are among its aircraft collections highlights.
It also features full-scale models of some of the most important aircraft in the early Qantas fleet, including the de Havilland DH-61 Giant Moth, the de Havilland DH-50, and the Avro 504K Dyak, which was Qantas’ first plane.
5. Central Air Force Museum
This museum is located in Monino, Moscow Oblast, Russia
It hosts the world’s largest collection of aircraft on exhibit, including 173 planes and 127 engines.
The exhibition features traditional planes, helicopters, gliders and even some strange flying machines from the Soviet Union. Along with military planes, there are a few civilian planes on show, one of which is the Tupolev 144.
It has additional exhibits which include Cold War era equipments, weaponry, uniforms, videos, and photographs.
6. Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
This museum is located in Denver, Colorado, United States.
This military museum has about 182,000 square feet of hanger space filled with B-1A Lancer and B-52 Strato fortress bombers, as well as antiques, military uniforms, space vehicles, and more. Visitors can also have an exciting flight simulator experience, learn about numerous educational initiatives, and participate in museum-sponsored events.
7. Delta Flight Museum
This museum is located in Georgia, Atlanta
This museum is dedicated to Boeing lovers. There are aircrafts such as the Boeing 767, Boeing 757, and the first Boeing 747-400 ever built on display for tourists.
8. The Museum of Flight
This museum is located in at the southern end of King County International Airport (Boeing Field) in the city of Tukwila , south of Seattle.
The American Alliance of Museums has fully certified the museum, which was founded in 1965.
It offers a wide range of K–12 educational opportunities.
Every year, the museum welcomes over 500,000 visitors and serves over 140,000 children through its onsite programs, which include a Challenger Learning Center, an Aviation Learning Center, and an ACE summer camp, as well as outreach programs that travel throughout Washington and Oregon.
The Museum of Flight displays over 150 aircrafts including the Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, the Boeing 747, the Boeing VC-137B, the Boeing 737, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
9. The Technik Museum Speyer
It is located in Speyer (Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany.
It launched in 1991 as a sister museum to the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim and is administered by the “Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim e.V.”, a registered alliance.
It includes around 2,000 exhibits and a 150,000-square-meters exhibition area (indoors and outdoors)and it receives about half a million visitors each year.
Lufthansa donated a former Boeing 747-200 aircraft in spring 2002, which is currently open to the public. And OK-GLI, a Soviet/Russian Buran spacecraft, was moved to the Technik Museum in April 2008 and is now a walk-in exhibit.
So, if you’re an avgeek or even just have a mild interest in aviation, all you have to do is check out the local aviation museums on wikipedia and go visit it. You’ll see lots of aircrafts and learn a lot about aviation in an entertaining and easy way.
- Sultana, M. (2014). Bangladesh Aviation and Aerospace
- Main cover image : credit : Elizabeth Dougherty