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Airplane Museums in Arizona

Airplane Museums in Arizona

Pima Air and Space Museum is one of the world’s premier non-government funded aviation museums, housing over 400 historical aircraft on an 80-acre display area within six hangars.

Its aircraft provide many stories. A B-17 Flying Fortress in its collection was used during Operation Halyard to airlift people behind Axis lines; another exhibit features Tuskegee Airmen who served both as pilots and ground personnel during World War II.

Planes of Fame

Aviation enthusiasts must visit this museum. Its fleet of historic aircraft recreates and reinforces key moments from American military aviation history, providing valuable lessons learned during them.

More: Wadsworth Museum | USS Hornet Museum | The Museum of Discovery | The Colorado History | Fayettevilla Museum | Dupont Museum

The Planes of Fame Air Museum was founded by Ed Maloney to preserve and honor those who made aviation possible. Soon its collection expanded quickly to both Chino, California and Valle, Arizona facilities, eventually boasting more than 40 restored aircraft which are flyable.

World War II saw the United States produce over three hundred thousand military airplanes; most of these aircraft were destroyed or abandoned after their war service concluded; only a select few survived to be saved by collectors like those found at this museum and rebuilt for civilian use or aerobatic displays.

This museum’s collection stands as a testament to those who saved and restored these vintage planes, including an Aichi D3A used in the film Tora! Tora! Tora!. Furthermore, they boast one authentic airworthy Zero fighter from Japan (Mizutani A6M5 Zero fighter). Additionally, there is also one authentic Zero fighter from Tora! Tora! Tora!.

In addition to an impressive aircraft collection, the museum also houses a vast library of photographs, films and records; its archives serve as an invaluable resource for historians and researchers. Flight simulators and hands-on exhibits are popular with both children and adults.

The museum boasts an impressive collection of historical aircraft, such as a Boeing P-38 Lightning and Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. Additionally, an annual air show takes place here during operating hours; all are welcome!

While the museum’s collection is impressive, its unique gift shop selling aviation-related items also serves as an attraction. Open daily, this gift shop provides jackets and other apparel relating to aviation for visitors of the museum as well as special events like birthdays or weddings.

Commemorative Air Force Museum

The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum presents over 100 years of military aviation history in two hangars covering over 30,000 square feet. Featuring aircraft from every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as archival memorabilia and exhibits from different decades, plus numerous events that honor veterans and military aviation history; visitors can climb aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, watch films in its replica mission briefing room or explore various WWII-era aircraft on display there.

Falcon Field Airport Museum in Mesa is easily accessible by car, bus or helicopter and their website features directions as well as parking and shuttle information. 

The museum welcomes volunteers of all ages! This volunteer-run museum can be found near the northeast corner of Greenfield and McKellips roads and easily reached using any mode of transport available – car, bus or helicopter! It can even accommodate helicopter tours!

At the museum, visitors can see and touch more than 60 historic planes, including six active World War II fighters and bombers. Furthermore, guests can participate in warbird flights – or even take control themselves! Military pilots from across the nation are trained specifically to fly the museum’s planes.

The museum is perhaps best-known for exhibiting a section from USS Arizona bulkhead, which visitors can view in a special display case. This relic represents US soldiers’ determination during World War II. Additionally, visitors can browse a collection of military uniforms, awards, and medals on permanent display.

Can an aircraft still fly once put on display at a museum? Yes, as long as the museum takes steps to restore it. Most museums will drain fluids from engines and hydraulic systems before providing supports to prevent collapsing undercarriage from collapsing. Prolonging an aircraft’s display too long could result in dry out causing seals to dry out which leads to cracks forming along its joints.

The museum provides visitors with various flying experiences, from riding an open cockpit Stearman to piloting an N2S Stearman. Flights typically occur on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through its website; visitors can learn how to handle a plane’s radio and communicate with its crew; the museum even allows children to earn the Aviation Merit Badge from Boy Scouts!

Pima Air & Space Museum

The Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson is one of the world’s premier aircraft museums, founded in 1976 and expanding over time into six indoor exhibit hangars and 80 acres of outdoor displays featuring 425 aircraft from its collection – such as an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and B-52 bomber.

Visitors to the museum can explore both indoor and outdoor exhibits at their own pace or join a guided tour, though most reviewers recommend spending at least two hours exploring. 

Many reviewers also advise bringing water bottles for fill stations to stay hydrated during their journey, along with comfortable walking shoes for your visit – though most strongly discourage going during summer when temperatures can become extremely hot.

Highlights of the museum include the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame (located in Dorothy Finley Aerospace Gallery), which honors notable Arizona aviators. 

As well as honoring these individuals’ achievements, it showcases flight from Wright Brothers’ biplanes through today’s space shuttles and satellites; models of experimental aircraft such as X-1 that broke sound barrier or X-45 hypersonic test planes serve to illustrate technology advances; these exhibits also cover Cold War space battlegrounds as well as lunar exploration efforts during Cold War Space Race to Moon race!

Anyone wishing to delve deeper into aviation history can take advantage of free self-guided tours through a GPS-based app provided by the museum or paid guided tram tours; reservations for these can be made online through their website. 

In addition, additional activities, including flight simulators and educational classes, are also provided at this museum.

The museum is accessible for those with disabilities. Many indoor hangars are wheelchair-accessible, and outdoor exhibits feature many wheelchair-friendly aircraft. Visitors with mobility issues should note that much of the outdoor acreage is paved while inside hangars and other parts of museum grounds remain dirt.

The museum provides group tours and events tailored to accommodate groups of 20 to 500. If interested in hosting one, contact their sales and marketing department so that they may discuss options available to them.

Valle Air Museum

Planes of Fame Air Museum in Valle-Williams is an outstanding airplane museum. Their impressive and diverse collection is displayed beautifully, and planes often fly when weather permits – one of only a few museums nationwide to maintain such aircraft longer than either Army Air Corps or Air Force did!

More: Wadsworth Museum | USS Hornet Museum | The Museum of Discovery | The Colorado History | Museum Northwest | Flagstaff Museum

Valle Air Museum is open daily; however, flying day schedules change seasonally; please refer to their website calendar for specifics. As part of March Field Air Museum complex on the former site of the first flight tests for Boeing P-38 Lightning aircraft. Established in October 1997 and covering military aviation history since 1917.

March Field Air Museum in Chino is home to its main collection. However, Valle Airport in Arizona opened a facility in 1995 housing additional aircraft and historical memorabilia that include Bataan (Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s personal transport plane) as well as Lockheed C-121A Constellations used during Berlin Airlift service and Grumman F-11F Tiger used by Navy Blue Angels; Grumman F-11F Tiger (used by Blue Angels of Navy Navy Blue Angels); 1944 Messerschmitt Bf109G-10 captured in Germany after World War II capture.

As well as fully flyable aircraft on display, the museum also houses numerous rare examples under full restoration in a full-time restoration facility. There are also static displays featuring original North American P-51A Mustang and Boeing P-26A Peashooter aircraft on display.

Valle Airport provides easy access to this museum from downtown Phoenix and Mesa; only 25 minutes are needed from each. Located minutes away from both is also its proximity to Grand Canyon – ideal for day trippers or overnight adventures in Northern Arizona! 

Plus it’s well outside its Special Flight Rules Area so pilots are welcome too – making Valle Air Museum one of Arizona’s best airplane museums not to be missed!


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