Air Force Museum
4 min read
Air Force Museum

I’ve compiled a list of 176 on-airport aviation museums in the U.S. and some in Canada.

My pilot friends and I have always enjoyed flying to aviation museums, especially the ones you can walk to from your airplane. Some are large and well known, but many are small labors-of-love that take some effort to track down. One year my brother-in-law, Pat, and I decided we should try to visit every airport-based aviation museum in New York. Pat is a former Vietnam Bird Dog pilot with both a Maule and a Searey who has flown the length and breadth of the state but it turned out even with his knowledge it was not that easy to identify all of the existing museums. I have a buddy in Houston, Terry, who also enjoys flying to museums so I started trying to locate Texas museums as well. Turned out, I was never able to find a good comprehensive list so last year I decided to try to build one myself.

With more than a few hours of online and phone research and some helpful crowdsourcing through Beechtalk, I eventually compiled a list of 176 on-airport aviation museums in the U.S. and some in Canada – all of which can be accessed without the need to rent a car or pay for a ride. I contacted most of the museums to confirm exactly where to park and how to get to the museum, discarding ones that required a rental/rideshare. I then created a Google Maps layer with the locations of all the museums which allows a pilot to see them in one place online or even upload the layer to Foreflight so you can see them on the moving map. The positions shown are accurate down to the specific building on the airport.

This is a permanent link to the Google Maps layer at which anyone can access.  The KML file which can be uploaded to ForeFlight is here (instructions below). I also have a spreadsheet with Museum website links, phone numbers, and details for where a pilot should park to access the museum.

Access the spreadsheet (museum directory) here.

Download the PDF version here.

The spreadsheet shows whether the museum will allow you to park on their ramp, and if not, the location of the nearest FBO or ramp parking. It also includes the walking distance to the museum. A few museums are located across the airport from GA parking which is too far to walk or not safe or legal to walk, but they have made arrangements with a particular FBO to give rides. I have included a few important museums which will require a taxi, rideshare, or rental, but I really just wanted to focus on GA-accessible museums. Many are very small and are supported entirely by volunteers. I would like to see them get as much traffic as possible to support their important mission.

Unfortunately, museum access, aircraft parking, and timings tend to change without warning so I recommend that you contact the museum by phone or email before going.

I hope you enjoy the directory and are able to visit many of the museums. And if you have any updates like new museums, closures, etc., please contact me at [email protected]. Finally, if there is anyone out there who has, or eventually does, visit all of the museums on the list, we would sure like to hear about it. What a bucket list item that would be!

If you wish to upload the locations to Foreflight: (sorry this is a bit complicated but it works):

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= … sp=sharing

  • The link above must be opened in Google Maps in a BROWSER and not in the Google Maps App. You can either paste the link above into your browser window or in some cases just hold down the link and then select “open in safari” or “open in windows”.
  • On the left of the google maps page there will be a dialogue box with three dots in the upper right corner just to the right of “Museums with GA Access”.
  • Click the three dots
  • Select “Export to KML/KMZ”
  • Select the box “Export as KML instead of KMZ”
  • Click download, the file will be sent to your download folder (in Apple) or somewhere else in MS (sorry I don’t have windows).

Then…

1) Attach the downloaded file “Museums with GA Access.KML” to an email
2) Send the email to yourself
3) Open the email on your iPad
4) Open the attachment by clicking on it
5) Click on the box with the arrow in the top right of the screen
6) Select Foreflight
7) Select Custom Content
8) Select Custom Map Layers

The layer with the museum locations will then be shown in the bottom right of the dialogue box where you normally select the chart you want to see (Aerial Map, US VFR Sectional, etc.) and other layers (Traffic, Ceiling, User Waypoints, etc.).

You can select it or deselect it any time and the locations of the museums will appear on your screen (overlaid on whatever chart you are using). They will be shown as Blue and White triangles.

The chart looks like this:

ForeFlight map layer
Zoomed in like this:
ForeFlight map layer
And at the taxiway level
ForeFlight map layer
Jim Adams
Latest posts by Jim Adams (see all)
30 replies
  1. Dale C Hill
    Dale C Hill says:

    At a FAC (Forward Air Controller) reunion (your brother in law should have been there!) in Colorado Springs last year, our group got a guided tour of the National Museum of WWII Aviation. Anyone interested in that era of flight needs to put that museum on their ‘Bucket List!’

    A museum that unfortunately cannot qualify for your list (because you can’t fly into it) is the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. It’s only a 30 minute drive from Dayton International (KDAY). I have visited it many times and have donated several items for their displays. Because of my donations, I was given an after-hours, behind the scenes tour and it only whetted my appetite for more!

    Reply
    • Jim Adams
      Jim Adams says:

      I agree Dale. The WWI Aviation museum is amazing. I highly recommend it. Haven’t been to the AF Museum in Dayton but I hope to get there.

      Reply
    • Dennis Dent
      Dennis Dent says:

      Wright Patt in the past has arranged a flyin open house for pilots. Last time I flew in was 20 years ago.

      Reply
    • Mike Sheetz
      Mike Sheetz says:

      If not on your list GUS should be added. Even as a USAFRB it does accommodate GA aircraft. The small museum also has outside aircraft on display including B47, B58 Hustler, and others. A close up of Google Maps gives a good idea of the aircraft and layout from the FBO!

      Reply
  2. Jim Adams
    Jim Adams says:

    The new Amelia Earhart Museum in Atchinson Kansas has been added to the google map and also the spreadsheet (but not the PDF or KML file yet). The Museum welcomes pilots to park on their ramp.

    Reply
  3. Donald L Gilbert Jr
    Donald L Gilbert Jr says:

    There is another one to add to the list in Pennsylvania.
    It is the KLBE Air Museum. Located at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport on the East Ramp on taxiway Hotel.
    The hours are usually just on Saturday from 10-2 right now due to limited volunteers.

    Reply
  4. Paul Lucia
    Paul Lucia says:

    Jim:
    Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t find Hill Aerospace Museum, Hill AFB, Roy, UT (Ogden). It’s a great museum with both civil and military aircraft. Not sure but probably requires an Uber or ride share to get there. I visited via my automobile.

    Reply
  5. Seth Barnes
    Seth Barnes says:

    Outstanding!!!

    Loaded it up on FF for use. The American Bonanza Society has a restaurant guide for folks to use. Fields with food. It’s not available as a map layer though (I don’t think).

    Reply
  6. Dale C Hill
    Dale C Hill says:

    Just thought of another that is on your list, but I know it by another name. You have it at Meacham Field in Ft Worth, TX. Go to this link and learn how the museum originated and has grown from what I know as “The Forward Air Controllers Museum” to what it is called today, “The Fort Worth Aviation Museum”.

    The OV-10 Bronco Association, Inc. was established in 1999 to honor the people of the OV-10 community and to preserve its history. Since that time, the Bronco Association expanded into the Forward Air Controllers Museum and Veterans Memorial Air Park. In 2014 the museum rebranded to the Fort Worth Aviation Museum but had maintained its roots in the Bronco and Forward air Controllers with the FAC Museum gallery.

    These exhibits tell the history and development of finding targets, fixing their location, and prosecuting the enemy using Close Air Support aircraft, artillery, and naval gunfire.

    Reply
  7. Brandon F.
    Brandon F. says:

    This is great! Thanks for taking the time to compile this!

    If you’ll allow a couple nitpicks, could you please correct the names of a couple WA locations?

    Tuckwilla > Tukwila
    Everette > Everett

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  8. Jeff Rankin-Lowe
    Jeff Rankin-Lowe says:

    Some of the suggested additions seem to have missed the qualifying condition for the list: “accessed without the need to rent a car or pay for a ride”.

    Reply
  9. Chris Froeschl
    Chris Froeschl says:

    So much easier to import all the waypoints into iFlyEFB by Adventure Pilot. Just save the KML file from Google Maps into the WayPoints folder on the iFlyEFB directory. Then go to Map Mode in iFlyEFB and click “Import KML” – Done.

    Reply
  10. Jay Wischkaemper
    Jay Wischkaemper says:

    Great resource. Thanks for doing this. I had hoped you had found some more museums in Tennessee that I hadn’t known about, but it appears that there just aren’t that many. Having come from Texas though, one correction is that the Amarillo airport is the Rick Husband, not Rick Hudson. Also, there is the Texas Air Museum in Slaton, TX, outside of Lubbock. Hours are a little sketchy, but it’s right on the field, static displays are all outside, and fuel is cheap.

    Reply
  11. Bill Werner
    Bill Werner says:

    I have another for you, Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (ZPH). The Zephyrhills Museum of Military History which is on field, about 200ft north of the terminal building. The website for the museum is https://zmmh.org/ The website states the current hours of operation of Saturdays 10:00 am – 04:00 pm, and there are some special events throughout the year (https://zmmh.org/events).

    Reply
  12. James Adams
    James Adams says:

    I’ve just updated the spreadsheet and google map. Thanks for all the suggestions on GA accessible museums. If I counted correctly we’ve added another 16, and made some corrections to others. Still waiting on feedback for nearest parking on two already listed. I’ll update the PDF and KML in a couple of days.

    Reply

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