Travel Tuesday: Aviation Museums for AvGeeks
If you’re an aviation geek like Daybreak Travel Guru Scott McMurren, there are some museums in Alaska and the Lower 48 you may want to visit.
Although he isn’t a pilot, McMurren’s family has a rich aviation heritage. It’s why he was first interested in visiting The National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
“I was drawn to it because my great uncle flew the B-17s over Germany during World War II,” McMurren said. “And while he was there his brother, my grandfather, was press aide for General Eisenhower for the run-up to D-Day.”
The New Orleans museum includes a full-scale B-17 hanging from the ceiling, along with several other WWII-era planes.
McMurren also recommends these museums:
Museum of Flight – Seattle, Washington: There’s a Concorde there, the old AF1 (that JFK traveled on) and the Space Shuttle Trainer, which takes up a whole building. There’s also a replica of the first Boeing workshops.
Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Museum – Everett, Oregon: 25 miles north of Seattle, it has a great collection of warbirds from WWI and WWII. While you’re out there, be sure and go on the Boeing Factory Tour at the other side of the runway.
Evergreen Air & Space Museum – McMinnville, Oregon: South of Portland, it’s home to the huge Spruce Goose, a plane so big they had to park it and build the building around it. Also on display is the supersonic SR-71 Blackbird. The founder of the museum, Del Smith, was a helicopter pilot, so you’ll find plenty of choppers on display.
The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – Washington, D.C.: A treasure trove of aviation heritage. You’ll find the X-15 rocket-powered aircraft alongside Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. There’s also the Mercury space capsule that carried John Glenn into orbit, along with a replica of Amelia Earhart’s plane that was lost over the Pacific.
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum – Lake Hood, Alaska: It features some of the first planes that flew in Alaska, several of which have been restored. You can’t miss it, as outside the museum sits an Alaska Airlines 737 and fighter jet.