Aeroseums Blog

Aviation history, one article at a time.

Posts Tagged ‘Museum’

The challenges ahead

This past year has shown the challenges faced by aviation museums with the future of two facilities in doubt. The Canadian Air and Space Museum and National Aviation Theme Park Aviodrome in Lelystad, Netherlands are both facing permanent closure.

I personally have been to the Aviodrome in Lelystad back in 2003, this facility was large and had an amazing collection including one of the last air worthy DC-2s in the world as well as a Replica of the old Schiphol terminal building from late 1920s. Like many non-profits they are seemingly facing hard times with creditors.  The only information I currently have is that they could not come to terms and are temporarily closed to the public and are filing for bankruptcy as of Dec 25th. There is a group that according to the Dutch paper DePres.nl are looking to raise funds to pay off the debt before the February deadline where the aircraft and collection could go up for auction. A news broadcast in Dutch gives a short tour and talks about their problems.  The concept of the Aviodrome closing is crushing to me, such an amazing facility and collection. This would be the equivalent of the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum closing here in the states.

The Canadian Air and Space Museum has been far more vocal about their current location and financial problems. They have a petition up on the web with over 8700 signatures, local and national politicians fighting for them and a tremendous amount of effort being spent on traditional and social medias. Currently they are fighting to save the building that they are in and prevent the required move. The museum is located in de Havilland factory building #1, and the Parc Downsview Park’s is planning on leveling the building (other then apparently “hundreds of feet” of the facade) and constructing indoor hockey rinks.  Even with that there are of course funding issues if they have to move.

There is always hope and where some struggle others seem to flourish. There is the recent news of McAllister Museum of Aviation getting a large donation to start expansion. Texas A&M getting the Space Shuttle motion simulator and plans to keep it operational and open to the public. And most exciting the new Liberty Aviation Museum being built at the Erie-Ottawa Airport in Port Clinton Ohio, finally bring a permanent location to their centerpiece B-25.

As members of the greater aviation community we have to stand up and help these and other facilities that speak to us. Join the local museums, heritage centers, or historical societies, attend their fundraising activities, and promote them through your social circles. We cannot take it for granted that these places will always be here. With in the last few years I renewed my EAA member ship but this time as a Life Member and joined the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame also as a life member. I encourage you to in this coming year pick at least one organization that has a mission to preserve history and support them in some way and if you know of any other aviation organization doing good but struggling for their future please leave a comment below and tell us about them.

Thank you,

Sam

EAA AirVenture Museum

Aviat Eagle II

EAA AirVenture Museum

The EAA AirVenture Museum is a multi fasted with its primary focus on general aviation, with World War Two, air racing and acrobatics also having prominent places. The museum is broken into three prominent areas: The general museum containing the majority of their aircraft, Eagle Hanger containing World War Two exhibits, and Pioneer Airport a 1930’s vintage airport.

Located in Oshkosh WI the EAA AirVenture Museum becomes a focal point of AirVenture, the world’s largest aviation event. Pioneer Airport, open spring to fall, offers airplane ride in vintage aircraft including a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, 1929 Travel Air, Bell 47 Helicopter and a 1927 Swallow.

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Patuxent River Naval Air Museum

Located outside of Gate 1 of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station is the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.  This is one museum that is going to have to be a trip all by itself—though what you get is worth the effort.  Pax River is the home of most of the U.S. Navy’s testing.  As such, the museum is a bit remote. Read More…

Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum

Located just west of the main entrance for Kennedy Space Center, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum (VAC) is in its self a hidden gem. The museum is not located right next to the 405 but just a short half-mile drive through the trees on Tico Road. VAC is located on the ground of Space Coast Regional Airport (KTIX) where you can taxi right up to the Warbird Ramp making for a fun flying destination.

As you can guess from the name of the museum, the focus is on warbirds, in fact they only have one non-warbird in their collection, a Stuart 51. The VAC has an impressive collection of US Navy aircraft including an F-14 Tomcat, F-18 Hornet, F-8 Crusader, and A-6 Intruder.

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