The United States is the birthplace of flight, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also home to some of the best aviation museums in the world, displaying the first airplanes, rockets, fighter jets, satellites, and more. There will be some new additions in aviation museums around the country soon as well; four space shuttles – Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavour, and Enterprise – will be displayed with the end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Below are some of the best aviation museums in the country, showcasing the products and achievements of pilots, designers, and engineers alike.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: Washington D.C.
Showcasing the world’s first airplane, the “Wright Flyer,” this museum hosts eight million visitors every year. Featuring 60,000 exhibits and a public archive of over 1.75 million images and 14,000 videos of aviation and space, it’s not difficult to understand why aviation enthusiasts and curious individuals alike frequent here.
Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum: New York, NY
This museum is now home of NASA’s Space Shuttle Enterprise and is also creatively located aboard the aircraft carrier, Intrepid. Guests are able to view a variety of military aircraft, a British Airways Concorde, and also have the ability to explore the carrier and the Growler submarine if they would like.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: Orlando, FL
The Kennedy Space Center has recently become the new home of NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis. This museum is particularly dedicated to space exploration and includes a shuttle launch experience simulator for those that want to know what it’s like to launch. There is also a Rocket Garden and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force: Dayton, OH
Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, this museum is not only the world’s biggest but also oldest military aviation museum. There is about 17 acres of indoor display space and features a brilliant exhibit presentation. Each of the exhibit galleries is divided by era.
Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour: Everett, WA
This unique museum is designed for guests to design their own jet, experience a simulation of a battle, and touch most of the exhibits. The most prominent attraction for guests is receiving a tour of Boeing’s massive assembly plant.