Home to one of the largest collections in the world of military aircraft from the World War I and World War II era, the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia is dedicated to preserving, restoring and flying these historic aircrafts, enabling the new generation to learn so much about them. Unlike many other historic aviation museums, the aircrafts that you will see here have all been restored to flying condition, and are flown for the public during special events, as well as at the museum’s twice-yearly air shows.
World War I Aircraft Collection
Out of all of the World War I aircrafts found at the museum, the Curtiss Jenny is the only original, and was completed in 1918, before being acquired by the museum in 2013. Other popular aircrafts in this collection include the Sopwith Strutter, which was used in the 2006 movie Flyboys, and the Fokker Triplane, whose original version was destroyed in an air raid.
World War II Aircraft Collection
The collection of aircrafts from World War II come from a wide range of countries, including America, Germany and Russia. Unlike the World War I collection, the majority of the aircrafts here are originals, with each one having experienced its own turbulent military history.
The Military Aviation Museum consists of five different hangars that each feature a collection of aircrafts and artefacts. The Army Hangar is connected to the west side of the building, and is a 15,000 square feet space packed with many US Army Air Corp planes, as well as a few examples from other countries. The Navy Hangar, on the east side of the building, is the same size, but home to US Navy aircraft, while the WWI Hangar is captivatingly reminiscent of the French barns that used to serve as hangars during the Great War. The Cottbus Hangar and the Fighter Factory hangar are both also worth exploring in detail, the latter of which is where all of the aircraft needing maintenance and inspections go.
The Military Aviation Museum holds two annual air shows, each dedicated to a World War. The Warbirds Over the Beach air show will be held in May this year, and will feature war planes from the Second World War, as well as re-enactments and historical entertainment, while the World War I air show will be held later this year in October.
NAS Oceana Tour
Master Jet Base NAS Oceana is home to just under 300 fighter jets, and the Military Aviation Museum offers tours of this base. Tours take place on the museum’s signature double-decker bus, and will not only take you around the Aviation Historical Park, but will also give you a glimpse of their Naval Aviators in action.
There are not many places in the world where you can witness original war planes soaring through the skies, but Virginia’s Military Aviation Museum is one of these. Thanks to their passion when it comes to restoring and appreciating these iconic pieces of history, future generations will now be able to learn first-hand about the important role that each of these aircrafts have played in the past.