Visitors to Palm Springs Air Museum, one of the top aviation museums in the world, can see planes from World War II and the Korea/Vietnam Area inside climate controlled hangars and an outside tarmac. The Palm Springs Air Museum began with an idea between three men, Charlie Mayer, Pete Madison and Dr. Mort Gubin in 1993 during an airport commission meeting.
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Madison was a former pilot who brought in Bob Pong, a collector of Warbirds and a naval Aviator to help and soon the Palm Spring City Council was also on board. Construction on the museum began in February of 1996 and by November of the same year, the two-hangar museum was opened to the public showcasing warbirds from World War II and the Korean/Vietnam Era. A Third Hangar was opened in 1999 and just recently, the fourth hangar was opened in May of 2017.
More than 100,000 people visit the Palm Springs Air Museum annually which is now 85,000 square feet with more than 59 vintage aircraft. The Museum is also dedicated to education through the Berger Foundation Youth Exploration Center, Classroom Annex, The General Ken Miles Science Center, Library and Education Center, Community Room, and Theater.
The Museum is pet friendly, interactive and open daily from 10am to 5pm (except for select holidays) with free parking. Admission prices are detailed online.
There are more than 59 vintage aircraft at the Palm Springs Air Museum from the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Eras. Some of the planes include the Gruman F4F Wildcat, Curtiss P40 Warhawk, Douglass SBD Dauntless, Helicopter Iroquois, Bell P-63 Kingcobra, North American P-51 Mustang Bunny, Hell AH-1 Huey Cobra Helicopter and many more.
Normal Lawrence Sirota D-Day Glider’s Exhibit- This new exhibit is commemorative of the silent gliders that were used in World War II including the landing at Normandy which was part of one of the largest allied assaults during the war. Included in the exhibit is one of the real training gliders and a reconstruction of an interior that was used. The glider strategy faced a 50% casualty rate which the men who participated were aware of going into Normandy. The display also showcased rare photographs, maps, and strategical plans.
Tours- Groups tours can be arranged and are guided by docents that are veterans and/or former pilots through all four hangars. Tours are approximately 2 hours in length with a 15-person minimum that required 2 weeks advanced reservations. Box lunches can be provided for an additional fee. Educational features included for school and youth group tours include a 30-minute science exploration class. Self-guided tours are included in general museum admission.
Airshows- There are four aircraft at Palm Springs Air Museum that are available for private flight demonstrations off site. C-47 “What’s Up Doc”, P-63 King Cobra “Pretty Polly”, P-51D Mustang “Bunny”, and T-28B Trojan basic trainer. Each flight is subject to weather conditions, mechanical inspection the day of the flight plan and if the minimum number of seats for the flight is sold. Details about each plane and flight requirements can be found on the museum website.
Warbird Flights- There are two planes, the C-47 Skytrain and P-51 Mustang, that visitors can book a short flight experience on while visiting the Palm Spring Air Museum. Flying in the C-47 is dependent upon whether is a pilot is available and if all 5 seats are sold for the flight. Weather conditions and mechanical inspection is also a factor on flight plans. The Mustang will be available for flights beginning Spring 2018.
The Palm Springs Air Museum is proud to host and sponsor several annual events that the community can look forward to every year.
Annual Memorial Day Flor Drop & Air Fair- Every Memorial Day Weekend the museum hosts flight exhibitions, air shows, live music, and the dropping of 3,000 red and white carnations from the B-25 Mitchell Bomber Pacific Princess in remembrance of those lost in war. Food vendor, a beer garden, children and family activities, and more is available.
Chili Cook Off and Car Show- Every fall the annual Chili Cook off and Car show features more than 100 classic cars and all the best chili recipes cooked by museum volunteers. Community members vote on the best chili.
Santa Fly In- Santa arrives at the museum by vintage airplane and hangs out presents and treats to children under 12. Real Snow is also available for kids to play in on a weekend in December.
Annual Gala- This fundraising event for the museum is held on the second Friday in February and is black tie or military attire.
Craft Beer Festival- Third Saturday in November, this festival is always a favorite in the community and is for 21 and older only with live music, flight exhibition and local craft breweries and food vendors showcased.
745 North Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, California, 92262, Phone: 760-778-6262