Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach is an excellent stopping point for guests of all ages to learn more about the history of wartime aircraft. They can even ride in a restored aircraft piloted by an experienced licensed pilot and view the hangar where the aircraft are restored to full working condition.
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Established in 2005 by Gerald Yagen and opened to the public in 2008, the museum is home to one of the largest collection of military aircraft in the world and is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The majority of the aircraft on the premises have been restored to flying condition.
There are a variety of exhibits at the museum of aviation, mostly broken into different hangers featuring different categories of aircraft and memorabilia.
Navy Hangar - On the east of the main building is a hanger (approximately 15,000 square feet in size) that houses the majority of the aircraft from the United States Naval collection. The museum has a Consolidated PBY Catalina, a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a F4U Corsair, and a TBM Avenger, as well as a few more unique aircraft like an N3N Canary and a de Havilland Dragon Rapide.
Army Hangar - On the west of the main building is a hanger (also approximately 15,000 square feet in size) where the United States Army Air Corp aircraft, as well as a few aircraft from a few other countries (like Great Britain and Russia) are housed. A few of the collection to keep an eye out for are the North American B-25 Mitchell, the Curtiss P-40, the P-51 Mustang, the Supermarine Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane, and three different Polikarpov aircrafts.
World War 1 Hangar - Another more recently opened 15,000 square foot hangar, designed by English architect Steven Atkin, was created to look historically accurate from both the American and English aircraft hangars from the WW1 time period.
Cottbus Hangar - Relocated from a 1930s German airfield, this Luftwaffe aircraft hangar made the trip all the way from Cottbus, Germany (and the Army Airfield) to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Fighter Factory Hangar - The largest hangar on the premises, the fighter factory is actually a maintenance building where every aircraft receives a yearly inspection. It also includes a variety of workshops, open space, storage room for parts, offices for staff, and a paint room. Guests can also tour this facility with a tour guide during the week.
Plane Rides - For an additional cost, guests can purchase a flight in an authentic 1941 Boeing Stearman (PT-17 Kaydet) open-cockpit aircraft. Flying with an experienced pilot over the countryside, the sand dunes, and the waterway, guests can choose from either a 15 or 30-minute flight. For people wanting to share their flight with a friend or family member, they can choose a 15 or 30-minute flight in the 1989 Waco WMF-5. Make sure to wear comfortable closed toed shoes, jeans, and sunglasses and bring a camera!
There are many special events offered at the aviation museum. The website maintains an up to date calendar that is updated frequently as new events are added and new information is available.
Every February, there is the annual 1940’s Valentine’s Day Hangar Dance. Guests are encouraged to dress in period specific garb and party with big band music with a live band. It is a great time filled with nostalgia.
In November, in conjugation with Toys for Tots, the museum puts on a train show complete with a visit from Santa Claus! Toy donations will also be accepted and are strongly encouraged. Children 17 years and younger get in for free and general admission is required for those over the age of 17. A local food truck will be on hand to sell food and beverages.
Throughout the year, special concerts in certain hangars are also held. Check the website for additional costs, if any (many of the concerts are free of charge). There are also swap meets, ballets, as well as a week-long aviation summer camp for kids.
There is a small gift shop on the aviation museum premises that has a variety of small gifts for people of all ages. There are many aircraft related toys for children, as well as apparel (t-shirts, hats, etc.) and home goods (tin signs and books). Purchases from gift shop go directly back into helping to restore the planes and finance the museum itself.
Military Aviation Museum, 1341 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA, 23457, Phone: 757-721-7767