National Museum of Naval Aviation

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National Museum of Naval Aviation

Coordinates: 30°20′58″N 87°18′13″W / 30.349580°N 87.303582°W / 30.349580; -87.303582

The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The museum opened in 1962.

As its name suggests, the museum is devoted to the history of naval aviation, including that of the U. S. Navy, the U. S. Marine Corps, and the U. S. Coast Guard. More than 150 aircraft and spacecraft are on display, including four former Blue Angel A-4 Skyhawks (the Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola), the Curtis NC-4 (the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic), U. S. Coast Guard helicopters, biplanes, a K-47 Airship control gondola and tail fin, an aircraft that President George H. W. Bush trained in, and the S-3 Viking used to transport President George W. Bush to the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 (see Navy One). These historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the Museum's 300,000 square feet (30,000 m2) of exhibit space and outside on the Museum's 37-acre (150,000 m2) grounds.

In addition to the displays, the museum operates an IMAX theatre, museum store, and cafe. Also the museum is the home of the National Flight Academy, a 6-day program designed (in partnership with the Escambia and Santa Rosa school districts) to teach 7th through 12th grade students about the importance of science and math in aerospace careers. The Academy is currently planning a 245,000-square-foot (22,800 m2) expansion to the museum which would add classroom and dormitory space for the students during their stay.

The museum is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Parking and admission to the museum are free, though donations are welcome. Some exhibits inside the museum, such as the theatre, charge separate admission.

Practice demonstrations by the Blue Angels may be viewed from the museum most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings between March and November. These practices are weather permitting, and a tentative practice schedule may be viewed on the Blue Angels’ website.

Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, a retired Navy captain and Blue Angel, is the current director of the National Museum of Naval Aviation. He hand-sculpted many of the statues and painted many of the watercolor and oil paintings in the museum as well.

Naval Aviation Hall of Honor
Other Navy museums

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