South Dakota Air & Space Museum – Interior Exhibits

While you are exploring the Mt Rushmore / Black Hills / Badlands area, make certain to visit the SD Air & Space Museum. Located next to Ellsworth Air Force Base, this museum is a must see.

Interior exhibits will take you from the early beginnings of aviation to aerospace displays, including “Exploring Mars” information. The fascinating exhibits include The Doolittle Raiders, the Berlin War Memorial, the Korean War, B-1B cockpit display, gorgeous “Earth as Art” photos, photos of aircraft flying near Mt. Rushmore and so much more.

You can easily spend several hours inspecting the outstanding interior and exterior exhibits. Take your time as you walk about to read the descriptions and feel the magnificence of aviation history.

Savor your journeys.

South Dakota Air & Space Museum – Exterior Exhibits

South Dakota Air & Space Museum – Exterior Exhibits

Located 7 miles east of Rapid City, SD, next to Ellsworth Air Force Base, this museum is a must see as you explore the Mt Rushmore area.

There are over 30 outdoor exhibits, including B-1B Lancer, B-29 Superfortress, B-52 Stratofortress, B-25 Mitchell (Eisenhower’s personal WWII transport) plus 3 missiles. There is detailed information about each aircraft.

It was a terrific experience, to walk about the aircraft, absorbing the history, amidst the beauty of the Black Hills.

Next post will be the terrific interior exhibits.

Savor your journeys.


Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, Oregon

WAAAM has one of the most extensive collections of antique airplanes and cars in the US: more than 325 planes, gliders, cars, bikes, jeeps and tractors. It’s super fun to walk about the four hangars that house this great collection. There are museum volunteers readily available to answer your questions.

Notable exhibits include a 1917 Curtis Jenny, WWII L-Bird collection, 1916 Dodge Brothers Roadster, 1914 Detroit Electric Car, WWII TG-6 Glider and a 1923 Locomobile Touring Car. There is a dedicated section with about 10 gliders, including a 1930 WACO Primary glider. There is a section devoted to a reenactment of a 1912 Curtis Pusher flight. The 1995 reenactment occurred from a hotel in Portland. Enjoy the video, which is shown throughout the day.

On the second Saturday of each month the Museum gets the engines running. You can ride in antique cars and watch the antique planes take-off and land. Mingle with the volunteers, have your camera ready and enjoy the day.

You can easily spend several hours exploring and going back in time. While I love planes and gliders, I was in awe at some of the old touring cars. The museum is located 65 miles from Portland. Definitely take time to explore the beautiful Columbia River Gorge area and The Dalles. The museum’s web site has lots of information about their collections, events and classes. WWW.WAAAMUSEUM.ORG

Warhawk Air Museum, Nampa, Idaho

When you arrive at the Warhawk Air Museum, you receive a Self-Guided Tour pamphlet… get ready to explore. As you walk about, you will discover many older planes, including P-40N Warhawk, P-40E Kittyhawk, P-51C Mustang, F-86F Sabre Jet, N3N, Fokker DR-1 and two MIGs: MIG-17 and MIG-21. You will find many collections of memorabilia as you peruse the large collection, ranging from “home front” items, including children’s toys, books and puzzles, to a collection of many different types of uniforms worn during WWII to a piece of the Berlin Wall. There are more than 175 items listed in the pamphlet, ranging from a cabinet dedicated to the US Marine Corps, another with submarine items, another with WWI memorabilia to a NASA exhibit. Take your time to read the stories and immerse yourself in a different time.

The museum is located 17 miles from Boise. Their web site has a wealth of information, including about the restoration of a Grumman F9F Panther, the first jet used by the Blue Angels.

Road Trip ~ Western Washington to Boise and Coeur d’Alene

Museum of Flight, Washington

The Museum of Flight, home to more than 150 historic planes, spacecraft and related artifacts, celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2015. It offers an interactive experience for aviation enthusiasts and families at each of its main areas: the Great Gallery, the Tower at Boeing Field, the Red Barn, the Personal Courage Wing, the Space Gallery and the Airpark.

Start your adventure with a 30- or 60-minute guided tour of the Great Gallery. Walk among the reproductions and aircraft, ranging from an 1896 biplane glider to the popular M-21 Blackbird spy plane. Indulge your Red Baron fantasies by climbing into the cockpit of an SR-81 Blackbird or an F/A-18 Hornet.

If feeling adventurous, check out the X-Pilot simulator and take the controls. Fly a jet fighter or a WWII combat plane, engage in a dog fight, doing loops and 360 degree rolls. The 13-seat 4D-X simulator is tamer with 3-D graphics and some motion.

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