Pima Air and Space Museum
Once of Tucson, Arizona’s greatest attractions is the Pima Air and Space Museum. Whether you are an aeronautical fan or not, this air museum is one of the largest in the country and is really worth visiting if you find yourself in southern Arizona. Here is my experience:
I would not classify myself as an airplane enthusiast or aficionado, but I am absolutely awe-struck at the big birds in the sky that man has been able to build. I have visited several airplane museums around the country, one of the things that draws my interest is the history and stories that each airplane can tell. I’m also continually amazed at just how many planes have been built for very specific needs or uses—from cargo to speed, maneuverability to stealth, and everything in between…airplanes are a true marvel.
I recently planned a road trip to southern Arizona, and I as I usually do on a road trip, I like to make a number of stops along the way to break up the drive. I have long wanted to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson and this seemed the perfect time. Autumn finally lowered the temperatures and it was simply wonderful weather to peruse the 80 acre outdoor grounds and get up close to over 150 planes. There are another 150 or so aircraft in five massive climate controlled hangers. The Pima Air and Space museum is one of the largest in the world. In addition to its massive aviation display, the museum also has limited and exclusive access to a “Boneyard” tour at the nearby Davis Monthan Air Force base. I thought the Boneyard tour was pretty cool, but in hindsight, I would have preferred to spend more time at the museum itself. The Boneyard tour is restricted to a bus ride around the 2600 acre property that stores more than 4000 aircraft in five different phases of retirement. Some of the aircraft’s are just being stored, while others are parted out…the remains eventually scrapped.
Pima Air and Space Museum Highlights
There were so many highlights for me at the Pima Air and Space Museum, but some of my favorites included the B-17 & B-29 Flying Fortresses, the B-58 Hustler, the Blue Angle F-11 Tomcat, the TWA C-69 Constellation, to the sleek and sexy SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest and highest altitude aircraft in the world. The museum has every type of aircraft you can imagine…from small experimental planes, massive cargo ships, to nimble fighters and gigantic Sikorsky helicopters. While the display of aircrafts is impressive, one of the greatest assets the museum has is its many war veteran volunteers who’ve flown some of the aircrafts in front of you. These volunteers are a wealth of historic and aviation knowledge and have countless stories they enjoy sharing with those who show an interest.
If you find yourself road tripping to Tucson, Arizona, do yourself a favor and stop by the Pima Air and Space Museum. If you’ve ever been the this airplane museum, please leave a comment below and share your favorite plane and/or memory. Click here to see more of my photos from the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Pima Air and Space Museum Visitor Information:
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