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Aviation/transport museums you've visited/enjoyed!

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Hi!

 

Thought I'd ask what aviation or transport museums or science museums people have visited and enjoyed and maybe things they remembered seeing or enjoyed. For me I remember:

 

1. The science museum in Kensington, London:

Cut-out cross-section of a Boeing 747

A Rolls Royce Boeing 747 engine

A Rolls-Royce/Snecma Concorde engine.

A real Apollo lunar module (touching something which has been to the moon and back is something!)

A Vickers Vimy (from Fs2004 of course)

A cockpit/radio station from a Douglas DC-3 (military version called C-47 or something?) (sorry)

 

2. St.Nazaire, France:

A real ###### WW2 submarine base (scary place)

A walk-through replica of the ocean liner Normandie museum.

A tour of the Airbus assembly plant fitting out cockpits of narrowbodies and constructing fuselages of the A380.

A tour of the shipping construction site: seeing how cruise ships and cargo tankers and stuff are built and seeing a brand new cruise ship before delivery.

 

3. Toulouse Blagnac, France:

Airbus A380 factory tour: I actually wanted to see the A340 more but they don't do tours of that anymore. Not too much to see really as you're not allowed anywhere near the final assembly floor (not suprisingly). You do get to see it from above though through a big glass wall which is cool.

 

4. Verkerhshaus (transport museum), Luzern, Switzerland:

Just next to the lake I found by accident. Great place (and free too or at least nowone asked me to pay!).

Cool 1960's airliner with full access.

Playable Wright Brothers aircraft (built like the real thing and running on Fs9).

Lots of other cool aircraft and trains.

 

5. Duxford (near Cambridge), U.K.:

Test Concorde with full access to passenger cabin.

Trident missile (I'm not sure if that's the right name). Scary to see a (albeit disabled) nuclear missile!

 

I hear the US has some great museums but there are many good ones (big and small) I'm sure around the World.

 

Any experiences welcome.

 

Many thanks.

 

P.

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I have not been to that many places (yet) however I have been to Duxford, Farnborough (Air Show) and the USS Intrepid Museum in NY. All of which I enjoy.

 

I have to ask however... How did you manage to get a tour of the Airbus factory? I would love to do something like that and an article found via a search on Google said that members of the public can apply however I am yet to find any other official details from Airbus.

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Hi!

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll try to give you what info I remember about Airbus.

 

For the St.Nazaire site:

http://visit-saint-nazaire.com/page_n3/2/55/how-visit-airbus-factory.html

 

When I was there I don't think I even knew Airbus were there. There is a big ###### WW2 submarine base at the docks there and some of it is modern and glass like and there is a ticket office where you can buy tickets to "Escale Atlantique" (excellent if you like old Ocean liners) and also the Airbus tour. I think I bought mine and had to wait for the next day for the tour. It was really good but I think when we were there it was a Sunday so nowone was actually working. Come to think of it maybe they only go on Sundays so not to interfere but I don't remember. Sorry. It was excellent though. We saw Belugas (from the bus anyway) and walked around the factory supervised. We weren't allowed inside any cockpits being built or anything but we were allowed to get right up close to A380 fuselage sections being worked on and stuff. The factory is extremely clean and organised with recycle bins everywhere!

 

In Toulouse a company called Taxiway organise the A380 factory tours. They also used to do A340 ones too but I'm not sure if they do them now.

 

http://www.taxiway.fr/

 

I think the website accepts bookings but when I was there I just turned up and went on the next tour available. They have (or had when I was there) tours in French or English. I think they're based in the same building which is not too far from the Blagnac terminal, maybe a 20-30 minute walk if the weather's nice and you have a map or a short car trip. I actually don't remember seeing much at all on the tour except a lady taking us up a big elevator to a viewing gallery where we looked down on lots of tiny guys all in extremely clean blue overalls working on lots of shiny new A380's. This was back when they were having a lot of initial problems with wiring so it was interesting. The lady who conducted the tour was quite knowledgable and made it fun too keeping things light-hearted but also presenting lots of cool info.

 

I'm sure there are more Airbus sites you can visit in Europe with tours and stuff. I think the sites in the UK like Broughton and Bristol Filton don't have tours though. I'm not sure though.

 

Hope it might help!

 

Pierre

 

P.S. Even though I don't remember much about the A380 tour just visiting Toulouse Blagnac is a lot of fun. The airport is nice and as well as watching traffic there are also lots of A340's and A380's doing pre-delivery flights going around and stuff. There used to be a cafe and windows in the terminal upstairs with a good view. Plus just walking around there are lots of aviation companies in the streets surrounding the airport and airfield like Rockwell Collins and ATR turboprops and stuff. If you go to the local hypermarche near the airport you can also sit down and eat steak and frites with lots of guys in blue Airbus overalls (if I remember right!).

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I saw the Spruce Goose in it's old location at Long Beach, California. Amazing the size of it.

 

It was a bit of a surprise when they moved it as Long Beach was the location where it made its only flight. It's new location doesn't have any significance to the aircraft. However the new owners are taking good care of her.

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Hi!

 

I saw the Spruce Goose in it's old location at Long Beach, California. Amazing the size of it.

 

It was a bit of a surprise when they moved it as Long Beach was the location where it made its only flight. It's new location doesn't have any significance to the aircraft. However the new owners are taking good care of her.

 

That must have been cool. The first time I heard about this aircraft was watching Leonardo DiCaprio fly it in "The Aviator". Not my favourite movie but some great flying stuff in it. I can't imagine the costs of restoring and maintaining an aircraft of that size made of wood but I'm sure it must be quite high. Or maybe if it's in an indoor environment it doesn't need much looking after. Would be interesting to see it though, particularly if allowed inside.

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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The Museum of Flight at KBFI in Seattle.

 

What stood out for me? Just about everything! :-) There's a lot to see, with many, many aircraft from all eras.

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http://www.oldrhinebeck.org/

The Old Rhinebeck museum in Red Hook, NY is pretty cool as it is a flying museum with many replica and original aircraft from the beginning of powered flight.

 

Weather permitting, they fly many of the aircraft all through the summer including a Bleriot XI, the oldest flying aircraft in the US and second oldest in the world. There are numerous Curtiss aircraft and engines among the exhibits.

 

It is quite a sight to see some of these aircraft buzzing around the sky. I was there just last weekend after a decade away, some of the older non-flying aircraft are not in the best state of repair, but then again they are over 100 years old in some cases!!

 

You can get right up to many of the aircraft and examine them.

 

Intrepid Museum

Having grown up in NY, I always love visiting the Intrepid. Now that it has the shuttle Enterprise and the Concorde together I must plan a trip soon. Unfortunately, it does not feature much aircraft from WWII though I recall an Avenger that looks HUGE inside the hangar deck.

 

Quonset Air Museum in Rhode Island

http://www.quonsetairmuseum.com/

This museum has an unusual collection including some WWII and a number Korean through Cold war aircraft. There is an AWACS precursor in there, though I can't remember the type (Neptune perhaps?).

They have a beautiful O-2 Skymaster in the hangar.

The outdoor collection was not in the best shape when I visited 5 years ago.

 

I have some flights planned to the Air Victory museum and Naval Air Station Wildwood when I fly down to the shore in southern NJ in a few weeks. I have no idea how they are, but the collections look interesting.

http://www.airvictorymuseum.org/html/aircraft.html

http://usnasw.org/

 

I have heard from a good friend that the Kalamazoo Air Zoo in Michigan has a great collection that you can walk right up to.

http://www.airzoo.org/

 

There is a little known submarine museum in Bergen County NJ right near my home. At least no one near me knows about it.

http://www.njnm.com/

It features a guided tour of USS Ling. There is also a recovered Japanese Kaiten Suicide Torpedo. I don't know if they still offer this, but you could sign up for a camp to live in the sub for a day and night.

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Hi!

 

Many thanks for all the info. I'm gonna have to try and make it to the US and do an aviation museum tour! I really appreciate hearing about smaller museums too as they can have just as interesting stuff sometimes as the larger more famous places.

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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New Jersey: Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey at Teterboro Airport. http://www.njahof.org/

 

Kansas: National Airline History Museum Kansas City http://www.airlinehistory.org/

 

Arizona: Davis Monthan Air Force Base boneyard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis%E2%80%93Monthan_Air_Force_Base

 

Washington DC National Air and Space Museum

 

London: Royal Air Force Museum http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/

 

London: Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/

 

Hawaii USS Arizona http://www.pacifichistoricparks.org/

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Hi!

 

New Jersey: Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey at Teterboro Airport. http://www.njahof.org/

 

Kansas: National Airline History Museum Kansas City http://www.airlinehistory.org/

 

Arizona: Davis Monthan Air Force Base boneyard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis%E2%80%93Monthan_Air_Force_Base

 

Washington DC National Air and Space Museum

 

London: Royal Air Force Museum http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/

 

London: Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/

 

Hawaii USS Arizona http://www.pacifichistoricparks.org/

 

Many thanks for the interesting (albeit rather anonymous) reccommendations!

 

The Kansas National Airline History Museum definitely looks like an interesting place.

 

In particular this page:

 

http://www.airlinehistory.org/?page=simulator

 

I am not of the Lockheed Constellation era but it would definitely be a lot of fun to try this if/when they complete it!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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Hi!

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll try to give you what info I remember about Airbus.

 

For the St.Nazaire site:

http://visit-saint-n...us-factory.html

 

When I was there I don't think I even knew Airbus were there. There is a big ###### WW2 submarine base at the docks there and some of it is modern and glass like and there is a ticket office where you can buy tickets to "Escale Atlantique" (excellent if you like old Ocean liners) and also the Airbus tour. I think I bought mine and had to wait for the next day for the tour. It was really good but I think when we were there it was a Sunday so nowone was actually working. Come to think of it maybe they only go on Sundays so not to interfere but I don't remember. Sorry. It was excellent though. We saw Belugas (from the bus anyway) and walked around the factory supervised. We weren't allowed inside any cockpits being built or anything but we were allowed to get right up close to A380 fuselage sections being worked on and stuff. The factory is extremely clean and organised with recycle bins everywhere!

 

In Toulouse a company called Taxiway organise the A380 factory tours. They also used to do A340 ones too but I'm not sure if they do them now.

 

http://www.taxiway.fr/

 

I think the website accepts bookings but when I was there I just turned up and went on the next tour available. They have (or had when I was there) tours in French or English. I think they're based in the same building which is not too far from the Blagnac terminal, maybe a 20-30 minute walk if the weather's nice and you have a map or a short car trip. I actually don't remember seeing much at all on the tour except a lady taking us up a big elevator to a viewing gallery where we looked down on lots of tiny guys all in extremely clean blue overalls working on lots of shiny new A380's. This was back when they were having a lot of initial problems with wiring so it was interesting. The lady who conducted the tour was quite knowledgable and made it fun too keeping things light-hearted but also presenting lots of cool info.

 

I'm sure there are more Airbus sites you can visit in Europe with tours and stuff. I think the sites in the UK like Broughton and Bristol Filton don't have tours though. I'm not sure though.

 

Hope it might help!

 

Pierre

 

P.S. Even though I don't remember much about the A380 tour just visiting Toulouse Blagnac is a lot of fun. The airport is nice and as well as watching traffic there are also lots of A340's and A380's doing pre-delivery flights going around and stuff. There used to be a cafe and windows in the terminal upstairs with a good view. Plus just walking around there are lots of aviation companies in the streets surrounding the airport and airfield like Rockwell Collins and ATR turboprops and stuff. If you go to the local hypermarche near the airport you can also sit down and eat steak and frites with lots of guys in blue Airbus overalls (if I remember right!).

 

Wow, lots of information thank you very much for that detailed post. Will have to arrange a trip there at some point as Aircraft Avionics and Engineering is something I would love to pursue as a career and it would be great to get to time looking around these facilities.

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Hi!

 

<br />Wow, lots of information thank you very much for that detailed post. Will have to arrange a trip there at some point as Aircraft Avionics and Engineering is something I would love to pursue as a career and it would be great to get to time looking around these facilities. <br />

 

You're welcome. Toulouse is easy to get to either by car or with Easyjet or British Airways from London. Good luck with trying to work in avionics too. I don't have the nerve for the real thing so I stick to simming! I'm sure Rockwell Collins in the road off Blagnac probably do internships if people are interested!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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Gee, I can't beleive no one has mentioned the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. I visited it in 1984 and it was spectacular. It has almost tripled in size since then. I am going back to revisit next month and am so looking forward to the trip.

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Ive been to the Air and Space museum in Washington DC and the one out by Washington Dulles Airport.

 

Been to the http://www.airlinehistorymuseum.com/index_old.htm Airline History Museum, where one of the last flying Super Constellations is nested, they also have a flyable Martin 404, and a DC-3, all three in TWA markings.

 

The http://www.combatairmuseum.org/ in Topeka Kansas is a nice museum also.

 

I loved the http://www.strategicairandspace.com/ The SAC museum

 

The http://www.airpowermuseum.org/ The Confederate Air Force museum at Midland Odessa airport in Texas

 

The http://www.museumofflight.org/ In Seattle Washington near Boeing Field was a neat place, and they have a Concorde there.

 

And ive also taken the Boeing Plant tour at KPAE, which not quite a museum, is still a must see.

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Hi!

 

Many thanks again for the new info and links. Looks like there are a lot of cool aviation museums in the US which I need to visit someday if I can!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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Hi!

 

 

 

Many thanks for the interesting (albeit rather anonymous) reccommendations!

 

The Kansas National Airline History Museum definitely looks like an interesting place.

 

In particular this page:

 

http://www.airlinehi...?page=simulator

 

I am not of the Lockheed Constellation era but it would definitely be a lot of fun to try this if/when they complete it!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

 

Pierre i live in Kansas City and i visit the Airline History museum about once a year. They have a flying Super Constellation, a flying Martin 404, and a soon to be flying DC-3. The DC-3 was a derelict and they have restored it to mint condition with brand new engines. I have flown in the Constellation and it was quite the experience. I will go down there in a couple weeks again and take some pictures for you.

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Hi!

 

Pierre i live in Kansas City and i visit the Airline History museum about once a year. They have a flying Super Constellation, a flying Martin 404, and a soon to be flying DC-3. The DC-3 was a derelict and they have restored it to mint condition with brand new engines. I have flown in the Constellation and it was quite the experience. I will go down there in a couple weeks again and take some pictures for you.

 

Many thanks. Please only take pics if you feel like it though and it doesn't detract from the experience of the visit. I can't imagine how much work it takes to restore such aircraft to flying conditon but those engineers must be pretty talented guys!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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I'm going to have to brag here and say I have the best Wife in the world. She always surprises me with aviation stuff for me. Only if she liked Formula 1 too then she would be the best human ever, like me :P :rolleyes:

 

For my first birthday we were together for she took me to Dr. Bird's Aviation Museum. Dr. Bird invented the medical respirator and from that money he bought many airplanes and started a museum and inventors hall so much to see in the middle of no where Idaho. He also has a restoration hangar where all the airplanes are kept in a ready to fly state.

http://www.birdaviat....com/index.html

 

We've been to the Museum of Flight at Boeing. This one has just about everything possible and takes all day to see and read it all. I actually wanted to leave before my wife did.

http://www.museumofflight.org/

 

The Pacific Aviation Museum is another one we both love. See the buildings that were standing during the attack are amazing.

http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/

 

Not really a museum but a fun hike to do on Oahu is the Aiea Loop Hike which has a crashed B-24 off the cliff of the trail.

http://oahuhiking.com/aiea.htm

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Hi!

 

I'm going to have to brag here and say I have the best Wife in the world. She always surprises me with aviation stuff for me. Only if she liked Formula 1 too then she would be the best human ever, like me :P :rolleyes:

 

For my first birthday we were together for she took me to Dr. Bird's Aviation Museum. Dr. Bird invented the medical respirator and from that money he bought many airplanes and started a museum and inventors hall so much to see in the middle of no where Idaho. He also has a restoration hangar where all the airplanes are kept in a ready to fly state.

http://www.birdaviat....com/index.html

 

We've been to the Museum of Flight at Boeing. This one has just about everything possible and takes all day to see and read it all. I actually wanted to leave before my wife did.

http://www.museumofflight.org/

 

The Pacific Aviation Museum is another one we both love. See the buildings that were standing during the attack are amazing.

http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/

 

Not really a museum but a fun hike to do on Oahu is the Aiea Loop Hike which has a crashed B-24 off the cliff of the trail.

http://oahuhiking.com/aiea.htm

 

Many thanks for the info and links. That Bird Aviation museum looks really cool but they are all good really. Oahu looks like a really beautiful place too.

 

You're speaking of crashed aircraft got me thinking of one I saw back in 1996 while on a trip to Paunganisu a small village on the North coast of Efate Island in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Vanuatu has lots of historical stuff from the US in World War II, mostly just lying around untouched. I found the history very interesting when I was there. Anyway here are a couple of shots of a WWII crashed plane just off the coast there. I think someone told me a short story about it. Apologies if the pilot died, I mean no disresect.

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks.

 

P.

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Yeah it is amazing all the things that are still around from WWII

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Hi!

 

Yeah it is amazing all the things that are still around from WWII

 

Yes Vanuatu was filled with US World War II stuff. I mean it wasn't everywhere but every now and then it would show up. I have a pic of a friend standing next to a gas pump in a gas station straight out of the US1950's by a white sand beach in the middle of the Pacific. Some of the guys and women who lived there would set up old empty coke bottles and other small stuff by the side of the road to buy with a small jar to put donations or money if you wanted something. And the town of Luganville in Santo was pretty much built like a US midwest town. It has a big main street and used to have a cinema and all this other stuff. Now the Americans have all left (well besides the few PeaceCorps guys there now) but the huge street and some American buildings remain.

 

Sorry if I'm getting very boring! Many thanks.

 

P.

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i recently went to the Museum of Aviation @ Robbins AFB. its the second largest AF museum behind the one in ohio.

 

 

 

They have some really nice exhibits inside; I was mostly interested in the SR71 on display.

 

Its worth a trip if you're anywhere close by; admission is free.

 

http://www.museumofaviation.org/

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Hi!

 

i recently went to the Museum of Aviation @ Robbins AFB. its the second largest AF museum behind the one in ohio.

 

They have some really nice exhibits inside; I was mostly interested in the SR71 on display.

 

Its worth a trip if you're anywhere close by; admission is free.

 

http://www.museumofaviation.org/

 

Many thanks for the link and post. it looks like a cool museum. The Sr-71 is definitely an aircraft that catures my imagination! (That and Firefox!).

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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Well it seems that everyone's input so far has been from the otherside of the globe. I'd love to one day visit some of the museums overseas but so far my visits have all been at home within Australia.

 

Whilst not solely aviation based, my favourite has been the Australian War Memorial: http://www.awm.gov.au/

The variety of aircraft is fairly small but they all have a deep history and the other exhibits are also excellent.

 

RAAF Museum Point Cook: http://www.airforce.gov.au/raafmuseum/index.htm

A nice collection of aircraft with historical importance to the RAAF. As well as flying displays of some of the old training aircraft and their P-51.

 

Australian National Aviation Museum: http://www.aarg.com.au/

A decent selection of old aircraft here, unfortunately some of them are not in the best condition as they are stored outside, but there are some nice aircraft displayed indoors.

 

And whilst not strictly museums, I've also been to the past 9 Avalon International Airshows, a trip over to Edinburgh Airbase for the ADF airshow courtesy of Defence Force Recruiting which included a personal tour inside an AP-3C Orion and a shot at flying the P-3 in the full motion sim on base.

 

I also had 2 weeks flight experience at ADF BFTS as part of my application to join the RAAF which just happened to coincide with a reunion so we had a number of ADF aircraft fly in while we were there.

 

Walking out to the flight line to jump in the trusty CT-4B (as in my pic) and seeing what I could potentially could be flying in the future (P/C-9, BAE Hawk) parked next to you was pretty awesome. I can only dream!!

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Hi!

 

Many thanks for the post and nice to hear a bit about aviation from a part of the World not talked about much in these forums (from what I'm aware!). In particular the Australian National Aviation museum looks definitely my kinda thing, especially liked the page about Australian made aircraft which I knew little about.

 

Good luck with the RW flying career!

 

Many thanks,

 

P.

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