For those people interested in military history or airplanes, there is certainly no shortage of museums available to feed that passion, and the biggest advantage they offer is the chance to view and study hundreds of artifacts regarding the military, history, and of course, lots of airplanes. These museums are the perfect way to celebrate your love of aviation, and they will never disappoint.
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Everyone is aware of how large and important the Atlanta Airport is, but the state of Georgia offers other aviation involvements dating back to 1907, when Ben Epps built the first airplane in the state.
There are many other names in aviation history of people who came from Georgia, including Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I ace; John H. Towers, who played an important role in the Pacific Theater of World War II; John W. Young, astronaut; Charles Dryden, one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen; and Belford D. Maule, who founded Maule Air, one of the smallest, but most successful, aircraft manufacturers in the country.
Georgia is also home to a total of 13 aviation museums, which consist of thousands of artifacts such as photographs, uniforms, airplanes, old documents, and many others.
You can visit these museums to explore all types of aviation interests, so whether you’re interested in history, airplanes, or just love to learn more about the country we live in, visiting one will never let you down.
1. Delta Flight Museum (Atlanta)
This museum is open every day except for Wednesday, but it has special hours for certain exhibits, so it’s best to check with them before you pay them a visit. While you’re there, you can visit aircraft such as the WACO 125, Boeing 747-451, Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStar, Stinson SR-8D Reliant, and the Travel Air 6-B, among others. They even offer DC-3 tours the first Tuesday of every month.
2. National Museum of Commercial Aviation (Atlanta)
The current hours and times for this museum can be found at www.nationalaviationmuseum.com and one of the aircraft it features is a Martin 404 that was previously owned by musician Ray Charles. Among the other airplanes housed there are the Boeing 727-22C and a Fokker F27-500 Friendship. You can also contact them by phone at 404-675-9266.
3. National Infantry Museum (Columbus)
This museum is open every day except Monday most days of the year and is free to the public, although a $5 donation is encouraged and very much appreciated. There is a great gift shop for buying souvenirs, and the museum is home to planes such as the Bell UH-1H Iroquois, WACO CG-4A Hadrian, Douglas C-47A Skytrain, and the Sikorsky CH-43A Choctaw, among others. Additional details on the museum can be found by visiting them at nationalinfantrymuseum.org.
4. Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park (Cordele)
Open daily most days of the year, the museum houses not only aircraft, but also military uniforms, medals, armored vehicles, weapons, and many other items used from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. Some of its aircraft include the Bell UH-1H Iroquois, Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, Boeing RB-29A Superfortress, and the North American FJ-4B Fury. You can get additional details by visiting them at www.gastateparks.org/GeorgiaVeterans.
5. World War II Flight Training Museum (Douglas)
Open Thursday through Saturday most days of the year, this museum accepts donations as a fee for entering and houses aircraft such as the Lockheed T-33A, Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk 1a, North American XP-82 Twin Mustang, and the Douglas C-47A Dakota, among others. The flying school campus is always open, and there is a restoration hangar that is usually open during regular business hours. You can find out additional information by visiting them at http://wwiiflighttraining.org.
6. 6th Cavalry Museum (Fort Oglethorpe)
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday most of the year, and there is a gift shop for those who wish to bring home some great souvenirs. The Fighting 6th Cavalry was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe from 1919 to 1942, and this museum is dedicated to the rich history behind it. If you’re interested in local military history, this is one museum that should be on your to-do list. You can find out more about them by visiting them at http://6thcavalrymuseum.org.
7. Aviation Wing of the Marietta Museum of History (Marietta)
Open Thursday through Saturday, the aviation wing is an outdoor park and, therefore, its hours of operation are contingent upon the weather. From aircraft manufacturing to more, Marietta has played an important role in military history, and some of the planes housed at this facility include the Lockheed S-3B Viking, Bell UH-1C Iroquois, Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, and the Douglas A4D-1 Skyhawk, to name a few.
8. Aircraft Spruce and Special Collection (Peachtree City)
This facility is not an actual museum, but is instead an aircraft supply store. It is open every day except Sunday and houses aircraft that includes the Stolp SA.500L Starlet, the Mong MS-1 Sport, and the Pitts SC-1 Special. You can find additional information by visiting them at www.aircraftspruce.com.
9. Commemorative Air Force – Dixie Wing (Peachtree City)
This facility is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and if you’ve seen the movie Tora, Tora, Tora, you’ve seen a few of the aircraft housed there. They include the Mitsubishi Zero and the Nakajima Navy B5N Kate. They house other planes as well, including the Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, North American P-51D Mustang, Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, and the Fairchild PT-26 Cornell, among others. You can learn more by visiting them at www.dixiewing.org.
10. Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum (Pooler)
This museum is open daily throughout most of the year and has a gift shop you can visit once you’re finished with the tour. They also have over a dozen different aircraft to view and study, including the Boeing TB-47B Stratojet, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17F, a cockpit of a Consolidated B-24J Liberator, and the North American P-51D Mustang, to name a few. You can contact them at www.mightyeighth.org to get additional details on the facility.
11. Power of the Past Museum (Thomasville)
Located at the Thomasville Regional Airport on GA 122, the best time of the year to see everything up close and personal is the second weekend in October during the Thomasville Fly-In event. What makes the facility unique is that it consists of several antique planes, engines, and other memorabilia that come from the private collection of the James Dekle family. These include the Travel Air 2000 and the WACO RNF. You can get additional information by visiting www.powerofthepast.org.
12. Museum of Aviation (Warner Robins)
The museum is open daily throughout most of the year and is free to visit. There are dozens of airplanes on exhibit there, so you’ll never run out of things to see and study. Some of those planes include the De Havilland C-7B Caribou, Convair F-106A Delta Dart, Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, and the Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, among others. It is located next to Robins Air Force Base and is home to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.
13. Candler Field Museum (Williamson)
Located next to the runway at the Peach State Aerodrome, the museum houses airplanes such as the Curtiss JN-4D Jenny, WACO YMF-5, Stearman 6L, Douglas DC-3A, and the Curtiss 50 Robin C-1, among others. You can find out more about the museum by contacting them at 770-227-9989 or by visiting their website at www.peachstateaero.com. It is located one mile west of Williamson, Georgia.