Touring an aviation museum allows you to view and study not just a lot of different airplanes and helicopters, but also tons of artifacts that include everything from military uniforms to old photographs and medals to spacesuits. These are the best aviation museums in the state of New York for you to visit.
Table of Contents
- 1. New York State Museum (Albany)
- 2. Historic Aircraft Restoration Project – HARP (Brooklyn)
- 3. Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park (Buffalo)
- 4. Grumman Memorial Park (Calverton)
- 5. National Soaring Museum (Elmira)
- 6. American Airpower Museum (Farmingdale)
- 7. Cradle of Aviation Museum (Garden City)
- 8. National Warplane Museum (Geneseo)
- 9. Empire State Aerosciences Museum (Glenville)
- 10. Glenn H. Curtiss Museum (Hammondsport)
- 11. Wings of Eagles Discovery Center (Horseheads)
- 12. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (New York)
- 13. Museum of Modern Art (New York)
- 14. Niagara Aerospace Museum (Niagara)
- 15. Oriskany Village Museum (Oriskany)
- 16. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (Red Hook)
If you have an interest in aviation and live in New York State, you’re in luck because the state is home to 16 aviation museums. There’s a lot to celebrate when you live here because there are dozens of aviators from all branches of the military who were born or raised in the state.
These include Floyd Bennett, who piloted Richard Byrd on his failed attempt at reaching the North Pole; and pilots Godfrey Rockefeller, Levi Chase, Francis May Simonds, Donald E. Adams, and Kenneth Walsh, among others.
Of course, aviation museums don’t just concentrate on local aviation experts. They also honor all branches of the military and are filled with enough artifacts to keep you there for days and still not get bored.
You can see airplanes up close and educate yourself on all aspects of aviation, and if you’re interested in learning more about the museums in New York State, keep reading.
1. New York State Museum (Albany)
Open Tuesday through Sunday, the museum is free to enter, but they accept and appreciate donations of any size. There is a gift shop for taking home great souvenirs after your visit, and it is home to aircraft such as the Fleet 8 and the Rensselaer Polytechnic RP-3. If you’d like to learn more about their current exhibitions, simply visit them online at www.nysm.nysed.gov or give them a call at 518-474-5877.
2. Historic Aircraft Restoration Project – HARP (Brooklyn)
This museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday most days of the year and is located in Hangar B of the Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. More than a dozen aircraft are housed there for you to view and study, including the Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican, Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter, Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk, and the Lockheed SP-2E Neptune, among others. You can get additional information by visiting them online at www.nps.gov/gate/index.htm.
Closed from December to March, this facility is open daily from April to October and on Saturday, Sunday, and Black Friday in November. There is a nominal admission fee to get in, as well as a great gift shop for those who wish to commemorate their visit with a special souvenir. Some of their most significant displays include the USS The Sullivans and the USS Little Rock, as well as aircraft such as the Bell UH-1H Iroquois, McDonnell TF-101B Voodoo, North American Aviation AGM-28 Hound Dog, and the Gyrodyne XHOG-1, among others.
4. Grumman Memorial Park (Calverton)
Celebrating all aircraft made by Grumman, the facility houses the Grumman A-6E Intruder and the Grumman F-14A Tomcat. It is located north of the old Grumman/Calverton airfield and is open daily most days of the year. You can visit them online at www.grummanpark.org or call them at 631-369-1826 if you need additional details on the facility itself or anything they are currently exhibiting.
5. National Soaring Museum (Elmira)
This museum is open daily from March to December and on Monday through Friday in January and February, and they charge a nominal admission fee to enter. There is a gift shop filled with great souvenirs, and all of their aircraft is either on exhibit, in storage, or being restored. The aircraft include the Hall Cherokee II RM, Berkshire Concept 70, Pratt-Read PR-G1, Schweizer SGP1-1 Primary, and a replica of the Wright glider from 1911, among others.
6. American Airpower Museum (Farmingdale)
Open on Thursday through Sunday throughout most of the year, the museum is home to dozens of aircraft, including the Lockheed T-33A, Douglas Dakota IV, Aero L-39C Albatros, General Dynamics F-111A, and the Stinson 108-2 Voyager, to name a few. If you’d like to stay current on everything the facility offers, you can call them at 631-293-6398 or visit their website at www.americanairpowermuseum.com.
7. Cradle of Aviation Museum (Garden City)
If you have a long time to devote to dozens of aircraft, this is the place to be. Just a few of the aircraft on exhibit there include the Grumman YF-14A Tomcat, Breese Penguin, Curtiss JN-4A Jenny, a replica of the Sperry-Verville M-1 Messenger, and the Peel Z-1 glider boat, among many others. This museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and some Mondays throughout the year, and they even have a gift shop filled with great souvenirs to enjoy, making it the perfect place to visit for all aviation buffs.
8. National Warplane Museum (Geneseo)
The museum is open every day from April to September and on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from October to March. There is a small admission fee to enter, and the aircraft exhibits include the Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar, Aeronca L-16 Champion, Beech UC-43 Staggerwing, and the Lockheed C-130A Hercules, among others. It is located just south of Rochester and they can be contacted at www.nationalwarplanemuseum.com.
9. Empire State Aerosciences Museum (Glenville)
This museum is open different days and hours depending on which month you visit them, and they have a gift shop in case you’d like to take home a souvenir after your visit. Located just north of Schenectady, it is home to dozens of aircraft, including the Republic F-105F Thunderchief, North American T-2C Buckeye, Chanute Glider, and the Bell UH-1H Iroquois, among others. You can stay current with the museum by visiting their website at www.esam.org.
10. Glenn H. Curtiss Museum (Hammondsport)
This museum is open daily throughout most of the year, but the hours of operation change according to the season. There is an admission fee to enter and an on-site gift shop filled with souvenirs. It is located northwest of Elmira and is home to aircraft that include the Curtiss JN-4D Jenny, Travel Air D-4D Speedwing, Putzer/Raab Doppelraab, a replica of the Aerial Experiment Association Glider, Mercury Chic T-2, and the Mercury S-1 White Racer, among others. You can visit them online at www.glennhcurtissmuseum.org for additional information about the facility.
11. Wings of Eagles Discovery Center (Horseheads)
This facility is home to dozens of aircraft, including the Piper J-3C Cub, Hughes OH-6A Cayuse, McDonnell FH-1 Phantom, and the Douglas B-26B Invader, to name a few. It is open Tuesday through Saturday nearly every day of the year, and there is also a great gift shop so you can commemorate your visit with the perfect souvenir. In addition to standard aircraft, you can also find flight simulators, engines, missiles, and both permanent and temporary exhibits. Here, they truly offer something for everyone, so you will never leave disappointed.
12. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (New York)
This museum is open daily from April to October and every day except Monday from November to March. They have an on-site gift shop to make shopping for souvenirs easy, and their aircraft exhibits include the North American F-1C Fury, Bell AH-1J Sea Cobra, Douglas XBT2D-1 Dauntless II, and the General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon, among others. You can get additional details online at www.intrepidmuseum.org.
13. Museum of Modern Art (New York)
Open daily nearly every day of the year, MOMA is one of the most well-known and popular museums in Manhattan. There is a fee to enter, but it is worth every penny because it has something of interest to everyone. It is home to the Bell 47D-1, and it can accommodate you regardless of what your interests are. You can stay current on their exhibits by visiting them at www.moma.org or by calling them at 212-708-9400.
14. Niagara Aerospace Museum (Niagara)
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, this museum highlights what makes the western New York area so significant when it comes to aviation. It houses aircraft such as the Curtiss P-1 Hawk, Bell 47, Standard Aero Corporation J-1, and a replica of the Curtiss A Pusher, among others. Other memorabilia include engines, rockets, and much more, so it is difficult to run out of things to see while you’re there.
15. Oriskany Village Museum (Oriskany)
The museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday and houses aircraft such as the Douglas NA-4E Skyhawk. It is located just north of Utica and commemorates the Battle of Oriskany, the aircraft carrier CV/CVA-34 USS Oriskany, and even the small town of Oriskany. If you’re a local or history buff, you owe it to yourself to visit the museum, because it will certainly not disappoint.
16. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (Red Hook)
Some of the many aircraft housed in this facility include the Monocoupe 90, New Standard D-25, Spartan C-3, Curtiss Wright Fledgling, Cessna A185E, and the Wright EX Vin Fiz, among others. They are open daily, but only have air shows on the weekends, and they are located north of Poughkeepsie. If you’d like to stay current on what’s happening there, you can visit their website at www.oldrhinebeck.org or call them at 845-752-3200. The air shows start at 2:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.