If you’re an airplane or history buff, you definitely owe it to yourself to visit a good aviation museum in the state of Washington. Not only are these facilities great places to learn, but they provide a lot of hands-on fun and activities that will make each visit a little different. They provide hundreds of artifacts for you to enjoy that always includes numerous aircraft that you can get up close and personal with.
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The airline giant Boeing got its start in Washington State in 1916, but they aren’t the only aerospace firms in the state. Others include AIM Aerospace, SpaceX, Safran, Aviation Technical Services, and Astronics, to name a few.
In fact, the state offers various tax breaks and incentives for aerospace companies that wish to set up and do business there, making it even more attractive for these businesses to come to the state.
If you’re interested in visiting a great aerospace and aviation museum, you’re in luck because Washington State has a total of 16 of these facilities.
Not only do they house some of the most significant aircraft in American history, but they each offer hundreds of artifacts that include everything from old photographs to military uniforms, and everything in between. Keep reading for a more detailed description of each of these museums.
1. Heritage Flight Museum (Burlington)
Open for visits on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the museum is home to several dozen aircraft, including the Interstate S-1A, Northrop F-89 J Scorpion, Mitsubishi A6M Zero (Harvard Mk.IV), and the North American P-51D Mustang, among others. You can get additional information by contacting them at 360-733-4422.
2. North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum (Concrete)
The museum is open on different days depending on the season, and it houses dozens of aircraft. This includes the Ryan ST-A Special, Luscombe 8A, Piper PA-22-108 Colt, and the Cessna 150-J, among others. You can find out more about the facility by visiting their website at http://vintageaircraftmuseum.org or by calling them at 360-770-4848. There is a nominal fee for visiting this museum.
3. Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum (Everett-Paine Field)
This museum is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and every day except Monday the rest of the year. There is a fee for admission to the facility, and you even have access to a gift shop in case you’d like to find the perfect souvenir once your visit is complete. Among the many airplanes housed in the facility are the Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, Bell UH-1B Iroquois, and the Fieseler Fi103 V-1, to name a few. You can contact them at www.flyingheritage.com for additional information on the facility.
4. Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour (Everett-Paine Field)
Boeing tours are offered every hour, on the hour, starting at 9:00 a.m., and the facility is open every day of the year most of the time. In addition to aircraft, they also house landing gear, engines, and various models, and their collection of planes includes the Rutan Quickie, Beech Starship 2000A, Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III, and the Diamond HK-36TTC Super Dimona, to name a few. You can also visit their website at www.futureofflight.org.
5. The Museum of Flight Restoration Center (Everett-Paine Field)
Open either two or three days a week depending on the season, this museum is home to dozens of aircraft, including the Task Silhouette, Lockheed P-80C Shooting Star, Bell UH-1H Iroquois, and the Bowers Flybaby prototype, among others. You can get additional details by visiting their website at http://museumofflight.org/Explore-The-Museum/Aircraft-Restoration.
6. Lewis Army Museum (JB Lewis-McChord)
Open Wednesday through Saturday, admission to the museum is free, but donations are both encouraged and greatly appreciated. There is a gift shop to help you get the perfect souvenir at the end of your visit, and its hundreds of artifacts include military art, uniforms, weapons, and lots of other memorabilia associated with the United States Army. The Bell UH-1H Iroquois is displayed there, and you can get the details you need by visiting their website at www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/dptms/museum/museum.htm.
7. McChord Air Museum (JB Lewis-McChord)
Open Wednesday through Saturday and free to the public, this museum houses dozens of aircraft that include the McDonnel CF-101F Voodoo, Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II, Douglas DC-47B Skytrain, and the North American F-86D Sabre, among others. Other artifacts include engines, badges, bombs, uniforms, and much more.
8. Historic Flight at Kilo-7 (Mukilteo)
This museum is open every day except Monday and even has a gift shop for you to enjoy. Some of the aircraft displayed there include the Beech RC-45J Expeditor, WACO UPF-7, Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat, and the Piper L-4J Grasshopper, to name a few. They can be reached at www.historicflight.org.
9. PBY Memorial Foundation Naval Heritage Center (Oak Harbor)
Open Wednesday through Sunday, the facility has a gift shop and commemorates all wars starting with World War II through today. It promises to both educate and entertain, so if you’re a history or aviation buff, this is the place to be. You can find out additional information by visiting their website at www.pbymf.org.
10. Olympic Flight Museum (Olympia)
The museum is open every day except Monday and houses aircraft such as the Bell AH-1P Cobra, Hughes OH-6A Cayuse, Cessna A-37B Dragonfly, British Aircraft Corporation Strikemaster 84, and the North American T-28A Trojan, among others. You can visit their website at www.olympicflightmuseum.org or call them at 360-705-3925 for additional details.
11. Port Townsend Aero Museum (Port Townsend)
Open Wednesday through Sunday and consisting of an on-site gift shop, the museum houses dozens of aircraft that include the Ryan PT-22 Recruit, Heath Parasol, De Havilland Gypsy Moth, and the Aeronca 7AC Champion, to name a few. Additional details can be found at www.ptaeromuseum.com.
12. Museum of History and Industry (Seattle)
Open daily most days of the year, this museum houses the Boeing 6 B-1 and has a great gift shop for those who wish to find the perfect souvenir after their visit is complete. To get additional details, you can call 206-324-1126 or visit them online at www.mohai.org.
13. The Museum of Flight (Seattle – Boeing Field)
This museum is open daily throughout most of the year and they offer a massive collection of aircraft that includes the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, Goodyear F2G-1 Super Corsair, Douglas DWC World Cruiser, and replicas of both the Wright 1902 glider and the Wright 1903 flyer, among others. Visit their website at www.museumofflight.org for additional details.
14. Historic Flight Foundation (Spokane)
This museum is open Thursday through Sunday and is home to dozens of artifacts, not to mention aircraft such as the Travel Air 4000, Boeing Stearman A75N1 Kaydet, Hamilton Metalplane H-47, Beechcraft D17S Staggerwing, and the Douglas DC-3, among others. You can contact them at 509-535-6000 for additional information.
15. Honor Point Military & Aerospace Museum (Spokane)
This museum is open Thursday through Sunday and can be contacted by calling 509-244-0244. A few of their many aircraft include the McDonnell F-101B Voodoo, Stearman C3D, Convair F-102A Delta Dagger, and the Canadair CL-13A Sabre 5, among others. You can get additional information by visiting them online at http://honorpoint.org.
16. McAllister Museum of Aviation (Yakima)
The museum is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and it houses aircraft such as the Stinson Model 108 Voyager, Boeing 40C, Marquart Charger MA-5, and the Carbon Cub FX, among others. You can get additional information on the museum by going to www.mcallistermuseum.org or by calling them at 509-457-4933.