Soaring Through History: My Visit to the Museum of Flying

the museum of flying

Exploring the Museum of Flying

During my visit to the Museum of Flying, I had the opportunity to delve into the rich history of aviation and experience an impressive collection of exhibits and artifacts. Let’s take a closer look at the museum’s fascinating history and some of its notable highlights.

History of the Museum

The Museum of Flying has a captivating origin story. Originally established in 1974 as the Douglas Museum and Library, it opened its doors in 1979 at 2800 Airport Avenue in Santa Monica, California. The museum was founded by Donald Douglas Jr., the second President of the Douglas Aircraft Company. Initially, the collection focused on artifacts and ephemera related to Donald Wills Douglas Sr., the Founder and President of the Douglas Aircraft Company. However, it did not include any aircraft at that time.

In the late 1980s, a new building was constructed on the north side of the Santa Monica Airport to serve as the future location of the Museum of Flying. Finally, in 1989, the museum officially opened its doors, showcasing the original collection from the Douglas Museum and Library. One of the main highlights of the museum is its notable collection of vintage aircraft, with a particular emphasis on World War II fighter aircraft.

Notable Exhibits and Artifacts

The Museum of Flying boasts an impressive array of exhibits and artifacts that take visitors on a journey through aviation history. Some of the notable highlights include:

  • Vintage Aircraft Collection: The museum houses a remarkable collection of vintage aircraft, showcasing the evolution of aviation technology over the years. From iconic World War II fighter planes to historic civilian aircraft, the collection offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.

  • The Douglas World Cruiser: One of the standout artifacts in the museum is the Douglas World Cruiser, an aircraft that made history by completing the first circumnavigation of the world by air in 1924. This remarkable feat demonstrated the potential of long-distance air travel and marked an important milestone in aviation history.

  • Historic Events and Programs: The Museum of Flying is renowned for hosting special events that celebrate aviation and aerospace achievements. From annual galas honoring aviation leaders and astronauts to tributes to renowned pilots and historic battles, the museum offers a diverse range of programs that engage and educate visitors.

If you’re interested in visiting the Museum of Flying, it is located at 3100 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. You can reach them at (310) 398-2500 or through email at Further information about the museum’s history and offerings can be found on their website.

My visit to the Museum of Flying was an incredible experience, allowing me to immerse myself in the captivating world of aviation history. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for an educational and entertaining outing, the Museum of Flying is a must-visit destination.

Highlights of the Museum

When I visited the Museum of Flying, I was captivated by its fascinating collection of aviation history. Here are some of the highlights that stood out to me:

Vintage Aircraft Collection

The Museum of Flying boasts an impressive collection of over 50 vintage aircraft, many of which were built in Southern California and are still in flight-ready condition. This extensive collection showcases the rich aviation heritage of the region (Wikipedia). From iconic World War II fighter planes to sleek and innovative designs, the vintage aircraft collection offers a glimpse into the evolution of aviation.

The Douglas World Cruiser

One of the most prominent exhibits in the Museum of Flying is the Douglas World Cruiser, named “New Orleans.” This historic aircraft made the first circumnavigation of the globe in 1924, a remarkable feat at the time. Its sister ship, “Chicago,” is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. Standing in the presence of this pioneering aircraft, I couldn’t help but marvel at the spirit of exploration and adventure that it represents.

Historic Events and Programs

The Museum of Flying has played host to numerous historic events, further enriching its significance. One such event was “A Walk on the Moon” in 1999, where seven NASA lunar astronauts were present. It was an incredible opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of their experiences and learn about the wonders of space exploration (Wikipedia).

Additionally, the museum offers programs like the children’s A’s Award Flight Program. This program rewards children who achieve the letter “A” in any academic subject with a free airplane ride. It’s a fantastic initiative that encourages learning and provides a unique and memorable experience for young minds.

Visiting the Museum of Flying was a journey through time and a celebration of human ingenuity in the field of aviation. The vintage aircraft collection, the presence of the Douglas World Cruiser, and the museum’s historic events and programs all contribute to an immersive experience that leaves visitors with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of flight.

Visiting the Museum

If you’re looking for an exciting place to experience aviation history in Los Angeles, the Museum of Flying is a must-visit destination. As a visitor, it’s important to know the location, hours of operation, admission prices, and contact information to plan your trip accordingly.

Location and Hours

The Museum of Flying is conveniently located at 3100 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Situated on the north side of the Santa Monica Airport, the museum offers easy access to aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike. There is ample parking available on the west side of the building, ensuring a hassle-free arrival (Museum of Flying).

The museum operates from Thursday to Sunday, opening at 10:00 am and closing at 4:00 pm. These new hours allow visitors ample time to explore the exhibits and immerse themselves in the world of aviation history (Museum of Flying).

Admission Prices

To experience the wonders of the Museum of Flying, admission prices are as follows:

Admission Type Price
Adults $10
Seniors (65+) $8
Students (with ID) $8
Children (3-12) $6
Children under 3 Free

The museum offers affordable entry fees, making it an ideal destination for families and individuals looking to delve into the world of aviation history. Keep in mind that prices are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the museum’s official website for the most up-to-date information.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or need further assistance, the Museum of Flying can be reached at (310) 398-2500 or through email at The museum’s friendly staff is ready to provide you with the information you need to make the most of your visit.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and educational experience, the Museum of Flying is a fantastic choice. Plan your visit, explore the exhibits, and immerse yourself in the rich aviation history that this captivating museum has to offer.

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