Los Angeles 411: Museum of Flying, Santa Monica
For all those flight enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area and beyond, Santa Monica's Museum of Flying is a perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon. The museum was founded by Donald Douglas Jr., second president of the Douglas Aircraft Company and thus first opened its doors as the Douglas Museum and Library in 1974. Over the years, it was felt that displaying aircraft would add to the overall appeal of the museum, so an original collection of vintage aircraft joined to museum displays in 1989, with an emphasis on World War II fighter aircraft. Today, the Museum of Flying is still located at the Santa Monica Airport, but at a new building opened in 2012.
Today, the Museum of Flying presents an exhibit and display area of 22,000 square feet with over twenty aircraft and chronicles the history of flight beginning with a replica of the Wright Flyer through the jet age, with an emphasis on the museum's heritage of Douglas Aircraft and many more. The museum has on display, the history of the Santa Monica Airport itself. The array of exhibits at the Museum of Flying include: Early Aviation Hangar Bay; Aircraft Display Gallery; Children’s Area; Museum Screening Room and Outdoor Aircraft Display Plaza.
The museum also prides itself on its hands-on interactive and education center for children that includes a T-33 cockpit trainer, a Convair 240 nose, and the K-3 mini flight simulator (ages 4 to 9) that will teach children about pitch, yaw, and roll. Other special features that big kids and adults would enjoy include: a Museum Theater on the second floor, a Max Flight FS3000 (360 degree flight simulator), and the Douglas Aircraft Boardroom (by reservation only).
The museum has hosted many special events including annual gala events honoring heroes of aviation and anniversary celebrations, including tributes to the Tuskegee Airman and a 60thanniversary celebration of the Battle of Britain. When the 2012 museum opened, it also included a salute to the Douglas Aircraft Company with a monument to the iconic Douglas DC-3 aircraft.
The Museum of Flight is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 5pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children (ages 6-12) and children five and younger are FREE! The Museum of Aviation is located at 3100 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, California 90405. For more information, please call: (310) 398-2500.
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