The Air and Military Museum in Fayetteville
With National Aviation Day on August 19, this is a great month to check out the Arkansas Air and Military Museum in Fayetteville. Official Kids Mag did just that and we’d like to give you a little preview… but, seriously, go see it for yourself!!
The museum is located at the Drake Field airport in Fayetteville, in a giant, wooden white airplane hangar that still smells like wood when you walk inside. The location itself is part of Arkansas and American history, because it was used to train aviators during World War II. It’s on the register of historic places and it’s a really cool, old place…some even say it is haunted!!
Hallie Cartwright came here to visit when she was 10 years old and fell in love with aviation and military history. She started volunteering at the museum and when she graduated high school began working there.
“It’s important to look at the past in order to make our future better,” she points out.
There are three large buildings to explore, plus the open areas with the museum’s huge collection of artifacts, aircraft and vehicles. There is a LOT to see. The best thing about the museum is that you can wander around and get up-close to all the displays. Follow the arrows on the floor to make sure that you see everything! Or if you have a group of eight or more, you can call ahead and arrange for a tour.
The museum buildings are filled with military and civilian aircraft, including vintage and newer planes, helicopters, experimental aircraft, plus trucks, military ambulances and other vehicles, engines, radios, historic photos, uniforms, and artifacts. There are medals, patches, plus guns, knives, mess kits, recruitment posters and more.
It’s the only place around to see a WWII bomber, Vietnam-era Army helicopters, Navy jet fighters…they even have Sam Walton’s first plane! The historic aircraft in the Arkansas Air & Military Museum are unusual among air museum exhibits, because many of them still fly.
While you’re there, you’ll learn all about Arkansans’ contributions to aviation and military history. If you love history, military paraphernalia or airplanes, this is the place for you!
There’s a great gift shop too with lots of goodies for kids and collectors. A special event coming up (see details at right) allows people (kids too!) to take a ride in a vintage airplane. Hallie highly recommends the experience. And although she hasn’t decided if she’s going to learn to fly herself, she has advice for kids who are thinking about it, “Go for it! We need more pilots!”
Story and photos by Karen Rice | OfficialKidsMag.com