As long as I can remember, I’ve loved old military aircraft and rockets.
Some of my fondest memories were when my dad would take me to the annual air show at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City or when we’d run outside to spot aircraft when we heard them flying by. To this day I still do the same thing because I’ve learned to identify old WWII planes by the sound of their engines. It’s kinda hilarious to see a grown ass man tear out of a house or hotel to see an aircraft!
I will always love and appreciate those times. And it’s one reason we just had to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tuscon, Arizona.
Our Pima Air and Space Museum Review
This past March, our travels took us across Arizona. While Tuscon wasn’t our favorite place to hang out, we absolutely loved the museum and our experience.
The air show was incredible!!!
As we drove towards Pima Air and Space Museum we had the opportunity to watch an aerial display of power – the likes of which I’ve never seen. The museum is located across from Davis Mothan Air Force Base and is home to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG).
The day we arrived there were several flights of aircraft from all eras buzzing the entire field. We observed an F-22 Raptor do maneuvers I never thought possible in a fighter jet. We watched as a WWII P-51 Mustang flew alongside an A-10 Thunderbolt. There was a Corsair, an F-86D Sabre Jet, and several F-16s all doing their thing.
All of this without even walking inside the museum.
The outdoor static displays are amazing.
The Pima Air and Space Museum is not short of historic aircraft by any means. Walking the outside static displays of aircrafts is literally overwhelming because there is SO much to see.
Outside you will have the chance to get up close to a variety of planes, ranging from WWII to modern day era. They have fighters, bombers, tankers, reconnaissance, and transport aircraft. My favorites were the Blue Angels F-18 and Russian MIG-29.
It will take you a while to walk between all these planes and the hangars so wear good shoes.
The indoor static displays were priceless.
While the outdoor displays and aerial shows were awesome, stepping into the actual hangars filled with static displays was like stepping into heaven! The Pima Air and Space Museum has done a fantastic job of showcasing priceless aircraft with so much meaning.
My first pursuits were Hangars 3, 4, and 5 because my favorite planes are from the WWII era. They had a C-47 Skytrain, B-24 Liberator, P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, Hawker Hurricane, and the mighty B-29 Superfortress Sentimental Journey on display. But more than that there were several German and Japanese aircraft including a V-1 Rocket and Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka.
If modern day jets, bombers, or helicopters are your passion, they’ve got those too.
Hangar 1 is the main building and it’s filled with plenty – including the F-4 Phantom, A-10 Thunderbolt, SR-71 Blackbird, UH-1 Iroquois, and F-14 Tomcat … TOP GUN anyone?? There are over 50 aircraft displays as well as the Flight Grill and museum store.
The 390th Memorial Museum is spectacular.
When you walk the grounds of The Pima Air and Space Museum, you will find a museum within the museum. This is the Home of the B-17 Flying Fortress and the 390th Bomb Group memorial.
No words can describe the history or feeling when entering this place. From the display of the B-17 I’ll Be Around to the displays of jackets, memorabilia, and stories, you will be touched. Even more special was the chance to meet Richard Bushong, a WWII and B-17 pilot who flew 28 combat missions over Europe.
Take your time in this building if you love the history of our Flying Fortresses.
A must see when in Tucson.
I’ll wrap up this Pima Air and Space Museum review by saying this is a MUST SEE when visiting Tucson, Arizona. It’s well worth the admission price and spending an entire day to hang out at. There is so much to see and experience in this treasure of a place.