Polish Aviation Museum
|Polish Aviation Museum|
Yak-17UTI in front of the Polish Aviation Museum
The Polish Aviation Museum (Polish: Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie) is a large museum of old aircraft and aircraft engines in Kraków, Poland. It is located at the site of the no-longer functional Kraków-Rakowice-Czyżyny Airport. This airfield, established by Austria-Hungary in 1912, is one of the oldest in the world. The museum opened in 1964, after the airfield closed in 1963. Has been scored as eighth world's best aviation museum by CNN television.
For the first half century of its existence the museum used four hangars of the former airfield to display its exhibits. These buildings were not originally designed for this purpose and suffered from various inadequacies, notably insufficient heating in winter. The situation improved when a new main building for the museum opened on 18 September 2010.
The collection consists of over 200 aircraft as of 2005. Several of the aircraft displayed are unique on the world scale, including sailplanes and some 100 aircraft engines. Some of the exhibits are only in their initial stages. The museum houses a large aviation library and photographic archives.
The museum has 22 extremely rare airplanes that once were part of the personal collection of Hermann Göring, which before World War II were displayed in Deutsche Luftfahrtsammlung museum in Berlin. These planes were evacuated during the war to rescue them from Allied bombing (the museum itself was destroyed in air raids) and were found abandoned on Polish territory after the war ended. Contemporary museums in Germany had unofficially expressed interest in having some of these planes transferred, especially those that are of great significance to German aviation history. As of 2009 however, there was no sign that this would happen in the foreseeable future.
The museum has very few Polish planes from the years 1918-1939, as these were almost all destroyed during the Nazi German occupation of Poland, including those displayed in Polish pre-war aviation museums. The only two examples of prewar Polish military aircraft in the collection: a PZL P.11 (the only surviving example in the world) and a PWS-26, survived only because they were displayed as war trophies by the Germans, and so were part of the above mentioned collection acquired after the war. In addition, a few Polish pre-war civilian planes were returned by Romania after the war and eventually found their way to the museum.
In contrast, the museum has an essentially complete collection of all airplane types developed or used by Poland after 1945.
Fixed-wing motorized aircraft
More gliders in temprary storage.
- BŻ-1 GIL
- BŻ-4 Żuk
- JK-1 Trzmiel
- Mil Mi-4 A
- Mil Mi-4 ME
- WSK Mi-2 URP
- WSK Mi-2Ch
- WSK SM-1 (licence Mil Mi-1)
- WSK SM-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polish Aviation Museum.|
- Official website of the museum (in English and Polish)
- Images from the museum collected on www.airliners.net