An aviation museum, air museum, or aerospace museum is a museum exhibiting the history and artifacts of aviation. In addition to actual, replica or accurate reproduction aircraft, exhibits can include photographs, maps, models, dioramas, clothing and equipment used by aviators.
Aviation museums vary in size from housing just one or two aircraft to hundreds. They may be owned by national, regional or local governments or be privately owned. Some museums address the history and artifacts of space exploration as well, illustrating the close association between aeronautics and astronautics.
Many aviation museums concentrate on military or civil aviation, or on aviation history of a particular era, such as pioneer aviation or the succeeding "golden age" between the World Wars, aircraft of World War II or a specific type of aviation, such as gliding.
Aviation museums may display their aircraft only on the ground or fly some of them. Museums that do not fly their aircraft may have decided not to do so either because the aircraft are not in condition to fly or because they are considered too rare or valuable. Museums may fly their aircraft in air shows or other aviation related events, accepting the risk that flying them entails.
Some museums have sets of periodicals, technical manuals, photographs and personal archives. These are often made available to aviation researchers for use in writing articles or books or to aircraft restoration specialists working on restoring an aircraft.
- Canada Aviation Museum (n.d.). "Our Mission and Vision". Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (n.d.). "Canadian Warplane Heritage About Us". Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- Vintage Wings of Canada. "About Vintage Wings of Canada". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- Canada Aviation Museum (n.d.). "Library and Archives Holdings". Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- Royal Air Force Museum UK Retrieved on 2013-03-24.
- "Air and Space Museums". Museum International. XLIX (3). July 1997. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- Tidwell, Robert William (December 2000). Uncommon Ground: Aviation Collections and the Lack of Standardized Collection Management Practices (Thesis). Texas Tech University. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
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