National Naval Aviation Museum

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National Naval Aviation Museum
National Naval Aviation Museum is located in Florida
National Naval Aviation Museum
Location within Florida
Established 1962
Location Pensacola, Florida
Coordinates 30°20′58″N 87°18′13″W / 30.349580°N 87.303582°W / 30.349580; -87.303582
Type United States Navy Seal U.S. Navy
The Blue Angel Atrium in the National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum, formerly known as the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Naval Aviation Museum, is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The museum was established 14 December 1962 with the initial facility located in a cramped 8,500 square foot building aboard the air station that had been erected during World War II and which was dedicated in June 1963. The Phase I portion of the current facility was dedicated Sunday 13 April 1975, although it had been informally open since November 1974. Construction of the new location began in November 1972.[1]

The museum is devoted to the history of naval aviation, including that of the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps, and the United States Coast Guard. Its mission is "to select, collect, preserve and display” appropriate memorabilia representative of the development, growth and historic heritage of United States Naval Aviation.[2] More than 150 aircraft and spacecraft are on display, including four former Blue Angel A-4 Skyhawks, the Curtiss NC-4 (the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic), U. S. Coast Guard helicopters, biplanes, a K-47 Airship control gondola and tail fin, an aircraft that President George H. W. Bush trained in, and the S-3 Viking used to transport President George W. Bush to the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 (see Navy One). These historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the Museum's 300,000 square feet (30,000 m2) of exhibit space and outside on the Museum's 37-acre (150,000 m2) grounds. The museum also functions in coordination with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM or NAVAIR) as the Navy's program manager for nearly all other retired Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft on display aboard U.S. military installations in the United States or overseas, or in numerous other museums or public displays. In a similar manner to U.S. Air Force aircraft on loan from the NMUSAF's collection which remain under official USAF ownership, these other American-preserved naval aircraft continue to remain the property of the Department of the Navy and are typically identified at these locations as being "On Loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum."

In addition to the displays, the museum operates an IMAX theatre, museum store, and cafe. The Cubi Point Café is itself an exhibit as it displays squadron memorabilia from the closed NAS Cubi Point Officers' Club.[3] Also the museum is the home of the National Flight Academy, a 6-day program designed (in partnership with the Escambia and Santa Rosa school districts) to teach 7th through 12th grade students about the importance of science and math in aerospace careers. The Academy is currently planning a 245,000-square-foot (22,800 m2) expansion to the museum which would add classroom and dormitory space for the students during their stay.

The museum is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Parking and admission to the museum are free, though donations are welcome. Some exhibits inside the museum, such as the theatre, charge separate admission.

Practice demonstrations by the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, may be viewed from the museum most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings between March and November. These practices are weather permitting, and a tentative practice schedule may be viewed on the Blue Angels’ website.

Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, a retired Navy captain, former Navy fighter pilot and former Blue Angel demonstration pilot, was the former director and reported to the Naval History & Heritage Command. He hand-sculpted many of the statues and painted many of the watercolor and oil paintings in the museum as well.[citation needed] He retired in 2014 and was replaced by Captain Sterling Gilliam.[4]


F-14A Tomcat in front of the National Naval Aviation Museum
F-14A Tomcat on display in front of the National Naval Aviation Museum

See also[edit]

Naval aviation museums[edit]

United States museums[edit]



  1. ^ Coleman, J. F., "Welcome Aboard the New Naval Aviation Museum", All Hands - The Magazine of the U.S. Navy, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., April 1975, Volume 52, Issue Number 699, pages 3-4.
  2. ^ Coleman, J. F., "Welcome Aboard the New Naval Aviation Museum", All Hands - The Magazine of the U.S. Navy, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., April 1975, Volume 52, Issue Number 699, pages 3-4.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Davis, Marketta (1 January 2016). "National Naval Aviation Museum welcomes new director". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 

External links[edit]