What a long day We started out at the Pima Air Museum at 9:00 am and took the tram it was about 1hour long and you talk about a tour guide that knows his stuff this guy was top notch One can Walk the line of aircraft but at 75 and sunny and were old we Op to ride and were glad we did after the ride I walked the 4 museums We think this one tops the cake for all kinds of vintage planes Lots of staff to answer anything you could think of And the place was spotless clean o We left about 3:00 Back to the 5er take a nap,, poop,, the dogs,, and off to Dusty trails To link up with AzSteve and his lovely wife Grace Now we're in Las Cruces NM at Walmart campgrounds Back parking lot,, Did I say frees good,, We're stopping in El Paso at the El Paso connection ( need Trinkets to trade with the natives) this is one place to do that for sure We're looking at taking 2 days at San Antonio to do the river walk and the Alamo Or more like one day to do both and rest the next As it stands now it,s no stops till cocoa ??? PIMA AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
The museum enjoys an international reputation as one of the best anywhere. For aviation enthusiasts of all ages, PASM brings history to life.
Pima Air Museum had the humblest of beginnings. The museum was conceived in 1966 and a year later the Tucson Air Museum Foundation was incorporated as an educational on-profit organization responsible for the operation of the museum. Ten years later, on May 8, 1976, the museum opened to the public as an official Bicentennial event. The tremendous effort involved in Opening the museum was put forth solely by volunteers. Picture if you will, 75 aircraft in a bare desert setting with the only structure on the ground being a small tin shack used to sell tickets.
Few tickets were sold during the first few months of operation but, today, about 165,000 visitors a year tour the museum.
The museum receives no government funds and is supported solely by gate admissions, gift shop sales, memberships and donations. However, the museum admits all school groups grade 12 and below, at no charge. Educational packets and docent tours for the school groups are provided to make the students' visit a rewarding one. Last year, over 6000 school age children visited the museum. PASM is continually enhancing its educational programs.
As you enter Hangar #1 after leaving the ticket counter, you move toward an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the aircraft with which the Wright Brothers made history. Early aircraft such as the Waco RNF, Fleet Model 2 and the Focke-Wulf Fw-44J Stieglitz are also located in Hangar #1. Exhibits such as "Women in Aviation," "Blacks in Aviation" and a "hands-on" area are popular with those of all ages and are just a few of the exhibits located in this hangar. Out the north door of this building can be seen General Eisenhower's "Columbine" and the DC-6 used by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. The DC-6 is open for guided tours.
About 100 feet north of the DC-6 is the Space Gallery and Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame building. In 1991, the Foundation membership voted to change the museum's name to the Pima Air & Space Museum. The Space Gallery features a full-scale mock-up of the X-15, the rocket powered aircraft that broke the envelope of space.
In 1985, then Governor Bruce Babbitt, Pima County and the City of Tucson each issued a proclamation naming the museum as the location of the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame. To date, a total of 26 individuals have been inducted. Among the 26 are former Senator Barry Goldwater and astronaut Frank Borman.
Leaving the Space Gallery and walking southwest past the SR-71 Blackbird, the world's fastest jet aircraft, you arrive at Hangar #3. This hangar houses the B-24 Liberator bomber, one of about 12 known to exist, the B-25, A-26, TG-6 and other World War II-era aircraft. A new display, "World War II Combat Gliders" was dedicated on the 50th anniversary of D-Day June 6, 1994. Immediately south of this building is Hangar #4 which houses the B-29 and C-46 aircraft, among others. A formal dedication was held in October during a reunion of the 330th Bomb Group to which this B-29 was assigned during World War II.
The 390th Memorial Museum is located in the center of the grounds and houses the B-17. Its exhibits detail the unit's World War II operations in the European Theater while assigned to the 8th Air Force. It is a museum within a museum
With about 65 acres of display area, comfortable shoes are a must. A walk through the museum takes about three hours but one could easily spend all day. A tram operates daily weather permitting. Cost is $2 and the tram ticket is valid for the entire day.