Only two cities are bigger than Fayetteville in that state of Arkansas. One of the major adventures that can be embarked on while visiting this beautiful, historic city is a visit to the renowned Arkansas Air and Military Museum.
Located at Drake Field in Fayetteville, the museum exhibits the rich legacy of aviation in Arkansas. Its colorful history is shown through an incredible collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and other historical items related to aviation. The museum collection is a combination of standard aircraft in-flight service condition ranging between the 1920s and 1930s.
There are also static displays of significant military aircraft coming out of the Vietnam period. Also, you will also be able to marvel at more modern planes out the post-World War II era. There are a number of vehicles and airplanes from each period in modern wartime history. The museum walls are also filled with the names of soldiers.
Upon walking into the structure, visitors enter a gift shop to buy their tickets for entry into the museum. There are a variety of exhibits besides the gift shop. These artifacts tell the tales of aviation and aviators in Arkansas, including the progress made over the years. There are tall glass booths showcasing wartime relics like bits of a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero, letters with postmarks and stamps intact, uniforms and helmets and even a class notebook that belonged to Field Eugene Kindley from Auxiliary Gunner School. There are also old newspaper clippings covering aviation news and showcasing accomplishments over the years.
The remarkable airplanes displayed in the Arkansas Air and Military Museum are rare among museum exhibits. This is because a number of them can still be flown. The static displays range from aviation’s golden age to the jet age. They include Navy carrier fighter and Vietnam-era Army helicopters.
Apart from the impressive line of aircraft, the museum displays a range of aviation engines like a Westinghouse J34, a Rolls-Royce Spey and a Curtiss OX-5. Included among the other exhibits and collections are military vehicles like jeeps, trucks, ambulances and a British Ferret armored car. There is also a 1940 Packard automobile on display. Uniforms, helmets and other smaller military artifacts are also included among the exhibits.
In addition, the Arkansas Air and Military Museum features biographical artifacts on distinguished Arkansan aviators. The cadre includes Captain Pierce McKennon, Commander Richard O. Covey and Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden, who was a pioneering female pilot. In 1929, she was the recipient of the Women’s Air Derby and in 1936, she won the Harmon Trophy. Thaden was also Amelia Earhart’s colleague and the second most renowned female pilot of the American golden age.
The Fayetteville based Museum is housed in a massive, all-wood white hangar. This location is an important aspect of American history as well. It used to be the headquarters for one of the many aviator training posts of the United States of America during the era of World War II. During this time, Drake Field was an established military base.