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Good For Kids
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The former Blue Angels planes are a great display in the museum, orientated as if in flight and impressive.
National Naval Aviation Museum
Closest available address
1750 Radford Blvd., Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL 32508
Open 9-5, closed some holidays.
Best time to visit
The Naval Aviation Museum opened in 1963 on the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. It is one of the most popular museums in Florida and is in the top tier of aviation museums in the US. The facility has about 400,000 square feet of display space. There are over 700 aircraft in the museum’s collection, of which 180 are typically on display.
The museum was initiated by a naval officer named Magruder Tuttle. It was intended to help educate and inspire young aviators about prior accomplishments and aircraft. The collection quickly outgrew its facilities. The Naval Aviation Museum Association was formed to help with fundraising and museum development. A new larger facility opened in 1975, and it has expanded in size several times over the years.
This museum is excellent and will have wide appeal. A variety of aircraft are displayed indoors; guided tours are offered of aircraft outside. While planes are the primary theme, the museum also has space equipment, jet engines, model ships and military paintings. Additional attractions include flight simulators and IMAX films. Naval aviation reached a pinnacle of importance in World War II and related displays replicate military bases and domestic scenes. With so much to see, plan to spend at least half a day here. If you like to read all the signs and/or see a movie, stay longer. Pensacola also is home to the world famous Blue Angels. They typically perform March through November. Check with the museum to confirm dates and times if you want to watch these incredible pilots. Other attractions on the naval base include two 1800s era structures, Fort Barrancas and the Pensacola Lighthouse.
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