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Aviation Education for All Ages Takes Flight At the Museum of Aviation

By Pamela Sosnowski

If you're in the Warner Robins area and looking for a fun family activity, a visit to the Museum of Aviation is not to be overlooked. Situated on over 50 acres next to Robins Air Force Base, the museum houses a large collection of U.S. Air Force aircraft, missiles, cockpits and exhibits to interest visitors of all ages. Best of all, admission and parking is free.

"The Museum of Aviation is the second largest Air Force museum in the United States, housing four exhibit buildings," Jenny Maas, the director of operations, said.

If you're in the Warner Robins area and looking for a fun family activity, a visit to the Museum of Aviation is not to be overlooked. Situated on over 50 acres next to Robins Air Force Base, the museum houses a large collection of U.S. Air Force aircraft, missiles, cockpits and exhibits to interest visitors of all ages. Best of all, admission and parking are free.

"Each exhibit is developed to tell the stories of our veterans and war heroes," Maas said. "Our museum is the perfect place for veterans to come and share the stories of their contribution to the United States Air Force with their families."

Entirely run by over 100 volunteers, many of them veterans themselves, the museum first opened in 1984 with 40 aircraft, at least half of which were in various stages of restoration. Today there are 85 aviation machines on display of every military function including bombers, fighter jets, cargo planes, helicopters, and more. The museum is dedicated to honoring the legacy of veterans that served in the Air Force, as well as their families, and educating visitors of all ages about the airborne forces and flight in general.

Both guided and self-guided tours are available, and the museum has also become a popular destination for school field trips. A playground and picnic area can also be found in front of the building for families to enjoy before or after viewing the exhibits.

"We have a world class STEM education center which reaches out to more than 52,000 students and teachers throughout the state of Georgia each year," Maas said. "Some of the programs that we offer to students include guided tours, Mission Quest simulator programs, summer camps and Young Astronauts Day."

The STEM summer camps hosted by the museum are a popular draw, selling out early each year. The six-week long programs for pre-K through 12th grade students offer engaging, hands-on learning in specific areas including cooking, robotics, space, and more to help prepare youth for the future workforce. One of the most popular camps is the Mission Quest simulator program, where participants learn the principles of flying and even get to navigate a simulator.

The Museum of Aviation also hosts several special events for the Warner Robins community throughout the year, including its annual Wings and Wheels car show and the Georgia Invitational Golf Tournament which features a "Plantation Supper" held in the Century of Flight Hangar for all players.

Whenever possible, the museum invites special guests to give talks and contribute to its exhibits.

"Last summer we were fortunate enough to have a 93 year-old former Tuskegee Airman come to speak at the museum about his experiences being one of the first African American military pilots in the United States," Maas said. "The Museum of Aviation is one of the few museums that offer this unique exhibit."

The museum is open daily except for select holidays and also features a gift shop and the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, located in the Century of Flight Hangar.

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