It’s not often included on lists of “must-dos in Colorado Springs”, but if you have a WWII or aviation buff in your family, you should definitely check out the National Museum of World War II Aviation here in the Springs. It’s located next to the Colorado Springs Airport, and recently I had the chance to check it out with my son and two of his friends. (I suspected that an aviation museum was probably not going to interest my four girls, so I swapped kids with a friend for a morning.)
The museum hosts many restored WWII-era planes, and the boys were constantly spouting out strings of letters and numbers: “Oh look, there’s a P-130-F!” I totally made that string up, but it was nice to know that they actually do absorb some information after the hours they’ve spent poring over military history books!
We chose to do a self-guided tour and go at our own pace, but they do offer docent-led tours and from the short time that we joined up with a tour, it seemed like they had some great information to share if you want to go a little slower through the museum.
There is a small area with general World War 2 artifacts like uniforms, newspapers, letters, weapons, etc.
Another hangar holds restored military vehicles and active restoration work.
A favorite part was the flight simulator, which each of the boys got to do with guidance from a former military and commercial pilot.
You can also enter the Westpac Restoration hangar, where they restore airplanes and do various repairs, with a tour guide at scheduled times throughout the day. We definitely enjoyed this part of the tour – there are some really neat planes inside (many are privately owned) and it was interesting to hear some stories of how the planes were obtained, restored, and what they do now – most of them still fly!
The signage and entrance is pretty non-descript, but they are planning to begin an expansion in spring 2018 – you can read more about this on their website. There is an admission fee to enter the museum, but they do offer a $1-$2 discount if you register and pre-pay online.
Check out the National Museum of World War II Aviation’s website for complete information on this local attraction.