Pima Air & Space Museum
From early airplanes and fighter jets to stealth bombers and a space capsule, Pima Air & Space Museum covers 100 years of aviation history. More than 300 aircraft and spacecraft are on display in hangars, galleries and outside areas.
Start your visit in Hangar 1 to see vintage planes and a full-scale replica of the Wright Flyer, one of the world’s first powered aircraft. While there, let your children try the hands-on activities, working the flying controls in a replica cockpit and turning on runway lights from a control tower exhibit.
Military history buffs will love Hangars 3 and 4 where World War II aircraft are on display including planes used by the German Luftwaffe. Take the controls of one of the flight training simulators.
Observe aircraft restoration at Hangar 5. You’ll find up to a dozen planes, engines or other pieces of equipment being worked on. Learn about developments in space exploration at the space gallery. See one of the training capsules used by the first astronauts to walk on the moon.
One of the museum’s highlights is the Air Force One aircraft used by presidents Kennedy and Johnson. This version of a Douglas DC-6 airliner is displayed in one of the outside areas. Nearby you’ll see the first helicopter certified to carry the President of the United States, used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.
For an additional fee take the narrated tram tour around the exterior exhibits. Former pilots serve as volunteer guides, sharing personal anecdotes of their years of service flying many of the aircraft. Guided walking tours of the indoor exhibits are included with the general admission price.
Located on East Valencia Road, the museum is 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) from Tucson International Airport. There is no public transportation service to the museum, but car parking is free.
Pima Air & Space Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission charges vary by age and season. Plan to spend at least four hours touring the aviation and space artifacts. An on-site restaurant has views of the outdoor collection.