Mid-Atlantic Air Museum
The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is more than a graveyard for historic airplanes that have seen better days. Instead, this museum is a living reminder of the golden age of flight, where the development of aviation technology and design was closely intertwined with national defense and growth. From the early single-engined trainers to massive bombers used in WWII and other wars, visitors to this museum at the Carl A. Spaatz airport can discover dozens of military war planes as well as classic airliners, including historic civilian aircraft. But as other air museums simply display their historic planes, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum uses teams of volunteers to restore most of the planes to a fully functional capacity. Therefore, if a museum-goer has ever wanted to fly in the open-cockpit Boeing Stearman N2S-1 "Kaydet" or the powerful SNJ-4B "Texan,” the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is one of the few that offers ride-alongs in these historic planes.
Backstory and Context
History and Mission of the Museum
The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum was founded by Russ Strine and established in 1980, and since then, the museum has remained dedicated to collecting and preserving vintage aircraft. Its mission is to organize professional stewardship over these essential pieces of history.
Professional stewardship also means maintaining a flying standard, and as the museum continues collecting more aircraft, it presents many of its most popular planes on airshow circuits.1
The heart of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum comes from its diverse collection of vintage civilian and military aircraft. While exploring the planes, visitors can also uncover much of the culture surrounding aviation life, through the eyes of both military pilots and influential people in aviation history.
The artifacts within the museum collection spans eight decades of flight and showcases everything from pilot uniforms and items commonly found in WWII bombers to commercial travel memorabilia, such as dinner plates of old and vintage travel posters.2
It is important to note that if visitors want to see a specific aircraft, they should call ahead because several planes tour the country with various airshows, especially during the summer months. Otherwise, located within the museum hangar and along the Museum Ramp, visitors can explore some of the most famous aircraft in history.
The award winning planes include the Douglas R4D-6 of the Naval Air Transport Service, the anti-submarine patrol bomber P2V-7 “Neptune,” and the Eastern Airlines Martin 4-0-4 “Silver Falcon.” Although the museum features 1/2 scale reproductions, such as the 1903 Flyer by the Wright Brothers, visitors can discover real-life aircraft dating from 1928 to 2011.3
World War II Weekend
Perhaps the most popular event at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is the annual World War II Weekend. Over 100,000 people come to the event, usually occurring around June 6th, and many consider it to be the largest and best WWII reenactment in the nation.4