You are here

Florida Air Museums

T-2C Buckeye at Valiant Air Command
T-2C Buckeye at Valiant Air Command

There are a number of aircraft and aviation museums in Florida and the first indication of this might be the sight of a giant Vietnam era Boeing B-52D Stratofortress displayed at the B-52 Memorial Park at Orlando International Airport.

If you are at all interested in military warbirds or home built aircraft, want to fly in a vintage aircraft or helicopter or even learn how to restore old aeroplanes, then Florida is the place to be. Of course it is also home to one of the biggest space ports in the USA with frequent rocket launches.

Florida has several airplane museums which have been responsible for the recovery and rebuilding of a number of historic aircraft, particularly from the Second World War period.

Tom Reilly from the Flying Tigers Museum in Kissimmee and Kermit Weeks at Fantasy of Flight are two good examples of people who have dedicated many years of work to restoring old aircraft.

With the help of their teams, they have restored dozens of old warbirds including bombers like the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and B-25 Mitchell plus fighters like the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning, many of them back to flying condition.

If you are in the Panhandle region of Florida, then there are two excellent air museums in the area; namely the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola and the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin Air Force Base.

If you are a fan of space flight than the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex has an amazing array of rockets and spacecraft like the space shuttle Atlantis.

Several aircraft museums of Florida do seem to have suffered from some of the recent hurricanes with the Flying Tigers Museum in Kissimmee and the Naval Air Museum at Pensacola Naval Air Station have both been damaged in recent years so it is always worthwhile checking with the museum before making a special visit.

Main Florida Air Museums

Note that not all military forces museums and heritage parks are open to the general public due to the current security level.

Below is a list of over 30 aviation and space related museums in Florida, split by regions. For completeness it includes several museums that have closed recently:

Florida Air Museums in the Florida Panhandle

  • Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Shalimar
  • Memorial Air Park & Air Command Museum, Hurlburt Field AFB, Fort Walton Beach
  • National Museum of Naval Aviation, Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola
  • Tyndall Air Park, Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB)

Florida Air Museums in North Florida

  • Aircraft Heritage Park, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville
  • Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park, Starke
  • US Military Airpower Museum (closed), Jacksonville
  • Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum, Keystone Heights Airport, Starke

Florida Air Museums in Central Florida

  • Air Force Space and Missile Museum, Cape Canaveral AFS launch complex 26 / Patricks AFB
  • American Space Museum, Titusville
  • Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Museum, Merritt Island
  • DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, DeLand
  • Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College, Sanford
  • Fantasy of Flight, Polk City
  • Florida Air Museum, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport
  • Florida Military Aviation Museum (closed), St Pete-Clearwater International Airport, St Petersburg
  • Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum (closed), Kissimmee Gateway Airport
  • Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park and Museum, Tampa
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, Merritt Island
  • Kissimmee Air Museum, Kissimmee Gateway Airport
  • Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum, Orlando
  • Melbourne Airport Museum, Melbourne Airport
  • St. Petersburg Museum of History, St. Petersburg
  • United States Astronaut Hall of Fame (now part of KSC), Titusville
  • Valiant Air Command Warbird Aviation Museum, Titusville Space Coast Regional Airport
  • Warbird Adventures (relocating to South Carolina), Kissimmee Gateway Airport

Florida Air Museums in South Florida

  • EAA Air Museum, Marathon
  • Frost Science Museum, Miami
  • Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS), Fort Lauderdale
  • National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, Fort Pierce
  • Southwest Florida Museum of Discovery, Fort Myers
  • Wings over Miami Air Museum, Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport

Florida Gate Guardians

You will also find aircraft and other military hardware on display at a number of Memorial parks, as gate guardians at military airfields, outside schools and colleges and in town centres throughout the state.

Whilst most museum exhibits are undercover, gate guardians and memorial aircraft tend to be outside but unfortunately the heightened security means that many aircraft located on operational military installations are currently off limits to civilians.

Florida is home to the US Navy Blue Angels aerobatic team and you will find a number of aircraft on display in Blue Angels colours.

This section will be updated shortly.