Pima Air Museum
Aircraft You Can't See Anywhere Else

In 2020, the COVID pandemic cancelled most air shows. Some, like Oshkosh, held virtual events. Some aviation museums are starting to reopen slowly. Hopefully people are busy in hangars restoring antique airplanes and readying them for when we can all get out and travel again.

It's no fun to be grounded when you want to fly and explore.

We have had a personal setback too, with some health issues slowing us down.  We don't have the time to check on which venues are still viable and which are things of the past.

So... Post COVID our advice is to check with each air show or museum to see if they are open and operating.  Stay safe.

The thing Mark loves about Pima Air Museum is that there are so many planes you just won't see anywhere else.

This museum has lots of rare military airplanes....

It's spread over 80 acres so there's plenty of room for them.

The full name is the Pima Air and Space Museum, but we shorten it here and when we talk about it.

There are 5 hangars.  The oldest or best restored are inside, but the majority of the planes are outside. 

Like... what will you see outside?  How about this...

Convair B-36J Peacemaker

Convair B-36J Peacemaker

We'll give you some information about the museum for starters.  If you're just anxious to see the planes... scroll on down to the bottom.

Desert Air Helps Preserve Aircraft

Pima Air and Space Museum Entrance

When you go to visit, that's one thing we want you to remember... it IS in in the desert....

That's good for preserving the planes that must stay outside...

But sometimes that heat is a little hard on the visitors.

You'll be glad to spend some time in those hangars... not just for the cool planes inside...

...but because those hangars are "climate controlled"... read that air-conditioned... and that's a good thing. They're good places to get your body temperature down.

First Flag Ashore on Utah Beach on D-Day

Don't miss the hangar with the B-17 inside.

B-17s are not that rare, you're saying....

No, but it is staffed with docents who actually flew on them...

Talk to them while you can!

And look for the case with the first flag ashore on Utah Beach on D-Day.

We went in early March. It was pleasantly warm then, but during the warmer summer months of the year it will be hot... and there isn't all that much shade... though you can duck under a wing here and there.

They offer bus tours of the outdoor planes... a nice way to get around if you have mobility problems or if it's just too hot. Bus tours are about $6.00 in addition to the museum admission.

You can spend several hours wandering through their collection if you're up to it. Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and water. You can always buy water there. There's a great restaurant for lunches and ice cream to cool you off.

The Pima Air Museum is open daily (though it is sometimes closed for special events.)

    Hours are 9:00 - 5:00.
    The last admission is at 4:00, but you'll need more than an hour to see it anyway.

    Admission for adults was $15.50 when we were there, with discounts for Seniors, Children and Military.

    Parking is free.

    Check their website for current details... Pima Air Museum

    6000 E. Valencia Rd.
    Tucson, Arizona

It's on the south side of Tucson and just across the street from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base...

That location can be a plus. Beside the possibility of touring the boneyard there… you can usually see planes taking off and landing at the base.

When we were there, they were practicing "Heritage Flights" for the upcoming air show season. It was great fun watching the different formations fly overhead, and trying to get photo… See our attempt to photograph that with our point and shoot.... Pictures we missed!

But Show Me the PLANES!

OK, OK. You have the information… Now you want to see what planes are there don't you? We'll show you a few of our favorites... a few out of over 300 aircraft!

They are in no particular order… unless you count that this is the order we walked and took them in…

Budd RB-1 Conestoga (left, back),
Northrop YC-125A Raider

Budd RB-1 Conestoga, Northrop YC-125A Raider

Bristol Mk. IV Blenheim

Bristol Mk. IV Blenheim

        Sikorsky H-5G Dragonfly

Sikorsky H-5G Dragonfly

One sentimental favorite of Mark's at the Pima Air Museum is this little Sikorsky H-5G Dragonfly.

Why you ask?

Because as a kid, he had a bunch of models of antique airplanes hanging from his bedroom ceiling...

...and one of them was a Sikorsky Dragonfly.

Fairchild C-82A Packet

Fairchild C-82A Packet

Douglas TF-10B/F3D-2 Skynight

Douglas TF-10B/F3D-2 Skynight

McDonnell F-3B Demon

McDonnell F-3B Demon

Douglas F-6A Skyray

Douglas F-6A Skyray

Remember what I said about Heritage Flights from Davis Monthan?  We weren't too successful capturing this with our point and shoot camera, but it was fun watching them. 

The planes in this fly by are:
        Lockheed P-38 Lightning
        North American P-51 Mustang
        General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
        McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom

There were different groupings flying all afternoon.  Fun.  The plane in the foreground is a General Dynamics F-111E Aardvark.

General Dynamics F-111E Aardvark

Heritage Flight and General Dynamics F-111E Aardvark

Convair B-58A Hustler

Convair B-58A Hustler

MiG-19PF  (L);  MiG-15Bis Fagot (R)

MiG-19PF  (L);  MiG-15Bis Fagot (R) - MiG Alley even here?

Grumman TAF-9J Cougar  (Left); Grumman F9F-4 Panther (Center);
  Grumman TF-9J Cougar (Right)

Grumman TAF-9J Cougar  (L); Grumman F9F-4 Panther (C);  Grumman TF-9J Cougar (R)

North American RA-5C Vigilante

North American RA-5C Vigilante

Douglas B-23 Dragon

Douglas B-23 Dragon

Just had to remind you that you're in the desert and it's hot.... but so worth it.

Sikorsky S-43 Baby Clipper

Sikorsky S-43 Baby Clipper

So dodge the cactus, stay hydrated, and get inside from time to time. 

Here's a sample of what the Pima Air Museum has indoors....

McCulloch HUM-1

McCulloch HUM-1

Curtiss O-52 Owl

Curtiss O-52 Owl

Martin PBM-5A Mariner

Martin PBM-5A Mariner

Columbia XJL-1

Columbia XJL-1

Are you ready to go?  Just looking at the photos makes us want to go back!

Find 'em, See 'em, Fly,'em! And have a great flight!
Judy and Mark

Curious about what other antique airplanes we've found? Search for more...

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