Visit the Aerospace Museum of California

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Visit the Aerospace Museum of California

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

Located on the former McClellan Air Force Base in North Highlands, the Aerospace Museum of California features an impressive collection of authentic civilian and military aircraft, along with replicas of space vehicles, thereby preserving the history of the base (which closed in 2001) and neighboring bases such as the non-operational Mather Air Force Base and the still active Beale Air Force Base east of Marysville. Many of the aircraft on display are on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The collection at the Aerospace Museum of California includes trainers, fighters, transport and specialized aircraft used by the Navy and USAF between 1940 and the year 2000, highlighting the fantastic progress of aerospace technology over this time period. Visitors will have the opportunity to view propeller driven bi-planes constructed from wood and cloth, contrasted with the triple-sonic, jet powered aircraft crafted from composite materials and metals. Helpful volunteers are always on hand to answer questions and offer interesting information on the museum’s collection and the history of aviation.

Items on display at the museum include one of the original Norden bomb sights used by American bombardiers in World War II, a collection of artworks relating to the US Coast Guard, and a range of restored engines. Visitors can discover what it feels like to be a pilot by means of the museums non-motion flight simulators and a Morphis motion ride simulator. The interactive science exhibit, Fun with Physics, allows participants of all ages to enjoy the wonders of scientific discovery with Mind Bogglers, Newton’s Laws, Simple Machines, Optical Illusions and Demonstrations.

The oldest aircraft in the collection is a 1932 Curtiss-Wright B-14-B ‘Speedwing’ bi-plane, which has been superbly restored. Other aircraft on display include:

Beech UC-45J Expediter

Convair F-102A Delta Dagger

Convair F-106 Delta Dart – The Ultimate Interceptor

Convair VC-131D Samaritan

Douglas A-1E Skyraider

Douglas C-54D Skymaster

Douglas C-53D Skytrooper

Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar

General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark

Grumman F-14D Tomcat

Grumman HU-16B Albatross

Grumman TS-2A Tracker

Lockheed EC-121D Warning Star

Lockheed F-80B Shooting Star

Lockheed F-104B Starfighter

Lockheed T-33A T-Bird

McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II

McDonnell-Douglas A-4C Skyhawk I

McDonnell F-101B Voodoo

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17PF Fresco E

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21F Fishbed

North American F-86F Sabre

North American F-86L Dog Sabre

North American F-100D Super Sabre

North American T-6G Texan

North American T-28B Trojan

North American T-39A Sabreliner

Pitts Special S-1C

Republic F-84F ThunderStreak

Republic F-105D Thunderchief (THUD)

Sikorsky CH-3E Jolly Green Giant

Taylorcraft L-2M Grasshopper

Vought A-7D Corsair II

The Aerospace Museum of California also has an education program relating to math, science, technology and engineering for students from elementary school through to community college with all its programs meeting the California Education Standards. Moreover, the museum hosts special presentations featuring guest speakers who are experts in their fields, such as NASA astronauts Brian Duffy and Clayton Anderson.

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