Tuesday, January 5, 2016

College Park Aviation Museum

The College Park Aviation Museum is right next to the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world.

College Park Aviation Museum

The airport opened in 1909. The US Army was convinced by the Wright Brothers' success to invest in aviation. Wilbur taught military pilots at the airport. The museum acknowledges this history with the very first exhibit.

A model of the original flyer

The model by itself

Wilbur's bust

A mockup of Wilbur's hangar (with holiday decorations)

The Wright B Flyer was the first military plane and used to break many records. For example, Lieutenant Henry "Hap" Arnold was the first person to fly over one mile high in June 1912. This replica was provided by the Wright Experience.

Hap and his flyer

Wright B Flyer

The Curtis JN-4D (Jenny) was used during World War I by the allies to train pilots. After the war, it was popular in airmail. This plane is a restored original.

Curtis JN-4D (Jenny)

Viewed from above

The Berliner Helicopter was invented in 1920 by Emile Berliner and his son Henry. The aircraft made the first controlled vertical flight at College Park Airfield.

Berliner Helicopter

Berliner founded a company in the 1930s that built the Ercoupe (named after their company Engineering and Research Corporation or ERCO). The plane was designed for easy and safe flight.

Ercoupe cockpit

Ercoupe plane

The museum has plenty of interactive exhibits. The kids' favorite was the Imagination Plane, in which they could sit and pretend to fly.

Imagination Plane gets new pilots

Getting ready to go

Taking the wheel

We sampled almost every simulator available, of which they are many.

A realistic control panel

An easy simulator

More complicated simulator

Getting on the easiest simulator

Climbing out on a wing

Dressing up was a fun option as well.

Latest lady aviator

Especially fascinating to everyone was a demonstration of aerodynamics that involved a jet of air and a ball that floated in the air. Everyone wanted to try it.

Most popular exhibit

The museum has a diorama of the old airport and a fun shop.

Airport model

More of the model


The museum isn't large but is fun and informative.

The display hall

More of the display hall

Ready to make our exit!

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