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Frequently Asked Questions
How did the Museum begin?
The National Museum of World War II Aviation was brought into being by a small group of visionaries from around the United States who understood the importance of World War II aviation, and the need to keep its heritage alive.
What is the Museum’s mission and what can I learn from it?
Its mission is “to provide unique educational experiences that promote a deeper understanding of the historical importance of American aviation in World War II and its role in shaping the world we live in today. It does this to preserve and strengthen the best traditions of the American aviation past and inspire new generations of leaders and innovators in the future.”
The Museum will bring to life:
- How a nation came together as never before or since and the many stories behind this great effort
- How pilots and their support personnel, whose courage and patriotism remain a source of inspiration still today, changed the course of history
- The unique partnership between civilian and military expertise that created a winning aviation team
- The surge in industrial productivity that overwhelmed our adversaries
- The introduction of women into the workforce
- The aircraft designers and builders whose innovations created a entirely new technology of flying
These important stories—and many others—still have great power to teach and inspire.
Why was Colorado Springs, CO, chosen as the location for the National Museum of World War II Aviation?
Colorado Springs is an especially appropriate location for the Museum:
- It is a community with a strong aviation heritage
- It is a community with a deep interest in military history and heritage
- It is home to the United States Air Force Academy
- It is home to WestPac Restorations, a world-class restoration facility specializing in World War II aircraft, where actual WWII planes are authentically restored to flying condition. Guided tours of the WestPac restoration facility will be one of the signature experiences of a Museum visit.
Are there other museums that have been developed in a similar way as the National Museum of World War II Aviation?
The closest model for the Museum is the National World War II Museum in New Orleans that was the vision of the historian Stephen Ambrose. It started as a powerful idea with no site and no collection. The museum opened in 2000 as the National D-Day Museum and has become a widely visited and important museum. It has since enlarged its mission to include all of World War II and has begun a major expansion effort.
The National Museum of World War II Aviation will be unique in using its active involvement with the World War II aircraft collector fraternity to provide a continuously changing array of important flying aircraft to be used in Museum demonstrations and programs. The result will be active and dynamic museum programming rather than the static display of aircraft.
What is the Museum’s next phase of development?
The National Museum of World War II Aviation is currently in a development phase to fund Phase III – the final design phase of the third building on the site. Once development funds are secured, the Museum can move from the conceptual planning of the core exhibition and related educational facilities to the final design in which the basic conceptual framework, already completed, will be connected to specific exhibits on specific themes, topics, and stories. This will provide a blueprint for the reality of the Museum’s visitor experience. Throughout this process, the Museum continues its dialog with key educational, economic development, and cultural tourism stakeholders.
What will be the cost of creating the next phase of the Museum and its exhibits?
Currently, the Museum is soliciting financial support for the next design phase in which exhibit content will be developed. The fundraising goal for this development phase is $500,000. The total capital cost is estimated at $14-16 million. In the next stage of Museum planning this figure will be further refined.
When will the next phase of the Museum open?
The success of fundraising efforts will determine the pace of Museum development.
How can I stay in touch with the Museum so I can offer to serve as a volunteer, financial supporter, and offer suggestions as to Museum programs and activities?
The Museum website is a great place to find information concerning the Museum mission and includes some interesting graphics of the envisioned facility. The website also has a link where you can sign up for the periodic newsletter. The News and Press section of the web site is updated as activities occur. Information on volunteer activities including ways to donate will be highlighted.
Is the current Museum facility open for tours?
Tours are provided for the existing Museum hangars which house aircraft owned by the Museum, support facilities and a volunteer restoration facility. The adjacent WWII aircraft restoration facility is also included where visitors can see WWII aircraft restoration in-progress. Visitors are also introduced to the next phase of the Museum’s campus development. The web site has information on how to sign-up for a tour and includes a schedule of available dates.
Is there a fee for the Museum facility tour?
The modest fee schedule for Museum tours including visting the WestPac Restorations facilities is posted on this website under Tours & Events. Additional financial donations are sincerely appreciated. Special envelopes are available for your generous considerations.
How can I help?
Your support will play a vital part in the development of the museum through word-of-mouth and financial support. You can help the Museum by telling others about the Museum’s mission and forwarding the website. Financial support is greatly appreciated as the sooner the Museum reaches its financial goals, the sooner the next phase of the Museum will be completed.
Is the Museum accepting volunteer positions?
The Museum is gathering information on potential volunteers in every area for future phases of development. If you are interested in volunteering your time, please fill out the volunteer form. The Museum will keep a list of potential volunteers available for contact as the development phase progresses and as volunteer positions become available.
Is the Museum accepting donations of artifacts and historical materials?
The Museum reviews potential donations of artifacts on a case-by-case basis for relevance to the specific content of the Museum’s mission.
Does the Museum have a planned giving program?
The Museum has a planned giving option for those who wish to see their legacy live long into the future. Refer to the Planned Giving section for further information.
Is WestPac Restorations part of the Museum?
WestPac Restorations, Inc. is currently a privately owned WWII aircraft restoration facility and one of the premier restorers of WWII-vintage aircraft in operation today. Vistors are able to take a docent led tour of WestPac Restorations as a compliment to the Museum tour and see state of the art restoration in progress. They are also able to see fully operational WWII aircraft which on special occasions fly from the Colorado Springs airport.