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Frequently Asked Questions
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. Working with the City of Colorado Springs, the museum’s founders secured a site on the Colorado Springs Airport in 2004 and started work on formation of a non-profit organization to run the museum. The museum was granted 501(c)3 status in 2008 and the campus was developed over the next few years. The National Museum of World War II Aviation was opened to the public in October 2012.
The museum’s 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.” The museum 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.”
—From the Mission Statement of the National Museum of World War II Aviation
The National Museum of World War II Aviation brings the early years of aviation to life and examines the crucial role that aviation technology played at a turning point in our nation’s history. Visitors experience the excitement and wonder of the Golden Age of Aviation and learn how military planners adapted aviation technology for military use in World Wars I and II. Visitors also learn about the socio-economic changes associated with aviation, and the role that aviation played in America’s emergence as a world power during the war.
Colorado Springs has a rich aviation heritage dating back to the early days of aviation when the Alexander Film Company established an aircraft manufacturing facility in the city in the early 1930’s. Aviation activity in the city expanded greatly during World War II with the establishment of Peterson Field as a training base and support facility for nearby Ft. Carson. Since the war, Colorado Springs has become a focal point for aerospace activity with the addition of the United States Air Force Academy, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station and Schriever Air Force Base. These facilities host a wide range of military aerospace missions including headquarters operations for NORAD, United States Northern Command, and United States Space Command.
Colorado Springs is a city that is at the heart of our nation’s aviation past, present and future. There could be no better location for the National Museum of World War II Aviation.
The National Museum of World War II Aviation is not associated with the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Both venues have similar origins, starting out as ideas that were developed over time into world class museums that were ultimately recognized by Congress as a national asset. While both venues tell the story of our nation’s involvement in World War II, the primary difference is that the museum in New Orleans explores the broader conflict while the Colorado Springs museum tells the story of World War II aviation through its collection of fully restored, flying World War II aircraft. Both museums offer unique perspectives and should be at the top of the list for anyone interested in World War II history.
WestPac is a privately-owned business that is recognized as one of the premier aircraft restoration companies in the world. It focuses exclusively on World War II aircraft restoration projects and providing maintenance support for World War II aircraft based at the museum and around the country. In 2009, Westpac moved from its original location in California to a new facility on the north side of the National Museum of World War II Aviation campus. Visitors to the museum are offered a guided tour of the WestPac facility as part of the museum experience.
There are several ways that you can contribute to the National Museum of World War II Aviation. The museum accepts monetary donations of any amount and is open to discussing naming rights opportunities for larger gifts. For those who would like to support the museum while honoring an individual, family or organization, the museum offers both memorial brick and bench programs. And through the museum’s membership program, you can show your support while enjoying a wide array of benefits. Please click on the link below for more information.