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National Museum of World War II Aviation 10th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 29, starting at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Oct. 29, the museum will celebrate its initial decade of operation with a day-long festival of demonstrations, aircraft flights, and entertainment. Admission is reduced to $10 for all visitors during the day (museum members and WWII-era veterans attend at no charge.)
Drawings will be held for 1 p.m. rides in the museum’s B-25 Mitchell In the Mood, and in the museum’s iconic T-6 Texan, weather permitting. Must be 18 or older and physically able to enter the aircraft.
Cockpit viewing in four of the museum’s aircraft will be featured, rides will be given in three of the museum’s military vehicles, and the museum’s restored Link Trainer will be featured in demonstrations.
The Denver Dolls will perform music from the pre- through post-war era, and there will be food and beverages available.
The museum will have an Aviation Art Show featuring prints and originals by various artists for sale. Additionally, the museum’s own acclaimed photography and artwork will be available for purchase at special pricing to commemorate the 10th anniversary.
Schedule for October 29:
10 a.m. Veterans from WWII and other conflicts will be on hand to meet the community.
10:30 a.m. Opening remarks and welcome, formal unveiling of the museum’s newest mural, “Black Saturday” depicting the London Blitz of WWII.
10:45 a.m. A professionally constructed model of the US Navy’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley will be unveiled.
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Drawings for a free 1-year museum membership (5 to be awarded, must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible.)
12 p.m. Names drawn for rides in the museum’s B-25 Mitchell bomber T-6 Texan trainer (must be at least 18 years of age, and physically able to enter and exit the aircraft, please.)
1 p.m. the B-25 and T-6 depart the museum (weather permitting.)
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The Denver Dolls perform.
The following vehicles will be available for demonstration rides.
1942 Ford GPW Jeep
1941 White M3A1 Scout Car
1941 White M2A1 Half Track
The museum’s story:
On October 27, 2012, five years of working toward a vision proved the time well spent, as the National Museum of World War II Aviation opened its doors. The first public tour through the museum’s collection of 5 flying aircraft and 20 displays housed in 44,000 sq. ft. of hangar space was led by museum Curator and Historian Gene Pfeffer. Two people took the tour.
Today, 28 vintage and rare aircraft represent pre-war, WWII, and post-war aircraft development. There are also more than 1,800 artifacts, over 100 exhibits, and seven military vehicles for museum visitors to enjoy, housed in 150,000 sq. ft. of hangar space. Additional aircraft, artifacts, and new exhibits are often added.
It’s estimated that 300 thousand people have toured the museum and enjoyed the aircraft as they performed at airshows, demonstrations, and fly-days.
“The vision has taken flight.” said museum President and CEO Bill Klaers. “This museum belongs to the community, to Colorado Springs and the thousands who have visited, because it’s their support, encouragement, and enthusiastic attendance that fuels the museum’s over 200 volunteers, and creates the excitement we see every day.” Today the museum is rated in the top 1 percent in the world, the “best of the best award” by Trip Advisor.
But the real story is the work done by the dedicated staff of more than 220 active volunteers that design and build everything in the museum, greet and assist visitors at the front desk, provide security, conduct docent-led tours, catalog and curate the museum’s collection, provide communications, run the museum’s gift shop, support the many community events at the museum, and keep the facility clean and orderly.
Select museum milestones:
2007 First Board of Directors established and 501(c)(3) designation
2009 Acquisition of hangars for first museum facilities
2009 Gallagher & Associates initial conceptual design of museum
2011 Development of museum’s STEM education program to meet state standards
2012 The National Museum of World War II Aviation opens to the community
2014 Inaugural Pikes Peak Regional Airshow
2016 Completion of combat-veteran P-38 Lightning White 33
2017 Second Pikes Peak Regional Airshow
2017 Congressional designation as The National Museum of WWII Aviation
2018 Groundbreaking of Kaija Raven Shook Aviation Pavilion
2018 Donation of aircraft collection by the Slattery Family Foundation to the museum
2019 Third Pikes Peak Regional Airshow
2019 Public opening of Kaija Raven Shook Aviation Pavilion
2020 Initiation of historical presentations and aircraft demonstrations
2022 Fourth Pikes Peak Regional Airshow