Aerospace Museum of California
USINFO | 2013-05-09 16:44


The Aerospace Museum of California is an aviation museum located in North Highlands, California on the grounds of the former McClellan Air Force Base. It features displays of authentic military and civilian aircraft as well as space vehicle replicas. It preserves the history and mission of this former base as well as those of neighboring bases like Beale (active) and Mather (closed) Air Force Bases. McClellan Air Force Base closed in 2001 and became McClellan Airfield, a civil aviation airport.

The museum was originally established as the McClellan Aviation Museum in 1986. It was chartered by the National Museum of the United States Air Force. In 2001 it incorporated as a non-profit organization. In 2005 its name was changed to the Aerospace Museum of California. In 2004 the museum moved to 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan Park and in February 2007 opened its new 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) Hardie Setzer Pavilion enabling some of the aircraft to be displayed indoors.

The museum has over 40 aircraft in its collection from the fully restored, one-of-a-kind 1932 Curtiss Wright B-14B Speedwing to one of the last Grumman F-14D Tomcat retired from U.S. Navy service in 2006. In addition to aircraft, the collection includes many other historic artifacts relating to Sacramento's aerospace heritage. It also houses an extensive collection of historic aircraft engines. These include examples ranging from a World War I-era Gnome-Rhone rotary piston engine to the Pratt & Whitney nine-stage, axial-flow, bypass J-58 turbojet that propelled the SR-71 Blackbird supersonic spyplane. The museum features an art gallery containing more than 60 original works, many on loan from the Air Force Art Collection. The museum's restoration team is nearing completion of a Fairchild PT-19B World War II training aircraft. With new exhibits opening regularly, the Aerospace Museum is a wonderful place to explore the history of aviation.

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