Originally founded in 1974 by Donald Douglas Jr. as the Douglas Museum and Library located on the South side of the Santa Monica Airport, the Museum migrated to the North side of the Airport and reopened as the Museum of Flying in April of 1989. The Museum gradually grew to a collection of over 50 vintage aircraft with many still in flight ready condition.A visit to Museum of Flying represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Santa Monica road trip planning website to plot your vacation.
The anchor aircraft for the Museum was the Douglas World Cruiser, "New Orleans" which made the first circumnavigation of the globe along with its sister ship, "Chicago", in 1924. The Chicago now sits at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum. The museum's collection of artifacts, exhibits, and aviation art chronicle the development of aviation in Southern California.
Over the next several year's the museum played host to many historic and memorable special events and activities, including "A Walk on the Moon" in 1999 in which 7 NASA lunar astronauts were present and honored for their advancement in the discovery of space and the moon. In 2000, the museum held the 60th Commemorative Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Attendees at this event witnessed first-hand accounts of this epic air battle, live and in person from several RAF and Luftwaffe pilots who joined us for this milestone occasion.
The Museum was forced to temporarily close in July of 2002 due to economic challenges. Since that time, Museum officials have been in discussion with the City of Santa Monica on a suitable new location at the Santa Monica Airport. Recently, the Museum executed a lease agreement with the City of Santa Monica for the leasehold at 3100 Airport Avenue. The new Museum expansion and remodeling project is estimated to cost nearly $2 million. Construction and the Capital Campaign to support it are in progress. Please support the construction effort by making a donation.
Museum of Flying reviews
I was on holiday in this area and saw the sign for it. Being from England i wasn't aware of this attraction. I was so pleased me and my girlfriend decided to follow the signs as it was Amazing... more »
If you are interested in airplanes, airplane memorabilia and the aviation history of southern CA, specifically McDonnel Douglas, this is the museum for you. It is small and well curated. Airplanes..... more »
It's under new management and man have they turned the place around! Every time I go there, the staff is friendly and courteous and there is new stuff to see. Just yesterday they held their first aviation Expo and they had a TON of cool stuff. I will definitely be returning.
Very interesting visit, mainly thanks to a very welcoming staff who went out of his way to tell us about the planes and the history of aviation in California. Don't miss the 727 cockpit with amazing comments and details given by a lovely woman pilot. And don't miss the staff member who lives nearby, he'll tell you amazing stories !
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