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
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 han... more »
We went my wife, 2 granddaughters age 10 and 11 and had a great time. Even though is small it has great things to see. We loved a movie they have about the history of planes in the US. They also have ... more »
A great place for anyone into aviation or military. They have quite a few artifacts that are very unique. Staff know lots about flying today and were very helpful. Once your done at the museum you can walk a few minutes to an observation deck where you can watch planes taking off and landing. Very cool!
Wonderful museum to visit, parking available. Many exhibits and planes to investigate here. Also very informative tours given by excellent guides that are very knowledgeable about the Airport and surrounding areas. They built a false city over the Airport during WW2 to hide the Douglas Aircraft Plant, very interesting. Also there is a restaurant next door. Highly recommended.
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