When it comes to aviation history, Minnesota is chock-full of great museums celebrating everything from famous pilots, legendary aircraft and significant military artefacts and much more. Let’s take a look at eight awesome aviation museums in the great Gopher State!
*Note that COVID-19 restrictions may affect museum operating hours. Visit their respective websites for more information.
1) Golden Wings Flying Museum
More Information: http://www.goldenwingsmuseum.com
With its eclectic mix of almost 30 aircraft from the 1920s-30s, Golden Wings Flying Museum, located at Anoka County Airport, is a must-see for any aviation enthusiast. Famous pilots such as Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart are among some of the great pilots that flew these cherished planes.
This museum is privately owned, so arrangements must be made in advance prior to site visits, especially for large groups.
2) Minnesota Air National Guard Museum
St. Paul, MN
More Information: http://mnangmuseum.org
A visit to this museum and you’ll see historically significant aircraft, artifacts, historical documents, photographs, manuscripts and books from various U.S. military organizations. Home to the largest displays of military aircraft in a five-state area, visitors can gaze upon more than 20 significant fighter, cargo, helicopter and utility aircraft from the earliest days of aviation through today.
Located on the active Minnesota Air National Guard Base at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, guests are required to make advanced bookings so they can undergo security background checks.
3) Duluth Armed Forces Museum
Formed and managed by the Lake Superior Squadron since 2001, this museum has grown its collection and exhibit offerings to include more than 3,000 historical aviation artifacts in a 2,400 square-foot area. And, with two locations, guests can see historical planes at the Squadron hangar.
The museum is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays year round.
4) Charles A. Lindbergh House & Museum
Little Falls, MN
More Information: https://www.mnhs.org/lindbergh
Did you know that the most (arguably) famous aviator of all time grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota? It’s true. And his childhood home still stands today as a museum to commemorate his life and accomplishments. Explore how his upbringing in a small town along the Mississippi River contributed to Charles Lindbergh’s passion for aviation.
In the summer, the Charles Lindbergh Museum is open from 10 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday through Saturday, noon to 5:00 pm on Sunday and by appointment Monday through Wednesday.
5) Fillmore County History Center
For those interested in something other than the usual military fleet, check out Fillmore County History Center, which features some of the most famous Pietenpol experimental airplanes, a style of home-built aircraft popular in the early half of the 20th century. While you’re there, don’t forget to see other highlights like southern Minnesota’s largest collection of antique agricultural equipment.
Museum Hours are 9 AM to 3 PM, Tuesday through Saturday, with a suggested donation of $5.
6) Minnesota Wing Commemorative Air Force
South St. Paul, MN
More Information: https://www.cafmn.org
Known as the state’s premier World War II aircraft museum, the Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing has an integral part in acquiring, restoring and preserving combat aircraft that were flown by U.S. military services.
The museum is open to the public, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and admission is free of charge.
7) Fagen Fighters WWII Museum
Granite Falls, MN
More Information: http://www.fagenfighterswwiimuseum.org
This museum is dedicated to the aircraft flown in World War II, and features a pristine collection of fully operational and active aircraft from the era. Plus, guests can also browse a collection of fine art, sculptures, interactive media and a constantly growing library.
Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Thursday through Saturday with a $10 suggested donation, closed Sunday – Wednesday.
8) Wings of the North Museum
Eden Prairie, MN
More Information: https://www.wotn.org/museum/
Operating out of Flying Cloud Airport, Wings of the North Museum is home to a stunning collection of vintage and modern aircraft, as well as a library full of aviation books and videos. Their flagship airplanes include a Boeing N2S-1 Stearman that was used for training at the MSP Naval Air Station during WWII and was flown by future President George Herbert Walker Bush, and a P-51D Mustang named Sierra Sue II that saw action in Europe during World War II.
Museum hours are Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm or by appointment during the week.
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