Kansas Aviation Museum
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Museum Facts

OPENED
April 1991, with rain dripping through the roof onto the heads of opening ceremony speakers.

MISSION
Preserve the birth and living history of Kansas aviation.
Educate the world on the past, present and future of flight.
Promote the Spirit of Flight in the Air Capital of the World.

ASSETS
Historic Building
Our historically significant location, the former Wichita Municipal Airport terminal, was completed in 1935 and in use as a commercial terminal until 1954.

Aircraft
More than 40 complete, restored and partial aircraft of many different types and all eras of modern aviation. A number of our aircraft are rare or one-of-a-kind and represent important aviation milestones. Especially notable aircraft include:

• Boeing B-29, “Doc.”

• Beech Starship. The all-composite airframe Starship was the first civilian airplane to make wide-ranging use of composite materials. Bert Rutan participated in the aircraft’s futuristic design, which featured push-type turboprops and canard wings among its many innovations.

• Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. Built in Wichita in 1957, this aircraft was posted to several different assignments, including duty in Vietnam.

• 1934 Model 73 Stearman Trainer. Credited as the aircraft that kept Boeing in Wichita during World War II. Stearman Aircraft Company won a contract in the early 1930s from the U.S. Navy to build the Model 73/Navy NS-1 Trainer. The Model 73 saved Stearman from bankruptcy during the depression, thus forming the nucleus for Boeing Wichita during the war. To our knowledge, we have the only remaining Model 73 out of the 61 originally built.

• KC 135E refueling tanker. Our KC-135E, a swept-wing in-flight refueling tanker built in Wichita, was in the fleet of the Kansas Air National Guard based at Forbes Field in Topeka, Kan.

•1921 Laird Swallow. The Laird Swallow is important both to Wichita aviation and to the history of general aviation. The Laird Swallow was produced in Wichita from 1920 to 1923. Not only was it the first “made for production” aircraft in the Air Capital, it was the first such aircraft produced anywhere. Only 43 of the aircraft were made in Wichita before Matty Laird returned to his hometown of Chicago. When the 1921 Laird Swallow currently under restoration at the Kansas Aviation Museum is completed, it will be the only such aircraft of this model known to exist.

Archive
An extensive collection including schematics, blueprints, books, photographs and more. Many of these are one-of-a-kind original items available nowhere else.
• Original drawings and blueprints of 1920s and 1930s aircraft.
• In excess of 250,000 photographs, negatives and slides of rare aircraft dated from approximately 1927 to the present.
• Almost all of the FAA registration files of all the aircraft in the United States from the 1920s
to 2004.
• Many films of events such as first flights, factory operations, test flights and company promotions.
• More than 10,000 hardcover aviation-related books – many of which are no longer in print – dating from 1905 to present. They include aircraft yearbooks, aircraft mechanics, specifications, documentation and history, including biographies.

Aircraft engines
A wide variety, from the earliest aircraft power plants to jet turbines.
• Garrett fan-jet from a Learjet. It is typical of modern corporate jet engines.
• Crosley automobile engine. Converted by Al Mooney for one of his first Mooney Mite aircraft.
• Curtiss OXX6. Manufactured in 1908.
• Large radial Jacobs. World War II vintage. Called “Shaky Jake” because this radial engine had a very pronounced vibration.
• Four-cylinder steam engine developed in 1914-1916. Supposedly actually flew in a plane.
• Kemp. A 4-cyclinder 1911 inline. Our oldest engine, showing the simple operation of pre-WWI engines.

Volunteers
A large, dedicated group, many with extensive knowledge of and long experience in aviation.

Hours
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m-5 p.m. CT
Closed Sundays

Location
3350 South George Washington Blvd.
Wichita, KS 67210.
Adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base, near the base’s west gate entrance, Map.

Admission
Children 3 and under Free
Adults - $7.00
Seniors 65+ - $6.00
Children 4-12 - $5.00
AAA/Military Discount - $1.00 per person

Annual Membership
Flight School (Student) - $20
Wingman (Individual) - $40
Crew (Household) - $65
Crew Chief - $100 - $299
Co-Pilot - $300 - $999
Pilot - $1,000 - $2,999
Wing Leader - $3,000 - $4,999
Ace - $5,000 - $9,999
Commander - $10,000 and up

Contact
ksaviation@kansasaviationmuseum.org
Tel: 316.683.9242
Fax: 316.683-0573

Director
Lon Smith
Email: lonsmith@kansasaviationmuseum.org.
Tel: 316.683.9242 Ext. 21

 

3350 South George Washington Blvd., Wichita, KS 67210 P 316.683.9242 F 316.683.0573
The Kansas Aviation Museum is an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. © Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita, Kansas, USA