Discover Middle Georgia: Museum of Aviation
The museum opened to the public in 1984 with 20 aircraft, all of which were in an open field. It's now grown to be the second-largest museum in the United States Air Force and the fourth most visited museum in the Department of Defense.
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Museum of Aviation is located next to the Robins Air Force Base.
It’s a large outdoor complex with multiple hangar-style buildings and more than 80 aircraft.
The museum opened to the public in 1984 with 20 aircraft, all of which were in an open field. It’s now grown to be the second-largest museum in the United States Air Force and the fourth most visited museum in the Department of Defense.
“We’re a field museum of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, so technically all of our property belongs to the national museum, and we’re kind of tucked up under them,” collections manager Erin Tapp explained. “All of our property is historical property, but it is property of the Air Force, so we manage it very carefully.”
The museum’s current collection is based around aircraft and objects that have been part of Robins Air Force Base’s history.
When not out on display, artifacts are sent to a storage facility designed to help protect and maintain them throughout the duration of the objects’ stay. Tapp expressed that each object has its own needs when being preserved.
“It’s interesting, we don’t think of objects as alive, but they’re living organic things, and even non-organic materials over time are going to show different wear, and that wear is just the object growing and changing through the ages,” Tapp said.
Aside from teaching the history of Robins Air Force Base, the museum is also heavily involved in STEM-based learning, offering opportunities for children as young as Pre-K through 12th grade.
Elizabeth Skinner is the ACE lead instructor for the National STEM Academy. She’s been working with STEM for the museum for 17 years and says their programs help add a different experience for students outside of the classroom.
“The education department has been here for a long while, and it’s grown over the years,” she said. “We work really hard to offer STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related field trips, so it really builds on the curriculum that the teachers are already teaching in the classroom.”
The museum is constantly hosting new events and fundraisers, from the annual model railroad show to the upcoming Festival of Trees event in December, but none of these events would be possible without the help of volunteers.
The museum’s communications coordinator, Lacey Meador, expressed her thanks to the volunteers.
“We count on our volunteers so much,” she said. “They are such a critical piece to the museum’s running. They’re the ones that have the stories to tell, so if you are a visitor and you are coming onto our campus, please stop by and talk to our little volunteers in the red vests sitting at the desks.”
Whether you’re interested in aviation history or looking to learn something new about the world of science, the Museum of Aviation is free to enter and ready to share its knowledge.