After inventing geometry and physics, Greeks invented history—primarily as a way to document their many inventions. Take a stroll through history with today’s Groupon to the Oakland Aviation Museum. Choose between the following options:
- For $9, you get two adult admissions (an $18 value).
- For $30, you get a one-year family membership (a $60 value).
The Oakland Aviation Museum, housed in the historic Boeing School of Aeronautics hangar, introduces visitors to a stunning assortment of aircraft and artifacts. The permanent collection showcases a replica of the Wright brothers’ Model B Vin Fiz, the first aircraft to complete a transcontinental flight without latching on to a flock of birds. Fighter aircraft such as the Grumman F-14A Tomcat, a twin-engine jet once armed with sidewinder missiles and a 20mm Vulcan Gatling gun, reveal insider stories about the wars to which they were deployed. Visitors can also mosey over to an interactive exhibit that allows them to crawl inside various planes and peruse a mock control tower. Families that opt for an annual membership get one free tour for each person of the Solent MkIII, a seaplane that gained fame and Harrison Ford’s gratitude in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Members also enjoy year-round discounts at the museum’s store and a subscription to the quarterly museum newsletter “Chatter on the Flightline.” Events at the museum educate visitors on the science of flight and the tragic history of airline food.
Oakland Aviation Museum
In the 1940’s, the Boeing School of Aeronautics hangar at Oakland International Airport’s North Field housed some of the company’s brightest aeronautical engineers. Their work produced several early Boeing planes, including the Thorp T-3 and T-5, both of which are now on display thanks to the hangar’s current resident, the Oakland Aviation Museum.
Most of the museum’s exhibits focus on celebrating local aviation history, such as The American Legion’s involvement in the Bay Area and the history of native Californian and Medal of Honor awardee General James “Jimmy” Doolittle. However, the museum’s collection of aircraft features a broader mix, including a replica of the Wright Brothers’ EX Vin Fiz, a TAV-8A Herrier that can take off and land vertically, and the Short Solent III flying boat that was used in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
More interactive sites include flight simulators, a kid’s area, a research library, and occasional Open Cockpit Days that let visitors climb into the cockpit of a real Korean fighter jet and turn the radio up really loud. The knowledgeable staff operates the museum with the goal of both educating visitors about aviation’s proud history on the West Coast and throughout the U.S., as well as to inspire visitors by linking aviation’s past to the future of aeronautical invention.
8252 Earhart Rd.
Oakland, California 94621