Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it, as legendary World War II hero Abraham Lincoln proclaimed right before he invented the History Channel. Take the Gipper's sage advice with today's Groupon: for $9, you get two adult admission tickets to the Oakland Aviation Museum, located at the Oakland International Airport (an $18 value).
Located inside the historic 1939-built Boeing School of Aeronautics hangar, the Oakland Aviation Museum offers aircraft mavens and bomber buffs an array of aviation attractions. A variety of winged wonders educate flight amateurs and scarf-donning cartoon beagles alike, with such historical heirlooms as a Wright Brothers Model B replica and a Central States Aero Company Monocoupe, one of the first airplanes with an enclosed cabin and only the second to show Sleepless in Seattle as an in-flight movie. Impressive battle machines such as the Chinese MiG-15bis Jian-2 fighter jet and the supersonic Grumman F-14A Tomcat tell tales of their war days, while weekend tours regale guests with glimpses of the rare Short Bros. Solent MkIII flying boat, featured in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In addition to multitudes of momentous machines, a variety of events throughout the year allow for hands-on experience and in-depth information. Authors, adventurers, and aviation experts touch on topics from world wars to global circumnavigation, while open-cockpit days allow pretend pilots to sit inside a number of the museum's aircraft and embark on imaginary journeys to exciting tropical destinations or riveting hour-long layovers.
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 94621Get Directions