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· Reviewed September 18, 2017
Reviewed August 18, 2016
Reviewed July 25, 2016
What You'll Get
History tends to repeat itself, which means there’s a good chance you’ll get run over by another war elephant. Admire what history has taught us thus far with today’s Groupon for a family membership to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. In addition to free admission (normally $9 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 and over, and $6 for children ages 4 to 12), members receive a 10% discount on store items and Summer Camp @ Wings, half off special programs, and a $50 birthday party discount.
Housed inside a 150,000 sq. ft. former Air Force hangar, the museum’s collection showcases more than three dozen gleaming locomotives of air and space, and their various evolutions throughout the years. The 1926 Alexander Eaglerock (built in Colorado) used a larger wingspan to give it better performance at high altitudes, as well as a serviceable tennis court for long flights. These improvements eventually led to the B-18A Bolo (once the most numerous bomber in the Air Corps and a prized rarity today), then to the 1975 B1-A Lancer (Wings Over the Rockies has one of only two examples of this model in the world). While wandering among the museum's many models and displays, you'll also encounter five different Century-series fighters, a RF-84K Thunderflash Parasite, and an Apollo Command Module replica. The museum culminates with a glimpse into the future of aeronautics—by way of its distant past in a galaxy far, far away—with one of Wings Over the Rockies’ most popular exhibits: a 3/4-scale replica of a Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Starfighter, which is kept on standby in case the rival SAC Museum in Nebraska ever finishes its 3/4-scale moon-sized battle station. Ongoing museum exhibits include a tribute to Colorado aviation pioneers and Nose Art, tracing the history of the unofficial paintings found both on the noses of both military aircraft and their pilots.
- More than 40 planes and spacecraft occupy cavernous Hangar No. 1, which became a museum when Lowry Air Force Base closed in 1995; now it's a burgeoning residential area about 6 miles southeast of downtown. On display are antique biplanes, a search-and-rescue helicopter, an F-14 Tomcat, a massive B-1A bomber -- one of only two in existence -- and most of the F-100 fighter series…Sci-fi fans take note: A full-size X-Wing prop used in the filming of Star Wars is on permanent display. - Frommer's
The Fine Print
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About Aviation Xtreme at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Aviation Xtreme's simulators let land-locked folk fly aboard jetfighters and WWI- or WWII-era aircraft in aerial missions or close-range combat. Aspiring aces strap into the cockpit of their simulator and choose from aircraft such as an F-15A Eagle, F-4 Phantom, or P-51 Mustang. After a short instructional video, they take off into the realistic blue yonder on a chosen mission, which can include an anti-ship mission or ground-attack mission. Each simulator is part of a larger computerized network, allowing friends to go head-to-head in a dogfight or team up to carve clouds into self-portraits.
Aviation Xtreme is housed inside Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, the former locale of the 1930s-built Lowry Air Force Base that closed in 1995, reports Frommer’s. These days, the 150,000-square-foot hangar houses more than four dozen airplanes, including five Century Series fighters and one of two B-1A Lancers on display in the world. The museum is even home to a full-size X-Wing Starfighter from Star Wars and the Harrison Ford Welcome Theater, where the staff starts each day in hiding to surprise Mr. Ford in case he visits.
In addition to aircraft from films, the museum’s space and rocketry exhibits include full-scale replicas of boilerplate spacecrafts used to train Apollo missions to the moon. Others models recreate planes in all their glory, such as the 16-foot Titan II launch vehicle, while hands-on exhibits replicate the conditions of space travel.