PIMA AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM – Tucson Arizona
The Pima Air and Space Museum is located on Valencia Road in Tucson, Arizona, and noted primarily for being the home of the Arizona Airspace Foundations Pima Air and Space Museum. The museum is home to one of the world’s largest and most unique collections of aircraft, missiles and related equipment in the world. You will be able to see more than 300 aircraft and spacecraft at the Museum, not only from the US but around the world.
Among the many aircraft on exhibit are:
• The Super Guppy: The Super Guppy is actually a huge cargo transport plane specifically built for carrying large but light loads such as the Apollo Program’s Saturn Rocket. The Super Guppy was made from the frame of a Pan American Airways Airliner, with wings and fuselage constructed from experimental U.S. Air Force aircraft. Super large and ungainly in appearance, the Super Guppy is one odd-looking piece of aircraft, to say the least, and is just one of the museum’s many interesting exhibits.
• The B-17 Flying Fortress: Among the most famous of WW II bombers, the B-17 was designed to fill the need for bombers with increased firepower, larger bomb load capacity and higher altitude capabilities. A later upgrade of the B-17, the B-29 “Super Fortress” gained its fame during the Korean War. The B-29 carried remote fire guns and flew even higher and faster then its predecessor.
• Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV : The Blenheim was a British-built aircraft that was originally developed in 1935 and served extensively from 1939 to 1942 as a bomber, night-fighter and used for reconnaissance purposes by the Royal Air Force.
In addition to the many types of aircraft on display there are many other interesting exhibits located in a series of hangers on the museum grounds, such as various types of missiles including air-to-air nuclear warhead missiles and the infamous “Buzz Bomb”, the world’s first operational cruise missile, created by the Nazi regime in Germany during WW II.
An original WW II U.S. Air Force barracks is located on the museum grounds. An exhibit featuring the valuable contributions of women to the world of aviation and an actual “Moon Rock” loaned to the museum by NASA are just a sample of the many other interesting exhibits to be seen.
Be sure to consider the weather when you are visiting the Museum since a number of the exhibits are outside of the air-conditioned buildings. Dress appropriately and bring along (or purchase at the Museum) bottled water. There are drinking fountains located throughout the Museum buildings and grounds where there are vending machines where you can also buy cold soft drinks from the machines. You are not allowed to take soft drinks or food into the Museum buildings. You CAN take bottled water with you.
Children love the Museum too, they will be most interested in Hanger 1 and the Space Gallery building. Since the outdoor display area is very large, plan on taking young children on the tram tour. This is also recommended for those that have difficulty walking great distances. Leashed pets are welcome at the Museum, only not on the AMARG tour bus or tram.
There is a large handicapped parking area located near the entrance to the Museum and all of the buildings are handicapped accessible. There are wheelchairs and walkers available on a first-come basis. Some tours, including the tram tour, are not handicapped accessible.
The Tram Tours are one hour long and narrated by experienced docents. The tram tour tickets are an additional $6 per person. The trams depart daily at 10, 11:30 and 1:30.
Walking tours are docent-led and cover the exhibits in Hangars 1,3, and 4 and take about one and one half hours. This tour is free and starts in Hangar 1 at the Wright Flyer. Tour times are 10:15 daily and 1:15 daily in December through April only.
The Pima Air and Space Museum is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm, last admission at 4pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Admission: Adults (13 and up) $13.75 (June – Oct) $15.50 ( November 0 May)
Pima County Residents $11.50 (June – Oct) $12.75 (Nov. – May)
Seniors and military: $11.75 (June – Oct) $12.75 (Nov. – May)
Children 7 to 12: $8.00 (June – Oct.) $9.00 (Nov. – May)
Children under 7 free
AMARG (Boneyard) $7.00 all year
Group Rate: $12.50 (June – Oct.) $13.50 Nov. – May
Open 9 AM – 5 PM Daily with last admittance at 4 PM.
The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Parking is free. A walking tour begins at the Wright Flyer at 10:15 AM.
The Museum is the official tour operator of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), also known as the “Boneyard,” which is located adjacent Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Location: 6000 E. Valencia Rd., Tucson, AZ 85756
Directions: From I-10 take Valencia Road Exit east two miles to the Museum
From northeast Tucson take Kolb Road south to Valencia and turn west
on Valencia to the Museum entrance