The Museum is home to a wide range of different exhibits. While many are permanent, others may only be on display here for a limited time. Keep an eye out for new additions, as the Museum team is working hard to bring new exhibits into the space for your enjoyment!

Because of the nature of an operating collection, aircraft contained within our hangar exhibits are subject to change.

Bomber Jacket Cover 3

Bomber Jackets: The Painted Jacket Art of World War II

On Display in the Prescott Family Trust Gallery Through 2024

The Legendary Type A-2 Flying Jacket has become an icon of World War II. Widely personalized by aircrews, and known colloquially as The Bomber Jacket, each and every A-2 that survives has a story to tell us about WWII. Photographer John Slemp has done more to catalog these stories than perhaps anyone else, and several of his remarkable images are being assembled for the first time ever, as a Museum exhibit.

Photography by:
John Slemp
Curated by:
Zack Baughman
Richard Mallory Allnutt
Design by:
Chad Hill

The Military Aviation Museum is honored to host this exhibit, and to celebrate these artistic masterpieces from the war years. Joining a selection of images from Slemp’s book Bomber Boys: WWII Flight Jacket Art, will be a few real, customized jackets from the museum’s own collection. Each one of the jackets shown represents a cherished family artifact, with no two ever being exactly alike.

At the center of the exhibition is a jacket worn by Staff Sergeant Laffetti “Pete” Trace (1922-1990), a B-17 Gunner with the 748th Bomb Squadron, 457th Bomb Group – part of the Mighty Eighth Air Force that brought the war to the German doorstep with their strategic bombing campaign. His jacket bears markings for 34 of the 36 missions he is known to have flown – the last of which hit the U-Boat pens in Bremen on March 11th , 1945.

In addition to original World War II Flying Jackets, the exhibit also features larger than life recreations of Slemp’s photography – documenting jackets from across the country - whether in attics or museums. With every brush stroke visible, viewers have the opportunity to stand back and take in the whole jacket before zeroing in to admire each brush stroke on these wartime masterpieces. The exhibit also explores the history leading up to the production of these iconic garments, examining the roots of flying clothes in the earlier years of aviation, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the elaborate history of the Type A-2 Flying Jacket.

John Slemp has been an award-winning commercial photographer for over 25 years, creating images for editorial, corporate, and advertising clients worldwide. A life member of the American Society of Media Photographers, he has served in leadership positions at both the local and national levels. Born in Japan, he served in the US Army in the US and Germany as an armor officer in several command and staff roles. A currently exhibiting artist, he completed his first book on WWII "bomber jackets" in the fall of 2022, which is now on sale internationally.

Chad Hill of Django Studios is a Chicago-based graphic designer and artist with a unique specialization in historic aviation, working with 25 museums across the US and UK, designing everything from apparel, patches, event graphics, logos and exhibits, including this Bomber Jacket Exhibit. Also well-known for painting period correct WWII nose art and having just recently completed painting the B-25 “Executive Sweet,” Chad will be at the opening live-painting a special A-2 Bomber Jacket to commemorate the exhibit.

Military Aviation Museum After Overlord

Combat Photography

This traveling exhibit features the combat photography of Leander (Lee) Zwick. Zwick was a young Signal Corps photographer when he landed on Omaha Beach at 10:30 on the morning of D-Day. After fighting his way onto land, he was assigned to document the aftermath of the Allies’ battle for the Cotentin Peninsula. PFC Zwick captured dozens of stunning aerial photographs from a Piper Cub observation aircraft. Fourteen of these photos are blown up in exquisite detail and featured in After OVERLORD.


Henri Farré and the Birth of Combat Aviation

Spread throughout the main Museum building, the works of Henri Farré are an incredible look back at the birth of air combat during World War I. Assembled for display as part of the 100th Anniversary commemorations for World War I this unequaled collection of original works painted during the war by Farre (an aerial observer in the French Air Force), depicts airfield life, aircraft and of course the heartbreaking reality of aerial combat.

Vengeance Weapon 1 Exhibit

Vengeance Weapon 1

First of the so-called Vengeance Weapons developed by Nazi Germany to strike back at Allied civilians, the V-1 was often known as the buzz bomb, or doodlebug by the British. Designed to reach targets like London, the V-1 was an early cruise missile that you can come face-to-face with at the Museum! Learn how secret allied technology, air defense coordination, anti aircraft guns and even jet fighters were drawn into the fight to stop the V-1.

Army Hangar

Army Hangar Aircraft

Connected to the main museum building on the west side is the Army Hangar. This 15,000 square foot hangar is where you will find many of our US Army Air Forces aircraft mixed in with some of our collection from Great Britain, Russia and other countries. Visit the Army Hangar to see the P-26 Peashooter, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the B-25 Mitchell, the Spitfire, Hurricane, and our three Polikarpov fighters.

Navy Hangar

Navy Hangar Aircraft

Flanking the main museum building on the east side is the Navy Hangar. This 15,000 square foot hangar is home to many of the museum’s US Navy aircraft. You will usually find planes like the FM-2 Wildcat PBY Catalina, FG-1D Corsair, Skyraider and TBM Avenger tucked inside along with the N3N Canary mounted on floats!

WWI Hangar

WWI Hangar Aircraft

The Museum’s collection of WWI replicas and restored original aircraft are displayed in the WWI Hangar, itself a recreation of a WWI-era hangars whose plans were documented by the British Government over 100 years ago. Fokker Dr. 1 Triplanes, and Sopwith 1 ½ Strutters are among the airplanes you will see in here. A restored original 1918 Thomas Morse Scout, is joined by an original 1918 Curtiss JN-4 Jenny as well.

Practice Makes Perfect


Practice Makes Perfect

Ever wonder how the United States was able to train so many pilots during World War II? This new exhibit will feature a selection of interesting and unusual pilot training materials developed during World War II, including a full motion original flight simulator used during the war! Opening in 2024.

Observation Deck


Warbird Observation Deck

Get the perfect overhead view of the flightline and our historic aircraft during flight operations from the Warbird Observation Deck. Relax in rocking chairs constructed from vintage aircraft seats, and explore how our airplanes are kept in operating condition 75 years after they were built. Opening in 2024.



Flattops: America’s Aircraft Carriers in WWII

The Hampton Roads community has a strong connection to the history of the Aircraft Carrier. Explore how design and construction breakthroughs made here in Virginia gave sailors and aviators the edge they needed to win World War II. Opening in 2024.

Made in America


Made in America

Explore American industry’s contributions to the war effort during World War II. Get hands-on with the construction techniques used to assemble more than 300,000 aircraft and learn about the men and women who made up the Arsenal of Democracy. Opening in 2025.

Aero Obsoleta


Aero Obsoleta, Photography by Allen Jones

Displayed in the Museum’s new Prescott Family Trust Gallery, the photographs of Allen Jones depicted vintage aircraft overgrown or cocooned for future use, examining how a culture’s changing technology impacts the landscape around us. The pieces combined the artist’s interest in WWII and in aviation with his interest in exploring natural forms juxtaposed with mass-produced man-made machinery. Aero Obsoleta was on view through January 6th, 2022



Snoopy and the Red Baron

Snoopy and the Red Baron, a traveling exhibition from the Charles Schulz Museum was on view at the Military Aviation Museum, from July 21 - October 14th, 2018, celebrating one of pop culture’s most famous and beloved characters! Throughout the decades, Snoopy comically embraced his fighter pilot role for delighted Peanuts readers envisioning himself soaring through the clouds in pursuit of his nemesis, the infamous Red Baron, as he sat atop his doghouse.

Coral Sea


Clash of the Carriers: The Battle of Coral Sea

Displayed at the Museum in collaboration with the Australian National Maritime Museum, Clash of the Carriers: The Battle of the Coral Sea was on display from August 4th through December 31st. The exhibit highlighted the four days in may 1942 when three navies, four aircraft carriers, 255 aircraft and 76 ships fought a battle that changed naval warfare forever. Eight ships were sunk, 161 aircraft destroyed and more than 1,600 men were killed in the world’s first sea battle between aircraft carriers.

Past Exhibits

Usaa’s Poppy Wall Of Honor – Temporary Exhibit

USAA Poppy Exhibit

Placed in the Museum through a collaboration with USAA, the Poppy Exhibit provides visitors the opportunity to learn more about the true meaning of Memorial Day. The Exhibit also provides an opportunity for visitors to pause and reflect on the more than 645,000 military service members who gave their lives in combat in service to our country.