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.
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
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 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 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 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
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 2022.
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 2023.
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 2023.
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 2024.
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.
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.