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Florida Air Museum

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The Florida Air Museum, Florida's "Official Aviation Museum and Education Center" features a dynamic display of the best examples aviation has to offer including one-of-a-kind designs, classics, ultra-lights, antiques and war- birds. But the Museum is more than a collection of airplanes; it is a tribute to the history and joy of flight highlighting pioneers such as Howard Hughes, early air racers, and countless Floridians who have influenced the world of aviation. The Museum also offers a variety of unique year-round educational experiences for all ages including camps, tours, workshops and speaker presentations.

The Florida Air Museum continues to grow and meet the challenge of our mission - to be the premier showcase for Florida's aviation history through exhibits, restoration and preservation, education and outreach and to share the passion of flight with all ages. As early as the 1980's - just a few years into the SUN 'n FUN Fly-In - founding director Billy Henderson and others envisioned an aviation museum to anchor the campus and provide a year-round educational and historic presence. Formal planning began in 1983 by a museum committee that interviewed architects, solicited land from the City of Lakeland, and secured the present museum location on the SUN 'n FUN Fly-In property southwest of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

A "mini-museum" first appeared in the corner of Hangar A in 1986. In 1988 the SUN 'n FUN Aviation Foundation was formed to oversee the construction and operation of the SUN 'n FUN Air Museum, and all of Hangar A became a temporary museum in 1989. Volunteer curator Marion Robles used his ties to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida to obtain the loan of a number of aircraft and aircraft engines, including a Boeing NA-75 (N-25) Stearman and the Lockheed XFV-1 "Vertical Riser" shipboard fighter. Long-time SUN 'n FUN Fly-In attendees may recall seeing the "Vertical Riser" for many years standing on its tail near the main office. This year Fly-In visitors can find it beside the Guest Hospitality Center in Southeast Exhibits. Fully restored after several years of work by dedicated volunteers, it will become the proud centerpiece of the Florida Air Museum in the future.

In 1991 the City of Lakeland approved funding for the construction of the current museum building and lease of adjacent land. Although originally planned as a restoration and education facility, the building is now the core of the Florida Air Museum with current and projected expansion to all sides. The main museum building was formally opened to the public during the April, 1992 SUN 'n FUN Fly-In.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon9:00 AM5:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM4:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM4:00 PM
Notes: Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.


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