Visit The Pima Air & Space Museum With 350+ Aircraft
While driving around Tucson, traveling to meetup with local friends, and moving between the two districts of Saguaro National Park, we drove past enormous fields of airplanes and the Pima Air & Space Museum a few times and it looked awesome! The museum was actually on my vacation planning list of things to do in Tucson, Arizona, but I didnt think wed have time to check it out.
Luckily, Saguaro National Park didnt take up as much time as we thought, which meant that we had time to visit Old Tucson Studios, San Xavier Mission, and the Pima Air & Space Museum before driving to Lajitas, Taxes and Big Bend National Park.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the worlds largest non-government funded aerospace museums. It displays more than 350 historic aircraft spread across 80 acres.
Pima Air And Space Museum opened to the public in May 1976. The first onsite hangar was completed in early 1982, a second was added in 1987, a third was built in 1992, and a fourth in 1994. From a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner, at this family-friendly museum, you can geek out on every type of aircraft you can think of, including helicopters, drones, bombers, rockets, and jets. It has also been the home to the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame since 1991.
Annual Cultural Events And Fairs
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
The is one of the largest gem and mineral shows in the world and has been held for over 50 years. The Show is only one part of the , , , and gathering held all around Tucson in over 45 different sites. The shows run from late-January to mid-February with the official Show lasting two weeks in February.
Tucson Festival of Books
Since 2009, the Tucson Festival of Books has been held annually over a two-day period in March at the . By 2010 it had become the fourth largest book festival in the United States, with 450 authors and 80,000 attendees. In addition to readings and lectures, it features a science fair, varied entertainment, food, and exhibitors ranging from local retailers and publishers to regional and national nonprofit organizations. In 2011, the Festival Founders established an award to recognize exceptional literary achievement. The Founders Award Winners are:
Tucson Folk Festival
Fourth Avenue Street Fair
There are two Fourth Avenue Street Fairs, in December and late March/early April, staged between 9th Street and University Boulevard, that feature arts and crafts booths, food vendors and street performers. The fairs began in 1970 when Fourth Avenue, which at the time had half a dozen thrift shops, several New Age bookshops and the Food Conspiracy Co-Op, was a gathering place for , and a few merchants put tables in front of their stores to attract customers before the holidays.
Fiesta de los Vaqueros
Visiting The Pima Air & Space Museum
We arrived at the museum around 2:45 in the afternoon, which gave us a little over two hours to explore. While you could spend the entire day here there is a restaurant and a playground we had plenty of time to walk the campus and see everything.
The admission fee covers access to the Main Hangar, two WWII Hangars, the Dorothy Finley Space Gallery, the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame, the 390th Memorial Museum, and all 80 acres of outdoor museum space with 150+ commercial, private, civil, and military aircraft.
We began outside because that part of the museum closes before the main hangars. What I loved is that we could browse the massive collection of aircraft at out own speed, in any order we wanted. This meant Carter and Brian could move from plane to plane as quickly as they wanted and even run , while Natalie and I meandered through the exhibits.
We then checked out the aircraft and exhibits inside the different stand alone hangars and buildings. The Dorothy Finley Space Gallery was really well done and reminded us of the NASA Ames Exploration Center in Santa Clara. But the two WWII Hangars were better I dont know if oits because weve done so many space-related things before, or that the giant planes and the stories that go with them are just that incredible
We had a blast visiting this museum and highly recommend it if youre ever in the area.
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Entrance Ticket Details For Pima Air & Space Museum
- Adult : USD 15.50 per day
- Pima County Resident: USD 12.25 per day
- Senior /Military: USD 12.75 per day
- Child : FREE
- Group of 20+: USD 12.50
- Boneyard/AMARG Tour:: USD: 7.00
- Boneyard/AMARG Tour : USD 4.00
- Tram Tour : USD 6.00
For other prices including prices for Groups, visit the official website.
Th Century To Present
During the from 1910 to 1920, several battles were fought in the Mexican towns just across the border from Arizona settlements. Throughout the revolution, many Arizonans enlisted in one of the several armies fighting in Mexico. Only two significant engagements took place on U.S. soil between U.S. and Mexican forces: ‘s 1916 Columbus Raid in New Mexico, and the in 1918 in Arizona. The Mexicans won the first battle and the Americans won the latter.
After Mexican federal troops fired on U.S. soldiers, the American garrison launched an assault into . The Mexicans eventually surrendered after both sides sustained heavy casualties. A few months earlier, just west of Nogales, an Indian War battle had occurred, considered the last engagement in the , which lasted from 1775 to 1918. U.S. soldiers stationed on the border confronted who were using Arizona as a base to raid the nearby Mexican settlements, as part of their wars against Mexico.
Arizona became a U.S. state on February 14, 1912. Arizona was the to the U.S. and the last of the to be admitted.
The Phoenix-area German P.O.W. site was purchased after the war by the family . It was developed as the site of the . A Japanese-American internment camp was on , just outside the state’s southeastern city of Tucson. Another was near the in eastern .
Three ships named have been christened in honor of the state, although only was so named after statehood was achieved.
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Pima Air And Space Museum
About the Museum:
Creating unlimited horizons in Aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight. The mission statement above, from the Pima Air & Space Museum, provides strong insight into the purpose of the facility. The facility is the third largest aviation museum in the world and one of the most well-known museums of its kind located on an 80-acre area, it is home to over 300 aircraft and 125,000 aerospace artifacts. The Arizona Aerospace Foundation is a not-for profit organization and the operator of the Pima Air & Space Museum. This foundation is unique because it runs the museum solely through gate admissions, tours, concessions and donations. The foundation also operates the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame, in Tucson, Arizona, and the Titan Missile Museum, in Sahuarita, Arizona.
History of the Facility:
Exhibits and Attractions:
Visitors can pay $6 for an all day tram ticket or can spend hours exploring all that is offered by foot. Guests can join the free walking tours led by museum docents. The facility provides visitors with many different exhibits to choose from: Outdoor Exhibits, the Main Hangar, the Space Gallery, the Hangar 3, the Hangar 4, the Hangar 5, and the 390th Memorial Museum.
The main hanger houses airplanes such as the SR-71 Blackbird, F-14 Tomcat, and F-4E Phantom II. The theme within the main hangar is that of iconic airplanes used throughout the United States history.
Visiting The Enormous Aircraft Boneyard And Pima Air And Space Museum
29 April 21
One of Arizonas most mysterious and fantastic sights is the aircraft boneyard of the Pima Air and Space Museum. If you love airplanes, the military, and just quirky types of things this is an activity for all ages.
I love airplanes! For a brief period, until my money ran out, I took flying lessons when I was 15 years old. I loved being in control, soaring through the air I loved the feeling that I could go anywhere. In fact, I clocked up a few hours on a small Piper Cub prop plane, but never soloed, maybe someday. To be honest, I was afraid of the landing part. Such a chicken!
However, I do have a love for all kinds of aircraft, and I love an air show, a transportation museum, all of it. So, on our Tucson itinerary, I was really excited to visit the Puma Air and Space Museum so I could check the rows and rows of retired military planes at the aircraft boneyard off of my bucket list.
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Visual Arts And Museums
, on the historic in Phoenix, is the Southwest’s largest collection of visual art from across the world. The museum displays international exhibitions alongside the museum’s collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. With a community education mandate since 1951, Phoenix Art Museum holds a year-round program of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. The museum also has PhxArtKids, an interactive space for children photography exhibitions through the museum’s partnership with the the landscaped Sculpture Garden and dining at Arcadia Farms.
Arizona is a recognized center of Native American art, with a number of galleries showcasing historical and contemporary works. The , also in Phoenix, is a major repository of Native American art. Some of the signature exhibits include a full Navajo hogan, the Mareen Allen Nichols Collection containing 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Collection of 437 historic , and an exhibit on the 19th-century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. The Heard Museum has about 250,000 visitors a year.
, , and are known as budding artist colonies, and small arts scenes exist in the larger cities and near the state universities.
Other notable singers include singers and , singer , ‘s , , , 2007 winner , and .
A Visit To The Airplane Boneyard
So, last summer we were finally going to Tucson, Arizona. Id never been before and had wanted to go ever since I first heard that there was a place that old, dead airplanes were laid to rest called, in Air Force slang, the Boneyard. As you drive through this part of Tucson, you can occasionally glimpse the tails of aircraft poking up above the earthen berm that lines the road. There are some places where you can actually see a part of the boneyard, rows upon rows, of plastic encapsulated planes. The boneyard seems to be a massive collection, hidden in plain view.
What most people dont know, is that you can visit the boneyard, even if you are just a regular civilian. In order to access the Boneyard, unless you have been granted access through military channels, you must go to the Pima Air & Space Museum, located on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and sign up for the tour. Then you can climb on the bus with 25 or so fellow enthusiasts and go for a cruise around the boneyard. Unfortunately, as its an active military area, you are not even allowed to get off the bus at all, but even still its an impressive sight.
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Pima Air & Space Museum
When you purchase your ticket to the Air and Space Museum, you can also get a discounted price for the tour of the Titan Missile Museum. Both venues are highly recommended. To get 2 tickets for the price of one, visit the Tucson Attractions website, for a Tucson Passport, The Book of Fun.
When you buy your tickets, be sure to ask the agent for tour times. The Museum offers separate outdoor and indoor tours led by knowledgeable docents, many of whom have flying experience with some of these relics.
Outdoor Tram Tour includes LBJ’s Air Force One, the seriously weird Super Guppy, a giant B-52, and a stop at the 390th Memorial Museum with its beautifully restored ‘Flying Fortress’.
Hangar 1 Guided Tour starts with the Wright Flyer and includes the Museum’s rarest airplanes. Here is where you will find the Lockheed SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ and many other historic aircraft.
World War II Aviation Guided Tour starts inside Hangar 3. Here are the B-24 ‘Liberator’ and Mitchell B-25, the aircraft used in the Doolittle raid on Tokyo.
Hanger 4 has an extraordinary collection of restored aircraft, including the B-29 ‘Superfortress’ and several very interesting WW II exhibits.
Each tour is free with paid admission and lasts about an hour.
The Dorothy Finley Space Gallery has four areas of exhibits, X-Planes, Space Race, Outer Space and Materials Technology.
The Museum has a new restaurant: The Flight Grille open 9:30 to 4:30. Our meal was upscale cafeteria quality.
Pima Air And Space Museum Aircraft And Military Photos
|The Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame exhibit gallery is located in Hangar 2 of the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson. The Hall of Fame offers museum visitors a unique opportunity to acquaint themselves with noteworthy Arizona aviators. Established by a joint proclamation including the Governor of Arizona in 1985, the Hall of Fame is a permanent shrine to Arizonans who have played a role or made a significant contribution to aviation and aerospace history. The Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame speaks to Arizonas long and proud aviation history. Arizona has long been an industry leader, marking many firsts from the pioneering hot air balloonists of the 19th century to the high-tech aerospace engineers and entrepreneurs who provide us with modern jetliners and the missile technology used today.|
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Primary And Secondary Schools
Primarily, students of the Tucson area attend public schools in the . TUSD has the second highest enrollment of any school district in Arizona, behind in the Phoenix metropolitan area. There are also many publicly funded with a specialized curriculum.
In 1956, Tucson High School had the largest enrollment of any secondary school in the United States, with a total of more than 6,800 students. In 2018, Tucson High School enrollment was just over 3,000.
School And Youth Groups
The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the largest Air and Space Museums in the country, with over 400 aircraft on display. The museum provides a wonderful opportunity for students to be immersed in the world of aviation and aerospace.
All field trips are self guided throughout the Museum. Reservations for schools and youth groups must be booked a minimum of 3 weeks in advance. Currently masks are required for all participants to enter the museum. We do ask that all schools social distance while on museum grounds.
Please note, the Pima Air & Space Museum limits the amount of school/youth group participants per day to 120. If your group is larger then 50 we ask that prior to entering the museum, you break into small groups.
Schools and youth groups that are non-profits will have their admission fee waived for students to enter the museum. For profit groups including summer camps and daycares will have a discounted rate of $5.00 per person.
Schools and Youth groups must have a prearranged visit to get the free or reduced admissions.
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Pima Air And Space Museum Practical Information
- Take exit 267, Valencia Rd, off I-10 and follow the brown signs to Pima Air and Space Museum.
- Sign up for the boneyard tour immediately after arrival, as seats are first come first served.
- Plan on 4 to 5 hours for your visit. This includes time to explore the hangars and grounds of the museum and the 1.5 hour long boneyard tour.
- Be mindful of the weather. In winter dress in layers including a light jacket. In summer, dress for the heat, wear a hat, and sunscreen. Wear comfortable shoes, you will be doing lots of walking.
- Plan your museum visit carefully, alternating between indoors and outdoors exhibits.
- The Flight Grill, located in the museum, is an excellent option for lunch or an early afternoon dinner.
- The Pima Air & Space Museum website has all the information you need.
Elementary And Secondary Education
Public schools in Arizona are separated into about 220 local school districts which operate independently, but are governed in most cases by elected county school superintendents these are in turn overseen by the Arizona State Board of Education and the . A state . In 2005, a School District Redistricting Commission was established with the goal of combining and consolidating many of these districts.
Arizona is served by three public universities: The , , and . These schools are governed by the .
Private higher education in Arizona is dominated by a large number of for-profit and “chain” universities.
and are Arizona’s only non-profit four-year private colleges.
Arizona has a wide network of two-year vocational schools and . These colleges were governed historically by a separate statewide board of directors but, in 2002, the state legislature transferred almost all oversight authority to individual community college districts. The Maricopa County Community College District includes 11 community colleges throughout Maricopa County and is one of the largest in the nation.
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Amarg Boneyard Tour Discontinued
The following quote comes from the Public Affairs Office at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base:
Davis-Monthan AFB and the Arizona Aerospace Foundations Pima Air & Space Museum no longer offer tours of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group , also known as Americas National-Level Airpower Reservoir, or the Boneyard. For nearly 23 years, PASM positively affected the experience of visitors from the local Tucson community, the United States, and from across the globe by providing public tours of AMARG, one of the bases 34 mission partners.
The 309th AMARG serves as an active aircraft maintenance, storage, parts reclamation and regeneration facility that Department of Defense warfighters, government agencies and many allied nations rely upon. Evolving requirements and manpower limitations at both Davis-Monthan and PASM have resulted in the inability to continue the public tour program without an adverse impact to our respective missions.
We thank you for your years of patronage, interest and support, and encourage those interested in learning about the 309th AMARG to visit @USAirForce309AMARG on Facebook or .
Here at the museum, wed like to add that visiting the Pima Air & Space Museum will provide an opportunity to learn about the history of AMARG and have a very similar experience viewing rare aircraft outdoors in a desert climate while immersing yourself in aviation history.
Pima Air & Space Museum