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Museum of Flying, Santa Monica

(4/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web)
The Museum of Flying is a private non-profit air and space museum in Santa Monica, California. It was founded in 1974 as the Douglas Museum and Library, renamed the Museum of Flying in 1989, closed in 2002, and reopened in 2012 in a new facility. The Museum exhibits the history of aviation, focusing on aviation history in Southern California.HistoryOriginally founded in 1974 by Donald Douglas Jr. as the Douglas Museum and Library located on the South side of the Santa Monica Airport, the Museum migrated to the North side of the Airport and reopened as the Museum of Flying in April 1989. The Museum gradually grew to a collection of over 50 vintage aircraft, many of which were built in Southern California and are still in flight-ready condition.The museum's collection of artifacts, exhibits, and aviation art chronicle the development of aviation in Southern California. The anchor aircraft for the Museum was the Douglas World Cruiser, "New Orleans" which made the first circumnavigation of the globe along with its sister ship, "Chicago", in 1924. The "Chicago" now resides at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum.Over the next several years, the museum played host to many historic and memorable special events and activities, including "A Walk on the Moon" in 1999 in which seven NASA lunar astronauts were present and honored for their advancement in the discovery of space and the moon. In 2000, the museum held the 60th Commemorative Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Attendees at this event witnessed first-hand accounts of this epic air battle, live and in person from several RAF and Luftwaffe pilots who joined us for this milestone occasion.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Small Museum of flight near the entrance of the airport of Santa Monica: makes a fine show if an old DC3, but then there are many other patterns, cockpit, memorabilia. Committed staff and friendly.
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  • Recently visited the museum with my family and 7 year old son . It was very short stay less then hour and except of one employee other were a bit rude and very opinitated about children being able to ...  more »
  • I had never heard of this museum but I am glad I saw it in a tour book. There are a great selection of displays particularly highlighting the history of the Douglas Aircraft Corporation. 
Google
  • They have done a great job here with a small space. There are some great activities, amazing aircraft, and a very cool simulator. They also have a very nice store. The history of the Douglas corporation is also preserved here as well as other aerospace, and aeronautical companies.
  • The only reason why this didn't get 5 stars was I experienced it as a private party event. So, I don't feel that I can give it 5 stars w/out experiencing this as a normal place. We had great parking and there was some really cool stuff inside. I think going inside the cockpit of the plan was the neatest. Be sure to check out the old plane seats. It was a fun, or not, memory to relive the days when I'd be in the back of a plane filled with smoking people.
  • This place has so much more to it than meets the eye. Interesting exhibits, and a knowledgeable and friendly staff.
  • Cute little museum if your kids are into airplanes. Not much hands-on options, but with the airport and park across the street, it's a nice area to hang out
  • I liked the cock pit of the B727. Google held an event here and it was a great space for it. Large, roomy and clean. Everyone was really nice and we had a good time. They had a crazy flight simulator which I was too scared to get motion sick on so I passed- people did barrel rolls and loops in it. Crazy!