Museum of Aviation
The Museum of Aviation, on the grounds of Robins Air Force Base, attracts 700,000 visitors each year to its forty-three-acre site located in Warner Robins, in middle Georgia just ten miles south of Macon. As the second largest museum affiliated with the U.S. Air Force, the Museum of Aviation offers an excellent overview of
the growth and development of the air force dating from World War II (1941-45) to the present. In 1997 the museum received a Governor's Award in the Humanities.
The museum's programs include static displays of ninety-three aircraft, many as part of interpretive exhibits.
Most of the aircraft are stored in a special maintenance facility; many, especially the largest, are located in an outdoor
A replica of the Epps 1912 Monoplane, designed by Ben Epps, is one such display at the museum. Epps is considered to be the father of aviation in Georgia.
The site contains many historically significant aircraft, some of which are rare or of special historical significance. These
include the SR-71 Blackbird and the U-2, the world's most important and advanced reconnaissance aircraft; the KC-97 and C-124
Globemaster, huge cold war aircraft; and the mammoth B-52 Stratofortress.
The B-29 Superfortress, the P-51 Mustang, and the P-47 Thunderbolt are three exceptionally important and advanced World War
II–era planes, and all have been immaculately restored. An example of the F-80 Shooting Star, F-86 Sabre, and MiG-17, also
restored, are among the earliest operational combat-jet aircraft in the world; each saw action in the Korean War in the 1950s.
General Robert L. Scott Jr., a Macon native who wrote God Is My Co-Pilot, is a World War II fighter ace who gained national fame flying with General Claire Chennault's
"Flying Tigers." The P-40 fighter plane of the type flown by Scott and the Flying Tigers is the centerpiece of an important
exhibit charting the role of aviation in the Pacific theater of World War II. The exhibit also tracks Scott's subsequent career
in the U.S. Air Force, which was a branch of the army until it became an independent agency in 1947. Like many in the museum's
hangars, the exhibit includes rare photographs, scale models, interpretive text, audiovisual simulations of combat life and
flying, and the flight gear of air force pilots.
museum, in addition to an attractive open grounds area, includes the Eagle Building, housing administrative offices and archives;
exhibits focusing on World War II, the Korean War (1950-53), and the development of air force aviation; and a modern F-15
Eagle. The museum also includes a theater that features Smithsonian movies, a café and gift shop, and a viewing area on the
The Century of Flight hangar, the newest building, contains an interactive theater, aircraft displays and exhibits, and the
"We the People" exhibition.
Hangar One includes an exhibit that traces the history of America's African American aviators with accompanying text, biographies
of significant figures, and aircraft. Charles Dryden, a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, attended the dedication of the exhibit in 1997. Hangar One also contains special
exhibitions on the Korean conflict, and rescue helicopter operations. The Heritage Building includes an archaeological collection
that traces the native heritage and wildlife of the area. Many of the artifacts were recovered on the site of the museum and
are fully interpreted.
In 2008 the museum dedicated the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Memorial, which features a bronze eagle chained to
a granite pedestal, to commemorate the thousands of Americans unaccounted for from World War I (1917-18) to the present.
As one of the significant aviation museums in the United States, the Museum of Aviation accommodates field trips
and educational programs for young people that are correlated with the Georgia Performance Standards. A regional office of the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers, which provides math and science education for teachers
and science programs for young people, is located in the museum. "Starbase Robins" simulates flight operations that introduce
fifth-grade students to science, math, and personal development skills. "Mission Quest" includes a flight simulator that allows
middle and high school students to apply math and science principles.
William P. Head and Diane H. Truluck, A History of the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB: The Crown Jewel of Georgia (Warner Robins, Ga.: Office of Air Force History, Robins Air Force Base, 1997).
Jamil S. Zainaldin, Georgia Humanities Council