A few minutes from the heart of downtown Denver, CO, on the grounds of the old Lowry Air Force Base, sits a gold mine of military aviation history - worth a look for the pilot, astronaut, and kid in all of us. This is the WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM.
We actually dropped by this site in January (hence the garland on the pole). Opened in 1994, some pretty impressive military aviation history is housed within the 40,000 sq ft Hangar #1, built in 1939. The area surrounding the former air base has been transformed as of late, and is now a fairly metropolitan area, including a beer garden/restaurant in one of the adjoining hangars, shopping and a gym across the way, and surrounding by houses and apartments.
The museum preserves the history of Lowry AFB's operations from 1938 to 1994 in its collections, archives, and research library.
Features of this museum's collection include the USAF's B-1A Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers, as well as other military and general aviation aircraft - there are over 3 dozen aircraft in this collection.
Open daily, with exhibits and cockpit demonstrations hosted by volunteers and Civil Air Patrol Cadets. The Museum also hosts summer Space Camp events.
The Museum hosts annual events, such as a B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber Fly-In, the Annual Gala, and the Spreading Wings Award. We actually went there that day for a large antique show, in amongst the airplanes, and were surprised at the history we found.
Largest plane I believe I've ever seen - it was hard to get it all in one shot and get any type of perspective.
Bombs - every shape and form. The B-61 Nuclear one is hanging from the parachute in the upper photo.
The Space and Rocketry Exhibit gives a nod to our aerospace industry and Colorado astronauts. My dad is standing next to a lunar jet pack (until he calls and tells me what this actually is) he worked on (for NASA) as a Design Engineer for Martin-Marietta, "back in the day". UPDATE: As expected, I now know that the item in the case is a "Man Maneuvering Unit"...one of the first made, and designed for use in repairs made outside spacecraft, while in flight.
Shiny and impressive!
There's also a little something for the Star Wars fans - an X-Wing Fighter from the movies...part of another special exhibit, that stayed on full-time.
Large-scale models in the entryway. You can find all the information you could ever want to visit this fabulous museum by clicking right here... WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM. Up, up and away...Happy Tuesday!