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Edwards A F B, CA
Phone: 661 277 8050 - Tty: -
The museum's stated purpose is to collect, interpret, preserve, and display the material history of Edwards AFB and its antecedents, the Air Force Flight Test Center, and USAF flight testing; to provide educational programs, exhibitions, and publications for use by Air Force recruiters, public schools, and the civilian and military communities; and to maintain a collection of archival materials and historicallly significant objects as a resource for scholarly research.
Edwards AFB is indeed the Birthplace of Supersonic Flight, for it was here (then Muroc Air Force Base) in October 1947 that Captain Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager blasted through the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 and ushered in the supersonic age. Yeager was soon followed by other courageous men who would dare to fly into unexplored regions in that laboratory in the sky above the high desert--where, for the first time, they would pilot their craft past Mach 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and up above 100, 200, 300 thousand feet-and into near space. For over five decades, Edwards has been the world's premier flight testing and flight research center. Much of this exciting history is now preserved and displayed in the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) Museum.
Opened in 1994, the AFFTC Museum has since hosted over 65,000 visitors at its temporary location in a small store-front facility at Edwards. Inside are exhibits covering such diverse subjects as the formation of the ancient lakebeds, early homesteading, the first military uses of Edwards, flight testing during WWII, high-speed flight, and the story of Glen Edwards, for whom the base was named. Other exhibits include displays of aircraft hardware, rocket engines, and models. Museum visitors can learn about the past, present, and future of flight testing in the museum's theater and souvenirs can be purchased in the small, but well-stocked gift shop.
The AFFTC Museum also operates the Blackbird Airpark at Plant 42 in nearby Palmdale, CA. Close to 250,000 people have visited the Blackbird Airpark since it opened in 1991. It is the world's only display of a Lockheed SR-71A "Blackbird" alongside its predecessor, the A-12, and the once ultra-secret D-21 drone. The A-12 on display was the number one Blackbird built and the first to fly.
The Blackbird Airpark is open Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed federal holidays. There is no admission charge.
Blackbird Airpark Annex, approximately 38 miles away at Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA. The world's only display of an SR-71 Blackbird alongside its predecessor, the once super-secret A-12 spy plane. New 12,000 sq ft museum to open at Edwards AFB on 7 Apr 2000.
Over 60 aircraft, many one-of-a-kind or the only examples of their type remaining.
Currently, seven of the museum's aircraft are displayed outdoors at the Jimmy Doolittle Airpark and another five are mounted on pedestals around the base. Next to the airpark, a 12,000 sq ft museum support building has been constructed by the Flight Test Historical Foundation and donated to the Air Force. After interior office space is added and exhibit areas completed, the museum will relocate to this new facility and will be open for business in April 2000. At the same time, additional aircraft from the museum's collection will join the existing outdoor display.
Eventually, museum visitors will view a number of rare aircraft on display, such as the first examples of the F-111, F-16B, and T-46; prototypes of the A-7F, A-9, A-10B, F-4E, F-23, and F-94; one of only two PA-48 Enforcers; the first production C-141 and F-4C; and the only remaining examples of the NF-104A and X-21.
At the Blackbird Airpark Annex: Dec 18, celebration of the 35th anniversary of the first flight of the SR-71 Blackbird. Pilots, engineers, and maintainers of the Blackbird will be in attendance to answer questions about the Blackbird. Opportunity to have photo taken in the open cockpit of the Blackbird.
Current museum will close on 1 Feb 2000 and will reopen in new location on 7 Apr 2000.
The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Sunday, Monday, and federal holidays.
Blackbird Airpark Annex: Fri-Sun, 10 am to 5 pm
For information on museum operations or volunteer opportunities, please call (661) 277-8050 or email the director. See below.
You can also visit us on the AFFTC web site at www.edwards.af.mil.
Admission is free.
NOTE: Currently, access to the base is prohibited for other than official business. Those without base access must firstname.lastname@example.org (on the day they wish to visit) at least one hour prior to arriving at the base gate.
Entry to Edwards AFB is controlled so visitors must go to one of the three base gates and request entry to visit the museum. Gates are located off of Hwy 58, approximately 15 miles East of Mojave; off Hwy 14 on Rosamond Blvd, 11 miles East of Rosamond; or on 120th St East, 20 miles Northeast of Lancaster. Directions to the museum are provided at each gate. Occasionally, due to mission requirements, access to the base is prohibited for other than official business. Recommend visitors call the number below prior to making travel plans to visit the museum.
Museum: On Edwards AFB, approx 80 miles North of Los Angeles. Hwy 14 North to Rosamond Blvd. East 12 miles to main gate. In gain entry to Edwards AFB, civilian visitors must email or call the base prior to arriving at the gate and provide the name of the person operating the vehicle and the approximate arrival time.
Blackbird Airpark Annex: In Palmdale, CA on corner of Ave P and 25th St E. From Hwy 14, go East on Ave P 3.5 miles to 25th St E. No requirement to call ahead.
Doug Nelson, Director/Curator
Andy White, Restoration Manager
Ilah Nelson, Gift Shop and Volunteer Services
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