Travel reviews by
College Park Aviation Museum
Based on 25 traveler reviews
WELL MAINTAINED EXHIBITS
Oct 09, 2013 by: Maurene_K from Dover
This was part of my Plan B itinerary since the Washington, DC national park sites were closed due to the Government Shutdown forced by Congress. This stop was one of the highlights of my trip. Driving into the entrance, I was fascinated to see that the College Park Airport was adjacent to the museum. I stopped there first to have a look-see and to talk airport staff. I also stopped to look at the historic marker. Established in August 1909 by the United States Army Signal Corps to serve as a training location for Wilbur Wright to instruct two military officers to fly in the government's first plane, it is the world's oldest continuously operated airport. The museum is about 8 miles from downtown DC. It's easily accessible by car and public transportation. It is about 30 miles from downtown Baltimore and 24 miles from BWI airport. Admissions are inexpensive: $4 - Adults $3 - Seniors $2 - Children 2+ FREE - Under 2 The museum does not have a snack bar or restaurant. Picnics are allowed at umbrella tables on the outdoor balcony overlooking the airport runway. There are also picnic tables back at the area near the main building of the College Park Airport. This museum may be small, but the quality of planes on display is excellent. The planes were restored and well maintained. Another reviewer Jack L has already listed all planes. At the time of my visit, there were 10 planes on display and one demo plane for a hands-on experience for youngsters. I especially liked the red 1932 Monocoupe 110, the blue and yellow 1941 Boeing A75N1/PT-17 Stearman, and the yellow 1936 Taylor J-2 Cub. The second floor allows one to get better views of the planes suspended from the ceiling. Children will like being able to use pre-cut postcards to make their own rubbings or stampings on the “picture” side of the card. They can explore, touch, and sit in the cockpit of the "Imagination Plane", a blue 1939 Taylorcraft near the far end of the museum. There is a hands-on room to learn about flying and to dress up like a pilot. Youngsters can “fly” in one of the simulators. There are pedal planes outside. The museum offers special family programs and events throughout the year. Check the museum website as you plan your visit. The airport runway is just outside the full-length glass windows of the museum. One can watch for take-offs and landings while touring the museum. Additionally, the museum’s full-length glass windows provide plenty of light for non-flash photography. My best results were with the Natural Light and Scene Recognition settings on my camera.
Great For Kids of All Ages
Sep 20, 2013 by: TomRuthWilliams from McKinney, Texas
Wow, the history is amazing. It's the world's oldest continuously operating airport and in 1911, it was the first Army Aviation school. The first U.S. Postal Air Mail service originated here in 1918. I'll let you read the other reviews if you'd like a listing of aircraft. It's small but very well done, to be expected as a Smithsonian Affiliate. The children's interactive facilities and play area outside are excellent and it appears to draw a lot of kids. We were very glad we took a couple of hours to take it in and it's one place in the Capital area that's not crowded. If you take children, allow another hour or two for them to enjoy it.
Small unknown gem of an a/c museum.
Jul 29, 2013 by: Jack L from East Syracuse, New York
Most of the museum's collection of a/c are early biplanes, up to the mid 30's. The first exhibit will be a replica of the Wright Brothers workshop, followed with the museum's a/c. I counted a total of eleven aircraft. This number should not keep a visitor away. The aircraft are: 1910 Wright Model 'B'. Curtiss Model D Pusher. 1912 Bleriot Monoplane. 1918 Curtiss Jenny Mail Plane. 1921 Berliner Helicopter. 1936 Taylor J-2 Cub. 1932 Monocoupe 110. Boeing-Stearman PT-17. 1939 Taylorcraft-which a visitor is allowed to sit for a photograph. 1937 Ercoupe. 1901 Wright glider. The Berliner Helicopter was a totally unknown to me and is one unusual a/c. To know what I am saying, a person needs to see the aircraft. One staff member took the time to print information about the Berliner off a web site for me. For the children, are aviation related activities. One group of boys & girls were having a very enjoyable time. Lighting is very plentiful for photography. Probably one hour will be needed to see all. There is a second story balcony, which allows a visitor to get close to a/c hanging from the ceiling. There are no barriers to any floor a/c. The museum is neat, well organized & laid out. No large crowds. Free parking. Seniors 60 plus only $3.00.The museum is located on the northeast side of Washington D.C. Don't think size, think history & content. A visit is recommended. Jack L., Syracuse, New York.
Jul 27, 2013 by: BonsterMC from
Who knew? What a fantastic little museum! I did not know, for example, that the College Park Airport has been in operation since 1909 and that the Wright Brothers were there. Awesome. The museum building is nice and right next to the airport, for a view of anything that might be going on with small planes there. The craft in the museum are all accompanied by concise, readable and interesting explanations, and there are many hands-on things for children and adults alike. Admission is only $4 (for adults) and seems a bargain. Go!
Surprising find in College Park
Jun 16, 2013 by: WalkerWear from Reston, Virginia USA
With the big national museums so close, we never expected this little gem in College Park. The docents are all very knowledgeable and many have military flying history to color their stories. There is easy parking, so bringing the minivan filled with young ones is car seats is very doable. Several displays are geared to young ones, and all ages enjoy being able to climb behind the controls of a real airplane and moving the controls. This is a much smaller place than Udvar-Hazy or the downtown Air and Space Museum, so it's less daunting and can readily fit into a morning or afternoon. The collection focuses on how the Wright Brothers and their contemporaries transitioned their invention into production, the travails of the first military aviators, and their quarters and life-style. You'll see early Wright and Curtiss aircraft, and 40s-50s-60s private aircraft. There are also displays on the latest human powered flight attempts, and near-record breaking accomplishments that are on-going at the closely-allied University of Maryland. Kids will love it, adults will be entertained, and the enthusiasts should be happy. This spot is worth a visit.
Read more reviews on the TripAdvisor page for this attraction.