National Naval Aviation Museum to re-open

MAJOR news out of the National Naval Aviation Museum.

From their Facebook page:

“After more than three years of restricted entry, the National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM) is thrilled to announce the public access waiver onto NAS Pensacola has been reestablished and the Museum will officially reopen to all visitors starting May 17, 2023. Prior to that, as part of a phased opening, previously scheduled public visitation will remain for Thursday through Sunday, May 4-7 and May 11-14, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“After three-and-a-half years, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation couldn’t be more excited to welcome EVERYONE back to their National Naval Aviation Museum,” said Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, president and CEO of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.

“We are excited to share the history and heritage of Naval Aviation with everyone and are thankful for the loyal support we’ve had along the way, that will soon culminate with our Grand Reopening.”

General public visitors to NNAM will be required to enter NASP through the west on Blue Angel Parkway. All U.S. Citizens or U.S. nationals 18 and older must provide a Real ID or passport. For detailed requirements for base access visit NAS Pensacola’s website.

“We would like to give special recognition to the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, for his assistance in getting public access back to Pensacola NAS. We also want to thank our local community and NNAM fans for their unwavering support of our museum.”

“We cannot express how grateful we are that EVERYONE has the opportunity to experience its magic and wonder, once again,” Cozad furthered. “We hope to see you soon, so you can experience your BEST DAY EVER!”

The National Naval Aviation Museum is open Monday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.”

Valiant Air Command Open House, November 2022

The Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville had its yearly Open House during the Veteran’s Day weekend, November 2022. This was to be a 3 day event but Hurricane Nicole visited Florida earlier in the week and minor damage to the museum forced them to be closed on Friday.

I visited on Sunday and the crowd was light due to a pending rain front that would arrive midday. Plenty of food was to be had and veteran organizations had displays set. The local model club had a great display as well.

One the highlights for the museum is the addition of a new ramp for aircraft displays. New hangar/buildings are also to be built soon.

The XP-82 Twin Mustang was displayed outside and I have posted walk around pictures of that aircraft. Other aircraft were displayed outside but the rain made for a very gray day.

The crown jewel of the Valiant Air Command is their C-47 “Tico Belle” which saw service in the European Theater of Operations. This aircraft was participated in the D-Day invasion, bring airborne troops to Normandy. She was also took part in Operation Market Garden.

Fresh from the restoration shop is this Beechcraft RU-21A UTE, which flew intelligence missions during Operation Desert Storm.

The Republic F-105D was proudly displayed. I remember seeing these fly out of McGuire AFB with the Guard and man were these loud.

A recent donation to the Valiant Air Command museum is this F-104B Starfighter. This aircraft is a two-seat, dual-control trainer airframe that served with Air Forces of the United States, Taiwan and Jordan.

The National Naval Museum of Aviation has loaned the Valiant Air Command this Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless. This aircraft ditched in Lake Michigan in 1944 will trying to land on the carrier Wolverine. It sat at the bottom of the lake until recovered in 2009. Restored by the museum afterwards, but still retains some original skin.

The museum has a great number of additional aircraft displayed or being restored. With more ramp and hangar space, they will continue add more aircraft. Great place to visit and the staff are amazing.

Valiant Air Command Open House, XP-82 Twin Mustang photo walk-around

The Valiant Air Command Museum recently held an Open House during the Veteran’s Day weekend in November. More details on that event and more photos soon. Weather did not cooperate with the clouds and rain making for a grey day.

Details of the aircraft can be found here: XP-82 Twin Mustang