NH Aviation Museum is a Gem

by GSA Roberta Wells, The Hotel Concord Class of 2019

I have often wanted to stop in at the Aviation Museum before or after one of my shifts at MHT, however this small gem is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. But it was a bustling place when my husband and I arrived there this morning. In the parking lot there was a special event going on – for riders in wheel chairs and recumbent bicycles. And inside there was a meeting of Aviation enthusiasts. So my husband and I had the museum virtually to ourselves to explore.

There is a lot to see and a lot of information about New Hampshire’s place in the history of Aviation. The museum is housed in a small Art Deco building that was the original terminal building built in 1937 and previously located on the other side of the airport. They have a book with pictures documenting how it was moved across two runways and placed in it’s current location.

All around the interior there are displays of various types of aircraft or memorabilia from historic local figures. We did. not have the opportunity to experience the few hands on exhibits where you can try your hand at a simulated landing or see what a pilot sees on their EVS instruments as the docent was unavailable today. None the less we enjoyed discovering some interesting facts about aviation history and practices in our home state.

For example, did you know there is an Ice Runway in Alton Bay that only opens once the ice is frozen at a minimum of 14 inches thick? And they hold a flight festival there each February. And can you guess what the first patented bi-plane manufactured in New Hampshire was nicknamed?

This is a great little museum for young and old alike. And if you time it right you may just see an aircraft taxing, landing, or taking off at MHT while you are there. The Museum also has a number of upcoming events you may find interesting:

Oct 19th @ 11 AM – Historian Bill Kolias shed light on the mysterious Cold War crash in 1959 of a B-52 Stratofortress in Fremont NH

Oct 26th@ 11 AM – annual Halloween Party open to kids of all ages along with ghosts of aviators of past history

Nov 9th@11 AM – 90 year old Ralph Dionne will share his memories of the Berlin Airlift

Nov 16@. 11 AM – History of the Airports Railroad line that is currently under conversion to a pedestrian trail which will come all the way to the museum parking lot

Nov 29th – Festival of Planes, a holiday display of planes and aviation play things thru the decades

Dec 14th @ TBA – Santa Arrives via Helicopter!

Events are included with Regular Admission. $10pp; Veterans/Active Military or Seniors $5; members & children under 5 Free.