Education, Events, Must See, News

Take a walk through Michigan’s military history … Selfridge Military Museum and Air Park opens April 4

Air%20Park

Once again we can be part of the history of the Michigan Air National Guard when the Selfridge Military Museum and Air Park opens its doors for 2015.  From April 4 to October 31 it will be open from noon to 4:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday as well as Independence Day and Memorial Day.

This T-6 Texan will soon be added to the air park display at the Selfridge Military Museum at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The single-engine trainer was flown by the Michigan Air National Guard from 1946 until 1955.

This single-engine T-6 Texan trainer was flown by the Michigan Air National Guard from 1946 until 1955.

In mid-May the outdoor Air Park will get a new addition … a fully restored T-6 Texan, which was flown by the Michigan Air National Guard from 1946-1955. This history with our state makes it right at home with the other 30 aircraft that share a direct connection with Michigan.

The T-6 on display was restored by the museum’s team of volunteers, right down to era specific Michigan Air National Guard markings.

Also sitting in the Air Park will be a C-130 Hercules and a P-3 Orion, considered the highlight of the more than $7 million worth of aircraft displays. These impressive aircraft will be open to visitors when weather and volunteer availability permit.

Museum%20Display_5aAside from the Air Park there are plenty of indoor displays in the museum to draw the attention of either the military or aerial enthusiast. Those exhibits will take you on a winding path through aviation history from the early 1900s, through World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and then into the “The Cold War.”  The exhibition wraps up near the doors to the Air Park with the display on Desert Storm.

The museum displays include:

  • A full-scale historically accurate replica of a World War I fighter plane, the SPAD XIII
  • A ¾-scale historically accurate replica of the Wright Brothers first aircraft, the “Wright Flyer”
  • An interactive cutaway and motorized World War II aircraft engine
  • An interactive air traffic control radar display
  • An extensive display of original aviation art produced by noted aviation artists
  • A Korean War era “Jeep”
  • Four aircraft cockpit trainers
  • A modern F-16 “Fighting Falcon” a Vietnam-era A-7 “Corsair II”
  • A World War II LINK trainer that guests can actually sit inside
  • A functional LINK trainer that can be operated only by appointment and by qualified individuals

There is also military memorabilia, including weapons, aircraft engines, military uniforms, military aircraft models and photographs that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history of the base that spans almost 100 years.

Memorial%20Wall-1While you are in the Air Park please visit the Memorial Area. It’s in the center and is a place to honor all members of the military who gave their lives in the line of duty and in the service of our great nation. It recognizes all those who have in the past or who are currently serving their country and acknowledges the contributions made by families and companies to the preservation of freedom.

If you would like to have a friend or relative recognized you can purchase a brick that will become a permanent part of the Memorial Wall. For more information, please click here.

The Selfridge Military Air Museum is a private non-profit organization. It is staffed by volunteers and gets no federal or state funding. If you are interested in volunteering, check out this link. You can also donate or adopt a plane as many Boy Scout troops, other organizations, families and individuals have done.

The museum is located on a military base so be prepared. The Museum and Air Park is accessible by vehicle only through the Main Gate at the intersection of M-59 and Jefferson Avenue. For security reasons, guests arriving in a private vehicle that is being driven by someone without a valid government identification card must register for a Visitor’s Pass at the Base’s Visitor’s Center or Main Gate and be subjected to a background check.  Here’s a link to the map.

You can visit the museum other than weekends. Just make an appointment by calling 586-239-5035 or emailing info@selfridgeairmuseum.org.

Admission is $4 for anyone over 12 and $3 for kids 3-12.  If the visit is by appointment, regular rates apply, but are in addition to a minimum $25 donation. You can take pictures as long as they are for private, non-commercial use.

 

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *