World’s best aviation museums?
The travel department of US broadcaster CNN published its latest and very controversial list of the ‘20 best aviation museums around the world’ on 28 December 2018. Featuring museums from across the US, Europe, East Asia and one from the southern Hemisphere− Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service Museum at Alice Springs−it is a truly intercontinental list but are they really the world’s best?
Unsurprisingly, US aviation museums have the lion’s share. One is the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC, whose exhibits include the US Airways Airbus A320 that landed on the River Hudson ten years ago this January. Also listed are: the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, GA; the EAA Museum at Oshkosh, WI; the Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA; National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton, OH; Palm Springs Air Museum, CA; Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, AZ; Smithsonian NASM, Washington, DC; and Udvar-hazy Center, Chantilly, VA, and the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver, CO.
Canada’s sole entry is the Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, while from China, Poland, Ukraine and Russia come four massive complexes: the China Aviation Museum (Beijing); Polish Aviation Museum (Krakow); Oleg Antonov State Aviation Museum (Kiev); and the Central Air Force Museum (Monino). The latter is a topical inclusion with the announcement of its closure, dispersal of smaller transportable exhibits and scrapping of the rest.
European representation comprises the Museo del Aire at Madrid–cuatro Vientos, Hangar-7 at Salzburg, Austria, home to Red Bull’s stunning fleet, and the incredible Musée de l’air et de l’espace du Bourget north of Paris, which celebrates its centenary this year. IWM Duxford is one of just two UK museums featured: the other is Aerospace Bristol. Why are RAF Museum Hendon and Cosford missing from this list?
Time is running out for the immense Soviet hardware line-up at Monino, the doomed Russian museum listed
From Golden Age racers to supersonic jets, a splendid Seattle MOF vista
This Farman Goliath's fuselage is among Le Bourget's preserved treasures