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Kansas Aviation Museum

 

It’s no surprise that a city known as the Air Capital of the World has a topflight aviation museum! The Kansas Aviation Museum (KAM) chronicles the growth and development of general aviation in Kansas with a focus on Wichita’s past and current influence on the industry. 

Wichita first earned the title of Air Capital of the World in 1928, when the production lines at the city’s 16 aircraft manufacturers rolled out 120 airplanes each week. Today, our city proudly boasts a legacy of contributing to the manufacture of hundreds of thousands of aircraft of all sizes.

The Kansas Aviation Museum, located in one of the few remaining early air terminals in the U.S., features a growing collection of aircraft and aviation-related artifacts. Its historic building, adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base, adds to the museum’s unique charm and significance.

Historic Exterior of the Wichita Municipal Airport (now the Kansas Aviation Museum)

A Historic Building

The city’s original Wichita Municipal Airport Terminal Building has been home to the Kansas Aviation Museum since 1991. This art-deco terminal was built in the 1930s with its control tower added in 1941. Stand in the same atrium where museum officials say Fred Astaire once danced while awaiting a flight or climb up to the tower, where on a clear day you can see the downtown Wichita skyline.

A woman views the Black Aviators exhibit at Kansas Aviation Museum

Noteworthy Exhibits & Events

Popular indoor exhibits feature dedicated sections on Beechcraft and Cessna, two major aircraft manufacturers in Kansas. Newer additions include “Women of Aviation” and “Rip Gooch Black Aviators.” The museum also hosts exhibits on aviation legends, an engine room and a military display. For interactive fun, you can enjoy computer simulators and climb into real airplane cockpits!
 
Inside the museum, you’ll find six full-size aircraft on display, while the outdoor ramp showcases more than a dozen civil and military aircraft, ranging from pistons to turboprops to jets of all sizes. Among the largest planes are a Boeing B-52D bomber with a wingspan of 185 feet and a Boeing KC-135E refueling tanker. Notable private aircraft include a Cessna Citation, a Beechcraft Queen Air and a Learjet Model 23 once owned by Bill Lear.
 
For a chance to walk through some of the planes on the ramp, plan to attend the museum’s annual Play on a Plane Day in the fall. The Kansas Aviation Museum is also a great place to view Frontiers in Flight, the biennial McConnell Air Force Base airshow. The museum is hosting its next Airshow Watch Party Aug. 24-25, 2024.

Seats are set up for a wedding outside at the Kansas Aviation Museum

Tickets & Hours

The museum and its gift shop are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday during the summer. For the rest of the year, they are closed on Thursdays. 

Be sure to check the hours on the day you plan to visit, as the museum is a popular wedding venue and may close for private events. Admission is $6 for children, $8 for seniors and $10 for adults. Visit their website for a complete list of daily discounts, including free admission as part of the Little Aviators program every Friday morning.

Make sure to add the Kansas Aviation Museum to your itinerary during your next visit to the Heart of the Country!

Wichita Highlights