Hello and welcome to the world of aviation! If you are a plane enthusiast or curious about the machines that fly us in the sky, then I have the perfect place to share with you. The Grissom Air Museum is a fascinating museum located in Peru, Indiana, dedicated to the history of aviation and the story of one of America’s great pioneers, Virgil “Gus” Grissom. With over twenty different aircraft and an extensive exhibit of artifacts, the Grissom Air Museum promises an immersive and unique experience to its visitors. Let’s take a closer look into this exciting museum that celebrates the heroes of aviation history.
Exploring the Grissom Air Museum
The Grissom Air Museum is a non-profit organization located on the grounds of the Grissom Air Reserve Base in Peru, Indiana. The facility is dedicated to preserving the history of the Grissom Air Reserve Base and the United States Air Force. It is home to an impressive collection that includes aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia related to aviation history. Whether you are an aviation enthusiast or simply interested in learning about the United States Air Force, the Grissom Air Museum has something for everyone.
History and Overview
The museum was founded in 1981 by a group of local residents who wanted to preserve the history of the recently closed Grissom Air Force Base. Their mission was to create a museum that would showcase the base’s significant role in United States Air Force history. Over the years, the museum has grown to become one of the top aviation museums in the Midwest.
The museum’s collection includes more than 20 aircraft from the early 20th century to the present day. The museum is also home to an impressive collection of engines, uniforms, and artifacts related to the history of the base and the United States Air Force.
The Grissom Air Museum is staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers who are passionate about aviation history. They are committed to preserving and sharing the history of the base and the United States Air Force for generations to come.
Collections and Exhibits
The museum’s exhibits are divided into several categories, including aircraft, engines, uniforms, and artifacts. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the museum to explore these exhibits and learn about the history of the base and the United States Air Force.
One of the museum’s most significant exhibits is the Cold War exhibit, which focuses on the base’s role in the United States’ nuclear deterrence strategy during the Cold War. The exhibit includes a Titan II Missile, the largest missile ever deployed by the United States Air Force.
Another important exhibit is the Vietnam War exhibit, which features uniforms, equipment, and artifacts from the conflict. The exhibit provides visitors with a glimpse into the experiences of the men and women who served in Vietnam, including several who were stationed at Grissom Air Force Base.
The museum’s aircraft collection includes everything from early gliders to modern fighter jets. Highlights include a B-47 Stratojet bomber, an F-84 Thunderjet fighter, and an F-14 Tomcat fighter. The museum also has an impressive collection of engines, including a Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine and a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine.
Events and Programs
The Grissom Air Museum hosts several events throughout the year, including air shows and outdoor festivals. The museum’s biggest event is the annual Kokomo Air Show, which attracts thousands of aviation enthusiasts from around the country.
The museum also offers several educational programs for students and aviation enthusiasts. The Aviation Adventure Program provides students with hands-on experience in aviation and includes a flight in a small aircraft. The museum’s Aviation Career Exploration Program is designed for young adults who are interested in careers in aviation.
In conclusion, the Grissom Air Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in aviation history or the United States Air Force. With its impressive collection of aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia, as well as its commitment to education and preservation, the museum is a valuable resource for the community and a fitting tribute to the men and women who served at Grissom Air Force Base.
Plan Your Visit to the Grissom Air Museum
The Grissom Air Museum is located just outside of Peru, Indiana and is open year-round. Admission prices are reasonable, with special discounts offered for seniors, children, and active military personnel. Visitors can choose to purchase single-day admission or a year-long membership, which includes unlimited access to the museum’s exhibits and events. The museum is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except for major holidays.
Visitors can view exhibits of different types of aircraft, equipment, and artifacts from the history of the U.S. Air Force. The exhibits range from fighter jets to cargo planes, from the memories of the Cold War to the modern era. The museum also features a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and memorabilia from their visit.
The museum is easily accessible for visitors with disabilities, with wheelchair ramps and handicap accessible restrooms available for use. The museum’s parking lot is spacious and provides designated parking spots for visitors with disabilities.
Tours and Group Visits
In addition to visiting the exhibits on their own, visitors can opt to take a guided tour of the museum. The tours are led by knowledgeable volunteer guides who provide additional insight into the museum’s exhibits and history. Visitors can choose between a variety of tour options, including docent-led tours, self-guided audio tours, and special tours for scouts or veterans.
For groups of ten or more, the museum offers discounted group rates and the option to schedule a private tour. School groups can also benefit from special guided programs that are tailored to different grade levels and include educational activities and exhibits.
Attractions and Amenities
The museum offers several amenities to make visitors’ experiences more enjoyable. The on-site snack bar serves food and drinks, so visitors can take a break from exploring and enjoy a meal or a quick snack. There are also several picnic areas located around the museum, making it easy to stop for a picnic lunch or snack between exhibits.
After visiting the museum, visitors can check out other nearby attractions, including the Circus Hall of Fame, the Miami County Museum, and the Mississinewa Battlefield. There are also several hotels and bed-and-breakfasts located within a short drive of the museum, making it easy to turn your visit into a weekend getaway.
In conclusion, the Grissom Air Museum is an excellent place to learn about the history and legacy of the U.S. Air Force. Whether you’re a history buff, an aviation enthusiast, or just looking for a fun and educational day out, the museum has something for everyone. With its affordable admission prices, guided tours, and wide range of exhibits and amenities, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Supporting the Grissom Air Museum
Volunteering and Donating
If you are passionate about aviation history and would like to be involved in preserving it, the Grissom Air Museum offers various volunteer opportunities. Volunteers assist with various tasks such as greeting visitors, giving tours, assisting with events, and helping with maintenance and restoration. Volunteering can be a fulfilling experience and a great way to meet new people who share your interests.
Becoming a member of the Grissom Air Museum is another excellent way to support the museum’s preservation efforts. Members receive various benefits such as free admission to the museum, discounts at the gift shop, invitations to special events, and a subscription to the museum’s bi-monthly newsletter. By becoming a member, you can play a more significant role in helping the museum achieve its goals and contribute to future exhibitions and educational programs.
Donations are also essential in ensuring the Grissom Air Museum can continue its work in preserving aviation history. Monetary donations are always appreciated and can be made online, by mail, or in person. In-kind donations such as aircraft, artifacts, and materials are also welcome.
Sponsorship and Partnerships
Corporate sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses and organizations are crucial in supporting the Grissom Air Museum’s continued success. By partnering with the museum, you can align your brand with an organization that is dedicated to education, preserving history, and promoting aviation. Additionally, sponsorship can offer various benefits, such as logo placement, access to the museum for events, and advertising opportunities in the museum’s publications and website.
There are several options for sponsorship, including naming rights for exhibits and galleries. Naming rights allow you to exhibit your brand in the areas of the museum that attract the most visitors. Additionally, the museum offers various event sponsorship opportunities for annual events like the Heritage Days celebration during the summer and the Octoberfest fundraiser.
Future Plans and Goals
The Grissom Air Museum’s primary goal is to become a premier aviation museum in the Midwest. The museum has several ongoing projects, such as the restoration of a C-47 Skytrain aircraft, which played a significant role in World War II. Additionally, the museum is planning a new exhibit on space exploration, highlighting the contributions of Hoosier astronauts and the state’s significant role in space exploration.
Looking to the future, the Grissom Air Museum has further plans for expansion and improvements. These include improved restrooms, additional exhibit space, and better accessibility for visitors with disabilities.
The museum is always looking for ways to educate visitors on aviation history and inspire the next generation of aviators. With the support of volunteers, members, sponsors, and partners, the Grissom Air Museum can continue its mission of preserving and sharing aviation history with the public.