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“Marvelous museum”

Commemorative Air Force Museum
Ranked #1 of 62 things to do in Mesa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum is the largest vintage military aircraft unit in the world. Don't just view history, live it! Experience what it's like to fly in a WWII B-17 Bomber. After your flight, get up close and personal with historic warbird aircraft like the P-51 Mustang and C-47 Flying Mule. Tour our 55,000 square feet museum and learn about the Tuskegee airmen, Women Air Force Service Pilots, and countless heroes.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Marvelous museum”
Reviewed 14 December 2013

WE have been here twice in the last 3 years and have learned something more each time. Their displays are excellent and cover so many aspects of WWII. We especially liked being able to view the planes in the hanger and tour Sentimental Journey out on the tarmac. We were the only ones in the plane and got to spend our time examining, imagining flying in it during wartime. A marvelous experience.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Regina, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Give it some time”
Reviewed 11 December 2013

I visited recently and was a little disappointed as the displays in one hanger were roped off so one could only view from some distance away. I suspect they are still organizing from a move from a previous location where I had seen the displays 2 years before.
I also wasn't sure I should cross the tarmac to view the outside planes so I let without getting close.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Heptiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great Museum”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

We had not been to this museum before and were pleasantly surprised. Lots of memorabilia and a great deal of fun to see all the old planes. The highlight was 'walking' through the Sentimental Journey B-17. It was very enlightening to say the least. Seeing the other planes and the artifacts, reading the stories and watching some of the videos was fabulous. And if you are lucky, you'll visit for a while with some of the volunteers that have plenty of experience and stories to share as well. I highly recommend going for a visit and make sure you have a couple hours to take it all in. You will be glad you did!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lori H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“If you love aviation military history, you have to come here!”
Reviewed 9 December 2013 via mobile

simply incredible, I actually go to walk through a B 17.......I walked in the footsteps of the young men who fought in WW 2, I walked through history!

Helpful?
1 Thank gunhead7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Western Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“One of the must-sees for everyone in the Mesa Arizona area.....”
Reviewed 30 November 2013

...which I did stop at and I'm glad I did. We had a mini Air Force reunion down in Arizona where one of my friends lives and we all decided to check this place out.

The museum itself has a nice cross section of vintage aircraft, such as a restored Douglas A-26 Invader named "Miss Murphy", as well some other well known staples of WW-2, like a B-25 Mitchell and a P-47 Thunderbolt. It's not the largest of facilities but don't be fooled by that because they manage to pack every square inch of it with history. You'll go from rooms that display uniforms, pictorials, and more to the hangars, which house the aircraft (some of which were in the middle of refurbishment, guts out and all so that was kind of interesting), as well as a Norden Bombsite, some humungous ancient bombs and some other stuff that I hadn't a clue about. You can then walk outside onto the tarmac to see a DC-3 and some other aircraft, all the while watching some of the more current, smaller general aviation planes take off and land at the adjacent active airport that the museum is co-located with. Still, very interesting and kind of like being in your own History Channel show when you're there.

There's an admission fee ($12.00 for adults; different rates for kiddies and seniors, I believe) and nice little gift shop that spans both sides of the entry way (t-shirts, posters, and other WW2 memorabilia). The staff are wonderful, all of whom (at the time I was there, anyway) were veterans of either, Korea, Viet Nam, and even one World War 2 guy. When there, DO ask these guys questions because there is nothing like getting it straight from someone who was actually in the action back in the day. It beats reading about it in a huge way.

FYI: I'm told they have a B-17 Flying Fortress associated with this museum but it was not present on the day my friends I visited (bummer). They do, however, offer rides for a fee ($$$$) in the B-17 and other aircraft with reservations, which is something my guy and I may try and the future because those vintage planes won't be around forever.

So, again, I went on too long but the bottom line is that this museum is worth the trip to. You'll truly be enriched when you leave, especially if you like vintage aircraft!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank PioneerValley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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