Combat Air Museum, Topeka, Kansas


Visitors to the Combat Air Museum of Topeka, Kansas can expect years of history regarding flight. The Air Museum has been open for thirty years. It is also one of a small number of major aviation museums in the United States. The Air Force has flights and helicopter operations near the museum, which allows visitors to witness the machines in action. Air National Guard can also be seen transporting people and items through the skies. The Combat Air Museum is located at Forbes Field. It is a non profit organization centered on educating local and non- local communities. They are also dedicated to preservation, conversation, and education.

The exhibits include thirty- three aircraft from the WWII to present day era, aircraft engines, and military exhibits. Visiting hours are Monday through Saturday 9am to 4:30pm, and Sunday noon to 4:30pm. Winter hours will vary. Admission into the museum is $6 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 17. There is a military discount.

The Combat Air Museum was organized in 1976 as part of David Tallichet's Yesterday's Air Force. The group was highly interested in the WWII aircraft, especially those that were still operational. They decided to find a hanger in which they could display the various aircraft in their collection.

The aircraft on display range from Beech SNB-5 Twin Beech Model 18 to Grumman F9F-5 Panthers. Biplanes, helicopters, and fighter jets are all part of the displays. The aircraft range from WW1, like the German Taube to the Sikorksy CH- 53A Sea Stallion Helicopter.

To give visitors a closer look at the inside of aircrafts an F111 Cockpit escape capsule is on display. The capsule has its doors open so visitors can look at the gauges, seats, and other parts of that section of the plane. A Sheyang F8II fuselage is part of the museum exhibits, lowered on the ground for visitors to get a good look at.

The WWII German POW room displays what it looked like in some of the POW rooms during that war. There is a chapel and kitchen on display as well. Uniforms from the military include a USAF F-4 pilot gear from Vietnam, WWII Japanese Airman suit, and Combat Marine suit from Vietnam. A mural of Iwo Jima and Mt. Suribachi is on display, complete with the raising of the American flag.

This aviation museum looks at more than American planes or memorabilia. It also shows a number of other cultures like the Korea aviation information. Various display cases hold weapons, photographs, and other military equipment used past and present. The Women Airforce Service Pilots display depicts women in aviation and their story in the military.

As mentioned the Combat Air Museum has engines on display. These engines include the GE Whittle Gas Turbine Engine, DE Havilland Goblin Turbojet, Allison TF41-A-1B Turofan, Pratt and Whitney Wasp Major, and the Stromberg Injector Carburetor Cutaway. There are more than the engines listed here as part of the exhibits on display, ranging from a number of different aircraft.

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