The Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey was founded in 1972, a mere few years after Neil Armstrong was the first man to historically walk on the moon. As the years pass, there have been many additions due to the rapid progress humankind has made towards travel.
Up To The Sky
The unique beauty of the museum is to highlight the achievements of individuals in New Jersey that contributed to the fascinating world of aero travel. Students of all ages have the accessibility to attend the Hall of Fame to learn more about their statesmen’s contributions as well as what opportunities they themselves may have in the rapidly approaching future of air travel. From the Wright brother’s first flight in 1903 to Neil’s “small step” in 1968, man is now working on travel and living arrangements for humans to venture to Mars. These attendees may very well be the next prospective applicants for a world that has flying cars, space travel as a vacation destination, and a Jetsons-esque way of living.
Women Own The Skies!
Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly alone across the massive Atlantic Ocean
The museum strives to recognize three individuals from New Jersey each year that have contributed to the advancement of air adventure. Previous notable inductees include astronaut Mark Polansky, who was Chief Instructor Astronaut and spent over three hundred hours in space; the famed Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean alone; and Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly alone and nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. It is important that these people are recognized, because, without their achievements, we may very well be still pulled by horse and carriage, or destined to drive cross-country instead of taking a much more convenient airplane.
There are so many engaging resources housed in the museum. A large research library holds many books, photographs, manuals, and scrapbooks. Students are allowed to utilize these materials for personal use upon appointment and are encouraged to study the artifacts within the center. Several fascinating exhibits are also prominent within the museum, all of which have made history at some point in the timeline of aviation. Guests are able to view various versions of flight vehicles, including early renditions of planes, rockets, and hovercrafts. The old Sixties television show The Jetson’s seems to be more and more of a reality these days!
To Infinity and Beyond~
Just a few of the different vehicles presented at the “Wings & Wheels” Expo
Beyond what is actually inside the center, The Hall of Fame also hosts an annual “Wings and Wheels” Expo that displays all kinds of transportation. Previous years have hosted coast guard helicopters, Thunderbolt airplanes, and Warbirds that were last used in the World Wars. The Expo also pays homage to the times of these machinery, with women dressed up in the rockabilly and pin-up vintage style. Classic cars are parked alongside the aircraft and visitors are transported to a time where there were no cell phones or television on demand. The event creates necessary revenue to continue the maintenance of The Hall of Fame as well as complements the history that the museum works hard to preserve. Walking down these hallways is like taking a trip back in time.
Guests not only are able to visit exhibits and learn about the vehicles from the outside–they also have the opportunity to be inside them as well. On Open Cockpit Day, guests are allowed to go inside the aircraft to feel the experience of the magnitude and power each machine was able to provide. The “Dare to Fly” program is a four-hour workshop designed for elementary to high schoolers. They are given a set of items to create their own flying machinery and are taught about the way planes move in the air as well as what makes that possible. Friendly competition and comprehensive tour of the museum cements a day of fun and learning. Party bookings are available to celebrate a child’s birthday or a senior’s graduation. Souvenirs and a museum walk-through give individuals the opportunity to really feel like they are the pilot for the day.
Walk away with your head in the clouds!
The Aviation Hall of Fame provides New Jersey with access to a critical part of the state’s history. As a way to keep the museum running and accessible to future generations, all are encouraged to volunteer as a guide, maintenance, or file manager; maintain a membership which allows you to bring a guest free every visit; donate and fundraise on behalf of the museum and the future that would benefit from learning such critical knowledge. Who knows what will be in the museum in the next twenty years–flying cars, spaceships to take civilians to Mars, or hovering houses? All that matters is that we continue to learn and create to make it happen!