Pima Air and Space Museum

Pima Air and Space Museum

The dry climate of Southern Arizona means that this part of the world is ideal for the long term storage of aircraft. A number of aircraft storage locations exist that are focussed on civilian aircraft but the biggest location is the US military installation at Davis Monthan air base in South East Tucson.  A large area of the base is dedicated to the AMARC facility that exists to store Aircraft for eventual return to service or to act as a source of parts.

The Pima air and space museum is adjacent to Davis Monthan and holds a collection of around 300 largely US military aircraft although there are also a number of former eastern block aircraft in the collection. The collection is largely outside although hangers hold a number of other aircraft. In summer it obviously can get very hot wandering amongst the exhibits outside. However, there is the option to take a narrated trolley tour.

What will be of particular interest to the aviation enthusiast is that a tour of the AMARC facility can be arranged at the museum. A separate ticket must be purchased for this and you will need to have picture ID on hand as it may be requested on entry to the airbase. The tour takes place on a coach and there is no opportunity to get out and up close to the aircraft. The sight of the ranks of aircraft is truly impressive and the tour route will let you see a good selection of the aircraft types that are stored here.

The tours operate Monday through Friday and hours are seasonal so check directly with the museum before your visit.

There is a small grill on the museum site serving drinks and snacks and a very good shop which also stocks some decommissioned aircraft parts including instruments