Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage, Alaska is dedicated to educating the public about the state's unique connection to aviation through displays and preservation of historic aircraft and memorabilia from aviation history. Additionally, the Museum has a secondary focus on educating the residents of the region about the importance of the industry, and works to foster interest in aviation careers. This is done through cooperation and interaction with educational institutions throughout the entire state.
In the year 2000 the museum also began inducting Alaskan aviation heroes and notables into its “Hall of Fame”, and to date it has honored many legendary figures in aviation, including Russ Merrill – the first flyer to travel into many of the state's cities and who the Anchorage airport takes its name, Carl Ben Eielson – the first aviator to fly air mail into Alaska, and to cross the Arctic Ocean in a plane, and Noel Wien – the founder of Alaska's first airline and the pilot who set many “firsts” records in the state's aviation history.
In addition to educating visitors about the unique place that aviators and aviation has in the state's history, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum also has an extensive collection of historic aircraft and artifacts, as well as memorabilia all related to the region's bush pilots and aviation history. Currently there are more than twenty complete aircraft on display ranging from model years in the 1920s all the way through the 1980s, including a 1928 Stearman C2B flown by Harold Gillam in the historic search for Carl Ben Eielson and a 1981 Boeing 737 donated by Alaska Airlines.
Visitors to Anchorage are encouraged to spend some time in the museum, not only to enjoy the remarkable aircraft and information on display or undergoing restoration, but to find a better understanding of the many brave pilots and residents who worked to establish the Alaskan frontier. Without their hard work, sacrifices and contributions the many wonders and beauty of Alaska may have remained unknown.