How would you like to:
- Soar high above Virginia Beach in an authentic World War II airplane?
- See actual WWI and WWII aircraft, meticulously restored to their original military-ready splendor?
- Roam through a scenic park filled with replicas of real dinosaurs?
You can experience all this and more at the Virginia Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, VA, just 9.4 miles north of Sandbridge Beach via Sandbridge Road.
It's an ideal destination for a family day trip when you're staying at Sandbridge Beach.
An Amazing Private Collection of Genuine Vintage "Warbirds"
Founded in 1997, the Museum houses one of the world's largest collections of WWI and WWII military aircraft. Visit any day except Thanksgiving and Christmas between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discover:
- Authentic WWI Biplanes and Triplanes, carefully restored down to the smallest detail - over 15 planes in all, including two Fokker D.VII German fighter planes; an authentic Fokker D.VIII, one of the last German fighters flown in the First World War; a Curtis JN-4 (a/k/a "Jenny"), the classic US Army biplane once used as a WWI training aircraft; a British Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter 1915 biplane; a Nieuport Model XI, the formidable French fighter famous for its decisive role at the Battle of Verdun; and many other airworthy aircraft that flew in the Great War.
- 20 Genuine WWII "Warbirds," authentically restored military airplanes such as the Curtis P-40, famous for its connection with the "Fighting Tigers"; an FD-1G Corsair, the iconic "gull-wing" fighter known in Japan as "Whistling Death"; the B-25 Mitchell Bomber, one of WWII's most legendary aircraft; a TBM Avenger, the same kind flown by former President George H. W. Bush when he was shot down over Chi Chi Jima; and many more.
- The 15,000-square-foot Army Hangar, housing vintage US Army Air Corp aircraft alongside classic British and Russian planes
- The Navy Hangar, another 15,000-square-foot space, home to famous US Navy aircraft like the PBY Catalina, Skyraider, DeHavilland Dragon Rapide, and more.
- The WWI Hangar, a 15,000-square-foot reproduction of a vintage French barn hangar, where you'll find a colorful collection of classic aircraft replicas
- The Cottbus, a genuine 1930s Luftwaffe Hangar - the real thing, not a replica - relocated from Cottbus, Germany.
- Goxhill Tower, the very same WWII control tower (not a reproduction) built for British Royal Air Force Station Goxhill in Lincolnshire, England - the only authentic tower of its type now in the United States
- The Fighter Factory, the museum's high-tech maintenance and restoration facility, where 15 highly skilled aviation technicians expertly maintain classic warbirds, fighters, bombers, training aircraft, and liaison planes
But Don't Just See the Planes - Fly in One!
Want to know what it was like to fly in a 1940s aircraft? During flight season - April 23 through October 27 - you can book a flight on a WWII warbird piloted by an expert veteran aviator.
You'll experience the thrill of a lifetime as you soar high above Virginia Beach, across the Intracoastal Waterway, and over the grassy dunes of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Unlike today's huge commercial planes, these two- and three-person aircraft give you an awesome up-close glimpse of Virginia's coastal countryside.
Choose either a 15-minute or a 30-minute flight on one of two classic biplanes:
- The 1941 Boeing Stearman, a US WWII training plane once used by Army and Navy aviators
- The Waco YMF-5, is an exact 1989 reproduction of a 1940s biplane - with room for two passengers, so, if you like, you can fly with a friend or family member
Prices range from $175 to $375, depending on the plane you choose, the number of passengers, and the duration of the flight. Schedule your spot via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-721-7767.
And Now for Something Completely Different - The Museum's Jerrassic Park
Do your youngsters love dinosaurs? (What kid doesn't?) Be sure to bring them to Jerrassic Park, right at the museum entrance.
Named after museum owner Jerry Yaeger - hence the "Jerrassic" spelling - this beautifully landscaped outdoor space is open and free to the public anytime 24/7. Roam the extensive grounds to discover 3/4-scale metal replicas of actual real-life dinosaurs.
Your family will thrill at the sight of gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex towering above the landscape - along with raptors, pterodactyl, triceratops, and a huge, long-necked apatosaurus. They're all nestling in a pretty pondside setting just minutes from Sandbridge Beach.
Perfect Ending to a Perfect Day
Once you've finished enjoying your family excursion, head back to your Sandbridge Beach rental, where you can relax over a leisurely dinner and relive the day's adventures.