Living, Flying, WWI Air History Museum
Original WWI artifacts, authentic flying replicas
Just 30 minutes out of Denver - where else in the world can you go to
- Watch a Dr-I tri-plane try to land.
- Hear a Vultee BT-13a start up.
- Examine original uniforms WWI and WWII pilots wore.
- Analyze the handwriting on aces' signatures including Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen's
- See the actual medals won by the first aces - Pour le Merite, Blue Max, Medal of Honor*.
- Discover the Colorado connections of pilots Stetson, Lowry, Parks, and others.
- Touch an airplane made of wood and fabric.
- Meet Whiskey and Soda, the cats named for the lion cub mascots of the Lafayette Escadrille.
- Get to know a family starting on its fourth generation of keeping alive the memory of the LaFayette Foundation.
- Find out what is Du Doch Nicht!!.
* You will not see American top ace Eddie Rickenbacker's actual medal, because only those who have earned the Medal of Honor and their family may display the actual medal. However, certain museums are allowed to display a museum copy of the medal, and the VAFM is honored to display that on behalf of Eddie Rickenbacker.
Something for pilots, historians, modelers, families, and more
- For pilots - replicas homebuilt from the original blueprints to examine
- For historians - the only "True Copy" of the Instrument of Surrender presented to General Wainwright, and much more
- For modelers - a wealth of information about WWI colors, markings, designs, etc.
- For families - cockpits for kids to sit in, friendly kittens, many projects in development
- For school groups - think outside the books: WWI education in three dimensions!
- For shoppers - gifts for the aviation fanatic on the list
- For everybody - an education in WWI that you can see, hear, and feel
A hundred years ago...
- Powered flight was newer than the Internet is now
- Chuck Yeager wasn't born yet
- Average people didn't have cars
- There was no such thing as air war
- Nobody thought pilots needed parachutes
- Or brakes
Within a few years, air combat would go from throwing bricks to being able to fire machine guns without shooting off the propeller. Embryonic air forces would develop tactics and doctrine. Some pilots would become casualties, some aces, some both. Many would become celebrities. One would be remembered above almost every other name and event of WWI a hundred years later, thanks partly to a cartoon dog. And aircraft that look today like colorful little toys would become extremely effective killing machines.
Visit the VAFM and learn to respect the men who first flew "by the seat of their pants" with few instruments, no forecasting, no parachutes, and a sky full of enemies.**Put slide show from current Photos page in here, preferably with captions**