Museum Monday: Kansas Aviation Museum

There are close to 700 aviation/space-related museums in the country.

Each Monday on we profile one of them.

Eventually we’ll hit them all.

Today: The Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita, Kansas

The museum is near the McConnell Air Force Base and is housed in the art deco-style building that served as Wichita’s municipal airport during the 1930s and 40s. Among the museum’s collection of about 40 airplanes is this Beech Starship,

and a B-52 bomber, a refueling tanker, and this 1927 Laird Swallow, which crashed in 1929, was put into storage for decades and then restored by museum volunteers.

Another charmer?  The Pretty Praire Special III, designed and built by Marion Unruh. According the museum website, this is the third in a series of airplanes named after Unruh’s hometown of Pretty Prairie, Kansas. Unruh designed the plane in 1951 but it wasn’t completed until 1957.

“It rolled, looped and could snap with the best acrobatic planes of the day.”

In addition to the airplane collection, the Kansas Aviation Museum has a wide variety of airplane engines on display and offers opportunities for volunteers to help with airplane restoration projects.

Do you have a favorite aviation-related museum you’d like others to know about? Tell us why you like it and it may be featured on a future edition of Museum Monday here at

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