The small museum with a big heart

After a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is excited to welcome people back to explore the rich history this test base has to offer. Through escorted family visits, field trips, and home study groups, the museum offers several chances to engage with school-aged youth with Edwards Air Force Base access.

The Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is excited to welcome people back to explore the rich history this test base has to offer. (Air Force photograph by Adam Bowles)

A recent tour with parents presented the museum the occasion to introduce young visitors to various aspects of flight testing at Edwards AFB; supplying historical context and permitting the children to immerse themselves in the tour. Sergio Cuevas, restoration curator for the museum, provided a memorable learning experience for children to see the planes up and close and personal, capturing tiny hearts and big imaginations with intricate details and demonstrations.

Museum and educational centers, such as the planned future home of the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB, provide educators and parents valuable resources for first-hand exploration that is not often available in formal learning settings. The museum’s Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale provides structured learning in the classroom via its summer program, Junior Test Pilot School; a class specifically designed by former test pilots for children in grades 3-6. Junior Test Pilots can earn patches and certificates through successful completion of interactive missions and have access to instructors that engage and empower our students.

Even though the museum has big dreams of expansion in the near future, the staff still has the relatability with personal one-on-one conversations sharing the rich history and deep passion for flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base.

An F-4 Phantom, tail number 37-407, is one of the many aircraft on display at the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Air Force photograph by Adam Bowles)
Children seen here are interacting with Flight Test Museum restoration curator, Sergio Cuevas, on the prototype F-16B at the museum’s restoration Hangar on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Air Force photograph by Adam Bowles)

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