I was lucky enough to have this year's Veterans Day off so Kevin (my friend and pastor) and I made a day trip to Macon, GA. I found the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base online a while ago and finally found the right opportunity to check it out. The museum is located on the southwest side of the Robins AFB, but is outside the gate (so you don't need a DoD ID) and admission is free! The museum also has a cafe, but it was unfortunately closed for our visit due to the holiday. That didn't make sense, but oh well.
The weather was perfect with nearly clear skies and cool temps. We took off around 8 am and landed at Middle Georgia Regional Airport (KMCN) an hour and a half later. Be bucked a little bit of a headwind, but the ride was smooth. KMCN lies a few miles north of Robins AFB and since it was a federal holiday and base tower was closed, we got to make our approach right over the middle of it! That 12,000 foot runway is huge!
The controllers at KMCN were easy to work with and in no time we were securely parked on the ramp of the only FBO, Lowe Aviation. They were kind enough to call us a taxi. The one way fare to the museum was $18 so I just gave the driver $20 to include a tip. I asked about a cheap rental car, but was told their rates from Hertz puts the car a little over $40 per day plus taxes and fees. In hindsight I should have just rented a car since it would have been only a couple dollars more in the end, but we would have had a little bit more freedom. Remember, we didn't find out the cafe was closed until after we got there!
Anyway, we started our perusing in the main building where we found displays on the Flying Tigers complete with a P-40 Warhawk, exhibits from the Korean War, and a few items from the Cold War/Modern Era of flight. Also in the main building, on the third floor with an amazing overlook of the static displays outside, is the museum cafe, but it was closed ;) !
From there we went to the next hangar which housed aircraft and exhibits from the Vietnam War. You can sit in a UH-1 Huey and a cockpit from the the F-105. I really liked that this museum had quite a few cockpit exhibits you can sit in and even play with all the buttons and switches. I did consistently notice that at 6' 1" I was uncomfortably tall for most of them. I could not imagine spending hours in those planes. I definitely have it better in my plane and at least no one is shooting at me either!
Next we went to a hangar that had some great displays from the Cold War and Modern times. They have a USAF Thunderbirds F-16, a U-2, a SR-71 Blackbird, and more.
The last hangar housed a great display & exhibit on WWII that focused on D-Day and the battle for Europe. There was also a B-29 Superfortress. The museum also uses this hangar to work on future displays. Even though you couldn't get close to everything, there was definitely a lot to see and get excited about.
Finally we ventured outside to see the massive aircraft out on static display on the museum grounds. I was surprised to see some of the planes outside. There were a few that looked like they had just recently been decommissioned.
Tired and famished, we called to get a taxi back to the airport. The only fast food options on the way back was a Krystal. I'm not a fan of their tiny burgers, but I was starving. To both of our surprise, Krystal has added full size, Angus burgers to their menu so we quickly got ours to go and enjoyed them in the lobby of the FBO. And let me just say, we both thought those were some pretty tasty burgers! We finished up and took off for home. We enjoyed a little tailwind and in no time we were back in Jacksonville. I'll have to make that trip again as there is plenty to see and enjoy. Next time I'll call ahead and make sure the cafe is open though!