The Stories Behind Great Moments in Aviation History
Exhibits at the Pacific Coast Air Museum center upon the technology and human factors of manned flight. You’ll find more than just a collection of airplanes. You’ll find the stories behind important moments in the history of aviation and space travel, often told by the very people who experienced them.
Our five-acre facility has approximately 35 historic aircraft that you can walk right up to, touch, and sometimes look inside during Open Cockpit Weekends. We have a small building that houses our Gift Shop and a number of exhibits that feature actual artifacts, models, artwork, and written materials.
September 11 First Responder
Our premier exhibit is the 9/11 F-15A “First Responder” F-15 Eagle, which was the first fighter jet on the scene over New York City the morning of September 11, 2001. This is the actual aircraft that took to the air that dreadful morning to provide protection to the people of Manhattan, and you can see it right here at PCAM.
Find out more about the 9/11 First Responder Exhibit.
Artifacts from Local Aviators
PCAM is more than a display of full-size aircraft. We are a repository for aviation artifacts and displays that tell the story of flight in the Sonoma County area.
On display is the worn leather flight jacket of Santa Rosa resident Harold “Hal” Miller, a member of the 353rd fighter group who flew P-38 Lightnings in Europe. At one point it was believed that he had killed legendary German General Erwin Rommel in a strafing attack, and he received a lot of publicity for this. But history does not always turn out as it first seems.
We also have a collection of flight helmets, goggles, and aircraft instruments from the 1930s and 1940s.
Fly our 3D virtual reality flight simulator! You sit in the cockpit of an actual jet trainer, put on the 3D goggles, and an attendant will help you maneuver the plane. This is not a video game; it's an actual flight simulator that mimics the performance of an F-15, P-51, 747, Sopwith Camel, or any of about a dozen other aircraft. It has to be experienced to be believed. There is an additional cost to fly the Flight Simulator.
Find out more about the Flight Simulator.
We have cutaway jet engines of different types so you can see their insides. One display houses a legendary Norden Bombsight from World War II, which is considered one of the key pieces of technology that helped the Allies beat the Axis powers. We have uniforms, a collection of propellers, and a collection of flight helmets dating back to before World War I.
Outdoors we have an engine and 20mm cannon from a P-38 flown out of Santa Rosa Army Airfield on training missions during World War II. The pilot was killed in this plane when it crashed during a gunnery training session, and when the engine and cannon were recovered several years ago they were given to the Museum.
Dioramas and Models
Kids love our model room!
One large scale diorama recreates Santa Rosa Army Airfield – now the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport – as it existed during World War II, complete with tiny models of P-38s and other aircraft. Another depicts the Santa Rosa Naval Auxiliary Air Station which was located south of Santa Rosa.
A diorama of a Korean War era U.S. Air Force air base includes lots of model airplanes, and interactive lights show you which airplane is which. A similar model of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier illustrates U.S. Navy aircraft of World War II.
We also have several dozen model aircraft hanging from the ceiling.
Photographs and Art
We have a collection of rare photographs, many showing Santa Rosa Army Airfield and Santa Rosa Naval Auxiliary Air Station in the 1940s. Written information accompanies the photos so you will know what you are looking at.
A FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACE WITH HISTORY YOU CAN TOUCH!
There’s always something great going on at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. We have Open Cockpit weekends once a month, special events throughout the year, and regular hot dog lunches. We host school field trips, special group tours, birthday parties, and family get-togethers, all among our collection of historic aircraft and educational exhibits.