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Castle Air Museum

by | Apr 27, 2017 | 0 comments

Location & history

Castle Air Museum, opened in 1981, is located in Atwater, California, adjacent to Castle Airport, a former United States Air Force Strategic Air Command base. The museum’s collection encompasses over seventy restored vintage military aircraft ranging from pre-WWII to present on approximately twenty acres of beautifully maintained grounds.

Title Address Description
Castle Air Museum
5050 Santa Fe Dr, Atwater, CA 95301, USA

Museum collection

Some of the museum’s highlights include the: Avro Vulcan B. Mk.2, Douglas R5D-4 Skymaster, Douglas B-18 Bolo, Boeing B-47E Stratojet, North American B-45A Tornado, Kaman HH-43B Huskie, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, McDonnell Douglas VC-9C Presidential Transport, Martin EB-57A Canberra/Intruder, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and a Bell H-13 Army Helicopter.

Boeing B-47E Stratojet at the Castle Air Museum

Boeing B-47E Stratojet

Convair RB-36H Peacemaker

The museum also houses one of the only five surviving B-36 bombers, the Convair RB-36H Peacemaker. The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft ever built. It also had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft. It was operated in the 1950s by the USAF as the primary nuclear bomber of Strategic Air Command, later replaced by the jet-powered Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. Museum’s Peacemaker was previously displayed at the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, IL.

Convair RB-36H Peacemaker at the Castle Air Museum

Convair RB-36H Peacemaker

Open House events & indoor collection

You can view interiors of selected aircraft during periodic Open House events. During these events, volunteers who restore and maintain the aircraft are also available to answer any questions. In addition to the outdoor displays, Castle Air Museum also has an indoor collection of aviation memorabilia including aircraft engines, military uniforms, historic photos, and personal artifacts from the past century.

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the Castle Air Museum

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit

Air Force One

In 2013 the museum received a retired McDonnell Douglas VC-9C that served the administrations of Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton flew on the plane as Air Force One. It was also used by many vice presidents, first ladies, cabinet members and both domestic and foreign dignitaries.

McDonnell Douglas VC-9C Presidential Transport at the Castle Air Museum

McDonnell Douglas VC-9C Presidential Transport

More planes are coming

The museum’s collection keeps growing every year and will soon be expanded with the addition of the Lockheed C-130A Hercules, Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star and the Convair YB-58A Hustler, the first supersonic bomber used by the USAF.

North American B-45A Tornado at the Castle Air Museum

North American B-45A Tornado

Strategic Air Command

It is also worth mentioning that parts of the Bombers B-52 movie depicting the introduction of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber into the Strategic Air Command (SAC) inventory during the 1950s were filmed at the former Castle Air Force Base.

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For current museum information including the hours of operation, admission price and contact details visit the museum’s website at castleairmuseum.org.

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