Aircraft & Exhibits Archive - NNAM

Best Aircraft & Exhibits

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Flight Deck

The USS Nimitz one-quarter scale replica flight deck highlights features of the modern nuclear-powered aircraft carriers that operate around the world.  The island superstructure not only depicts that on board the real ship, but also serves as the ticket counter for the museum’s large screen theater.  Nimitz entered service in 1975 as the lead ship

Spirit of Naval Aviation Monument

This monument depicts five Naval Aviators from various periods in history gathered together listening to the World War II aviator describe an air combat action.  It welcomes visitors to the museum Quarterdeck, which derives its name from the ceremonial point of arrival and departure on board a ship. For visitors this area of the museum

A-1 Triad

The museum’s A-1 Triad is one of two replicas of the Navy’s first airplane built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Naval Aviation in 1961.  The name Triad reflected the fact that it could operate from the water using the single float, on land using wheels and in the air.  The A-1 was the airplane

D-558-1 Skystreak

A subsonic research airplane designed to evaluate high-speed flight, the D-558-1 was aptly nicknamed the “Crimson Test Tube” by the press that covered its test program.  Two Naval Aviators, Commander Turner F. Caldwell and Marine Major Marion Carl, established world speed records in the Skystreak in August 1947 over what is now Edwards Air Force

F9F-2 Panther

The Navy’s front-line fighter during the Korean War, the Panther scored the first air-to-air kills by a jet aircraft in Naval Aviation history.  Astronauts John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, as well as Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams, flew F9Fs during the war.  The museum’s airplane is a combat veteran of both Navy and Marine

Dawn of Naval Aviation

The Navy ordered its first airplane in 1911, just eight years after the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight.  From seaplanes that logged record-setting transoceanic flights to the development of combat aircraft and the floating airfields known as aircraft carriers, Naval Aviation’s first decades of service laid the foundation for its enduring role in


The name Charles Lindbergh is synonymous with flying across the Atlantic, but the NC-4 flying boat was the first to conquer that ocean in a multi-legged flight with stops in Canada, the Azores Islands and ultimately Portugal.  On loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum since 1974, this is the actual aircraft, not

Naval Aviation in the Great War

This diorama captures various scenes from the Naval Aviation experience in the World War I era, from the sandy shores of Pensacola where wood and fabric seaplanes operated from tent hangars to a muddy airfield on the Western Front.  A civilian purchased the MF-Boat on display after it completed its Navy service and at one

Sopwith Camel

One of the most famous fighters of World War I, the British-made Camel got its nickname from the hump that housed the machine guns located forward of the cockpit.  Nineteen-year-old Lieutenant (junior grade) David Ingalls became the Navy’s first fighter ace, a status achieved by shooting down five or more enemy aircraft, while flying a


Nicknamed “Fifi” (a play on its FF-1 designation), the airplane was produced by Grumman, the same company that eventually developed the F-14 Tomcat of TOPGUN fame.  Its metal fuselage, enclosed cockpit canopy and retractable landing gear were innovative for the early 1930s.  Discovered in a junkyard in Nicaragua, the museum’s airplane is an export version