Tulsa Air and Space Museum

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This handsome guy greeted us at the entry to the museum. Got to love those glasses.

If you have a son (or grandson, in my case), who loves planes, this is the place to go. The Tulsa Air and Space Museum has made a lot of changes over the past few years, and they are for the better. The museum is clean, the displays are well-thought out, and it offers a variety of hands-on activities. This is definitely not your “look-but-don’t-touch” type of museum. The TASM is housed in an aircraft hanger close to the Tulsa International Airport. The displays are impressive: an F-15 Tomcat, a space shuttle replica, a robot arm which you can manipulate, a “smoke filled” balloon, a Spartan NP-1 ( crank start airplane) and several engines, including a mass produced jet engine. Our favorite was the shuttle spacecraft replica which you could launch. There was even a mock systems check with a control board. According to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum website, “The Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM) is a regional leader in the promotion of science-based education through hands-on interaction and discovery. Combining preservation with inspiration, TASM tells the story of Oklahoma’s rich aerospace history with interactive exhibits that educate and entertain visitors of all ages”. The employees or volunteers we met were military veterans, former or present pilots, who loved to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with us. My grandson loved the airplane cockpits where he could sit and pretend to be a pilot. There are also displays where you can learn about aerodynamics, the history of aviation and so much more. My 11 year old daughter loved the computer simulation of flight the best. The whole exhibit can be seen in just an hour or two, depending on how much time you want to spend on each exhibit. They also offer a planetarium experience which we missed this time, but is well worth the visit, as long as your children can sit still for about 30 minutes. If you live in the Tulsa area, be sure to check out their educational programs. We will be going back again soon.

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A replica of a wartime poster.

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Trying out the cockpit.

airplane

That is the F-15 tomcat in the background. Very impressive.

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