Shannon Air Museum – Fredericksburg, Virginia - Atlas Obscura

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Shannon Air Museum

This small museum houses rare airplanes from aviation's golden age. 


An hour and a half south of Washington, D.C. lies a small air museum with a remarkable collection, including one-of-a-kind airplanes.

Sidney Shannon Jr. was a businessman and pilot whose father was one of the founders of Eastern Air Lines. In 1950, Shannon founded Shannon Airport, an airport for general aviation (small, private planes) just outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

An air museum on the property was opened in 1976. From its beginning, the museum has housed a collection of rare aircraft from the “golden age of flight”. Following Sidney Shannon’s death in 1981, the future of the airport and museum was uncertain. For a while, the collection was moved to another museum in Richmond. In 2017, however, the museum was reopened and the collection returned to its original home.

Several of the aircraft on exhibit, including the Vultee V-1AD Special, are the only remaining example of their type. Other rare aircraft include a Pitcairn Mailwing PA-5 and a Bellanca CH-400 Skyrocket.

Know Before You Go

Admission to the museum is $15 and is purchased at the airport gift shop, which is connected to the airport café. The volunteer docents are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the airport and all of the aircraft and artifacts on exhibit. 

In partnership with KAYAK

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