Museo de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica
|Established||Built in 1979|
|Public transit access||Line 10 (Madrid Metro)|
The Museo del Aire, full title in Spanish Museo de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica o Museo del Aire, is an aviation museum located in the outskirts of Madrid at Cuatro Vientos Airport, Spain. The museum has been located at its current site since 1981. It offers six exhibition galleries and it has about 150 aircraft on display.
Cuatro Vientos was inaugurated in 1911 and is Spain's first military airfield. The airfield, although surrounded by construction, is still in use.
The initial project
In 1939 the Spanish Civil War came to an end and the Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) was created. It is in this period the Ministerio del Aire (Spanish Ministry of Aviation) appointed Colonel Társilo Ugarte Fernández to prepare a project for the creation of an aeronautic museum. However, 27 years passed before its creation. A first draft was presented in December 1948, with its location in the plant below the new building of the Ministerio del Aire (currently Cuartel General del Ejército del Aire).
Through subsequent studies and consults, the Museo de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica was created by decree number 1437 of June 16, 1966, accountable to the Ministerio del Aire and with headquarters in Madrid.
The museum facilities extend over a surface of more than 66,000 m2 (710,000 sq ft), including outdoor displays and seven hangars. There are mainly planes and helicopters, many of which have previously served in the Spanish Air Force. Visitors will also find hundreds of miniature aircraft models, uniforms, engines, weapons and many other aviation related objects. Aircraft on display include a Vilanova Acedo, Spanish version of the Blériot XI built in 1911, the Jesús del Gran Poder, a special version of the Breguet 19 used on the transatlantic flight to Asia and America between 1928 and 1929, a few aircraft of the Spanish Republican Air Force, as well as the famous de Havilland Dragon Rapide used by Francisco Franco from the Canary Islands to Tétouan at the start of the military rebellion which began the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
- The entrance and camera usage fee: none, free admission.
- Timetable: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 2 pm. The museum is closed to the public on all Mondays and special days (like public holidays), as well as the entire month of August.
Ways to get there
There is no access from the airport to the museum, and this is surrounded by a confusing number of roads.
- By bus: It is better to take any of the Madrid-Alcorcón-Móstoles green buses of the BLAS company at Príncipe Pío station. These go along the Autovía A-5 and there is a stop near the museum: ask the driver where to drop off. Busses pass here frequently.
- Nearest metro (Madrid metro) and commuter rail (Cercanías Madrid) station: Line 10 (Madrid Metro). Cuatro Vientos Metro station is a bit far from the museum, about 1 kilometre, but there is no marked or paved path to the museum. Walking beside the highly frequented highway is not very pleasant. It is advisable to take a taxi at Cuatro Vientos Metro station to the museum, which is actually part of an airforce base..
- By car: autovía A-5, 10,5 km. Parking is free in front of entrance to the Museum.
- Source: Odgen 2009
The museum has over 150 aircraft exhibited in outdoor and indoor displays. Over 50 others are not on display, but can often be seen around the site.
List of selected aircraft on display (individual examples already noted or illustrated in Wikimedia projects)
The Vilanova Acedo built in 1911, is the oldest aircraft in Spain.
Jesús del Gran Poder, historical Spanish aircraft.
- Ogden, Bob. (2009). Aviation Museums and Collections of Mainland Europe. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd ISBN 0-85130-375-7
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