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Enjoy Denver Skies at The Air & Space Museum

January 3, 2020 By CityPASS

Colorado's official air and space museum in Denver is the place to visit if you have ever dreamed of piloting your own craft, have even a passing interest in aviation, or are just excited to learn more about the mile-high city's contribution to the Air Force. With a hangar space of almost 200,000 square feet filled with military and civilian planes, the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is a crowd-pleaser for guests of all ages.

Permanent Exhibitions at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

The Wings Over the Rockies is not your average aircraft museum. Transformed into a museum after almost 60 years of churning out over one million enlisted members, the former Lowry Air Force Base will delight guests with its stunning collection of high-tech aircraft, history, and amazing stories. Here is a breakdown of the permanent exhibitions:

  • Lowry Heritage Room: Almost a museum in itself, the Lowry Heritage Room explores the history of the Lowry Air Force Base, including tidbits on its namesake Lt. Francis B. Lowry and trivia on the surrounding geography.
  • Virtual Reality Lounge: Soar over the eastern plains of Colorado and execute heart-stopping tricks with the help of an aerobatic pilot, all without leaving the comfort of your swivel chair.
  • Spirit of America – Sonic Arrow: Prepare to be wowed by a formidable half-jet, half-land vehicle powered by a J-79 jet engine that propels it to a top speed of 900 miles per hour.
  • Wright Propeller: A display featuring an original Wright Model K propeller signed by one of the preeminent titans of flight, Orville Wright.
  • Colorado Airports Exhibit: Learn all about Colorado's 74 public-use airports, from international behemoths to local crop-dusting operations.
  • The Amelia Project: This exhibit details Amelia Rose Earhart's trip around the world (based on her namesake's journey) and includes artifacts from her voyage and a globe signed by Governor Hickenlooper.
  • Colorado Air National Guard Room: Celebrate and learn all about the history of the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard in this fascinating tribute to the protectors of the state of Colorado.
  • Aviation Uniforms: From shearling-collared bombers to weathered leather jackets, this exhibit showcases an incredible variety of sartorial historic artifacts.
  • Aircraft Nose Art: Bavarian lions adorning World War I-era aircraft are just one element of this engaging exhibit, which takes visitors into the rich history of emblems, logos, and decorative art painted on planes.
  • Harry Combs Civil Aviation Gallery (Stories from Colorado Skies): Enjoy the videos and written texts that will immerse you in the diverse tales from Colorado's aviation history.
  • Colorado's Astronauts: Over 60 astronauts hail from or have a connection to the Centennial state; learn about their contributions to the collective space knowledge in this engaging display.

Along with the permanent displays, the museum also boasts the Harrison Ford Welcome Theater, which features a video introduction from the iconic Hollywood actor, a mini-series-cum-vlog titled Behind the Wings, and other aviation-related films. Be sure to check the official website for current exhibits and movie selections.

Aircraft on Display at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Seeing some truly incredible mechanical masterpieces in person is one of the highlights of this air museum. While there are over 50 aircraft on display, take note of the following top-rated ones so you don't miss out.

  • X-Wing Starfighter: This 3/4 size replica of the X-Wing Starfighter piloted by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope will send Star Wars™ fanatics over the moon. Signed by Harrison Ford, David Prowse, and George Lucas, this fictional fighter plane is one of the most popular exhibits at the Wings Over the Rockies, so be sure to get there early to get a good look!
  • The F-14 Tomcat: a supersonic twin-engine fighter, will astound visitors with its sophisticated weapons system -- it was capable of tracking up to six targets at one time!
  • F-4 Phantom: Get a peek at this do-it-all-fighter used by the U.S. Navy, Marines, and of course, Air Force, for over 30 years.

Space Exploration at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

The Colorado Astronauts exhibit is not the only opportunity to get an insider look at the universe beyond Earth's limits. Visitors will also get to take a look at a genuine Apollo moon rock retrieved by Apollo 15 (one of only 856 pounds of lunar material on Earth) and a mockup of the Dream Chaser®, an efficient low-Earth orbit spaceship that was designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station.

Another intriguing facet of space exploration on view is the Apollo "Boilerplate," a finely calibrated replica of the manned Apollo command modules. These boilerplates were used to assess water landings and heat shields as well as to conduct gravity tests to ensure the astronauts locked inside would remain safe, no matter what they encountered.

Visiting the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the entirety of the museum. Along with the permanent collection of aircraft and exhibitions, the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum also hosts several limited-time exhibits. Add in a bit more time if you're planning on watching a film in the Harrison Ford Welcome Theater or want to try one of the simulator experiences, because you may have to wait for a ride. (Note that simulator experiences are not included with the Wings Over the Rockies admission.)

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Admission

Visitors can either buy tickets on site at the museum (ticket prices are available on the official website) or purchase ahead of time through Denver CityPASS® tickets. Not only will you get a deep discount on Wings Over Rockies tickets, but you'll also save up to on Denver's most popular attractions! Visit the Downtown Aquarium, Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, and more – all for less than what you'd pay if you bought individual tickets for each one.

When it comes to air and space travel, exploration, and military activities, the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver is second to none. Whether you're a Denver resident looking for a fun way to learn more about the local military and aviation history or a tourist excited to spend a few hours immersed in a world where gravity is no match for jet fuel, this top-rated museum is the place to be!

Nearby Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Denver, we recommend finding lodging near Denver's top attractions like Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Enjoy the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum for Less With CityPASS® Tickets

With CityPASS® tickets, there’s no reason to pay full price on Denver’s top attractions. Save up to on combined attraction prices and take your pick from must-see hotspots like the Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center, Downtown Aquarium, and more. Choose a 3- 4- or 5-attraction CityPASS® tickets and cross all of the items off your Denver bucket list!

Header Image Courtesy Wings Over the Rockies

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