We collect objects of particular significance to the history of aviation and spaceflight. The collection, preservation, and interpretation of these objects is one of the primary ways we achieve our mission.
It is important to understand what we mean when we speak about the “collection”. The Museum’s collection generally refers to everything the Museum holds in trust, including objects, artwork, archival photographs, documents, and more. A collection of objects can refer to a small subset of objects within the entire collection, typically organized by a topic, a program, or where the collection originated.
The Yankee Air Museum’s exhibitions cover global conflicts from World War One to the present through displays that offer visitors an opportunity to experience those conflicts through the men and woman who lived it. Many items in the collection – including but not limited to uniforms, weaponry, aircraft, medals, letters, artwork, photographs, and other mementos – are currently on exhibit in the Museum. The majority of the collection are kept safely in storage for research and future exhibitions, or are being restored to their original condition. The Museum also has a large collection of oral histories conducted with veterans of all branches and the civilians who helped at the home front.
In 2012, we began a campaign to save the original Willow Run Bomber Plant to be the new home of the Museum. The National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run will become the Museum’s new name, when the Yankee Air Museum moves into the building. There, in the roughly 144,000 square feet that will be renovated, will house our growing collection of more than 5,000 artifacts. We will also be able to house our collection of static aircraft and The David and Andrea Robertson Education Center inside. The new location of the museum will allow for the Yankee Air Museum to bring the excitement of the flyable aircraft, exhibits, restoration and educational programs back to a single site. In early 2016, we moved the first three aircraft into the Bomber Plant. Various pieces of the Museum will continue to move into the Bomber Plant as it is undergoing renovation. It is estimated the new Museum will be fully opened by 2019.