Florida Air Museum
4175 Medulla Road,Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland 33807
Admission: Adults $8, seniors (55+) $6, children (8 to 12) $4, children 7 and under free
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4:00 p.m.
Location: In the middle of nowhere. From I-4 Exit 25, drive south on County Line Road, turn left on Medulla Road.
Small even tiny personal aircraft, hand-built from scratch, from plans, or from kit, are the focus of this small spic and span museum. In addition to more familiar types of craft are gliders, ultralights, and gyrocopters. My favorite was a replica of the 1913 wood, wire, and cloth Laird Baby Biplane, built by aviation pioneer Matty Laird when he was just 16. One wall is given over to a chronological history of Florida aviation from 1900 to 1941 and other displays remember National Airlines, Howard Hughes’ 1938 flight around the world, and his fabled “Spruce Goose” megaplane. A hangar a short drive away houses larger World War II military planes.
Reaching the Florida Air Museum takes some stick-to-itiveness. It’s truly off the beaten path, but if you’re really into this type of aircraft the trip will be worthwhile. Every April there is a fly-in for personal plane enthusiasts.
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