The State Aviation Museum (Muzeul National de Aviatie)

Museums, as institutions, have been developed with a single purpose in mind, that of keeping alive the history of a state, in particular, and of the world, in general. But there are so many different branches worth exploring and so many items, evidence and documentation to be mapped according to the time and place these were discovered in that it is physically imposible for one edifice to comprise them all, not to mention that their diversity makes them a bit too complicated to organize. As a consequence, the institutions have been categorized according to their purpose.

While the name museum is usually connected to history, archeology, art,  and the like, there is one sector which should not be overlooked. Aviation has played an important part in our evolution and the different models of aircrafts which exist at present or have existed in the past are exemples of the steps we have taken in our development from an engineering point of view.

Because of the high importance that this branch carries, it has been agreed upon that a museum should be dedicated to aviation, and thus the State Aviation Museum was born. The institution was opened for the public back in 2003 in Kiev and ever since, it has managed to attract an impressive number of visitors. It is no surprise that the Aviation Museum has become one of the most significant tourist attractions located in Kiev.

And the reason for which this happened is obvious if we are to take into account that it is one of the most progressive museum, from a mechanical point of view, located in Ukraine. Not only are the items on display captivating, but these are also interactive.

The exhibitions are organized so as to represent specific timeframes in the history of aviation. While the aircrafts themselves are the main attractions in the museum, there are other items connected to this industry which have found their way into the exhibits. But the items are not arranged solely based on their appearance, but also on the category in which they fit. For example, there is a collection dedicated to the MiG Jet aircraft, while others comprise the aircrafts which have been used in specific warfares.

There is one model of aircraft which plays an important role in the museum and which is the object of admiration for visitors. The Tu-22M, the missile carrier, represents the ‘jewel’ of the Ukrainian Air Force, and there is an entire section dedicated to this specific collection and to the variable models which have been developed under the same name.

Among the items on diplay one is presented with are helicopters, attack aircrafts, fighter planes and ship based aircrafts. In fact, the State Aviation Museum is the largest institutions of its kind to have on display replicas of the Soviet technological innovations.

But the aircrafts are not there only to be gazed upon from the distance. The administration of the museum has developed interactive sessions in which visitors can actually go aboard and can even sit in the pilot’s chair and touch the control panel. It is indeed a one-of-a-kind experience as you no longer sit in the passanger’s seat, in the back, but you can actually see where the ‘action’ takes place. Not to mention that you will see firsthandedly the interior of battle planes and helicopters. Going on board of the planes that have fought in important battles in is not the same as actually participating in that specific war but it is the closest one will ever get to experience a time long gone.

The museum is open throughout the year, but there are some variation in the schedule according to the time of the year in which you visit it. Thus, from April until October, the Aviation Museum opens its doors from 10:00 until 19:00, while the remaining timeframe (from October until the end of February) the visiting hours are 10:00-16:00.

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