The National Museum of Naval Aviation
This is a great place to visit in the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach / Pensacola area for a day outing. In addition to the free admission MUSEUM, there is IMAX with multiple shows and the BLUE ANGELS can often be seen practicing adjacent to the MUSEUM as well as official scheduled air shows.
Open 9 AM to 5 PM Daily-Free Admission
See Blue Angel Schedule & Photos Below
Call for IMAX show times, reservations, etc at (850) 453-2025, or visit the museum's website for further information
Call the Blue Angels Public Affairs Office at (850) 452-3955, or visit their website for further information
Driving directions from Gulf Shores / Orange Beach
2012 Blue Angel Practice Schedule
|The Blue Angels practice over Naval Air Station Pensacola at
8:30 AM during the show season. The Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola has a viewing area for visitors to watch the team practice. The team visits the museum to answer questions and sign autographs after Wednesday practices. Wednesday practices are highlighted red below.
|March -27, 28
|April -3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
|May -1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16
|June -5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
|July -17, 18
|August -8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 21, 22
|September -5, 11, 12, 18, 19
|October -17, 23, 24, 30
|November 2nd and 3rd attend the Blue's Homecomming at the 2012 NAS Pensacola Air Show !
The Blue Angels can be seen practicing from an area adjacent to the Museum. Signs are posted to direct visitors to viewing and parking locations, including special spaces for handicapped visitors. Bleachers are available for seating about 800 people or feel free to bring your own lawn chairs... we suggest that visitors bring hats and water, also.
Practices are held most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, unless otherwise noted, at 8:30 a.m. (weather permitting) during the season. It is recommended you plan on arriving earlier than the start time; you won't want to miss anything while parking and getting seated!
Photo copyright Lundy Wilder 2004
See photos from a Pensacola Blue Angel Air Show
Museum has multiple IMAX shows,
one is always their flagship movie:
Magic of Flight The
Magic of Flight captures the thrill of flying! Experience a take-off in an F/A-18
fighter jet. Land on an aircraft carrier at over 150 miles per hour. Cruise the skies at
Photos from inside the National Museum of
Official Museum Website
The National Museum of Naval Aviation is chock
full of jets, airplanes & helicopters. Free guided tours happen several times a day
and are led by retired pilots. Many exhibits are hands-on like this jet cockpit where you
can take your buddy's photo as a pilot.
There is a classroom area
where you can even operate actual aviation related equipment like this airplane scale
model in this wind tunnel.
The museum has scale models of
ships that are associated with aviation like this aircraft carrier.
The NC-4 flying boat is
one of the tangible symbols of aviation's historic development. Her epic transoceanic
journey was during the period 8-27 May 1919. On 8 May, the three NC (Navy/Curtiss) series
flying boats took off from Long Island, New York to attempt that first crossing of the
Atlantic Ocean by air. Two of the three aircraft (NC-1 and NC-3) were forced to land in
heavy seas to take a navigation fix during the long Newfoundland-Azores Islands leg of the
journey. So heavily damaged in the landings, they were unable to proceed, leaving NC-4 to
After nearly 15 hours in the air, NC-4 touched down in the Azores and continued on to
Portugal, arriving on 27 May, completing the 2,150 mile transit in 26 hours of flight time
at an average speed of 80 mph.
Commander A. C. Read and his crew of five have the honor of being the first to fly the
Atlantic. The actual aircraft they used is proudly on display in the center of the South
Wing of the museum.
The Naval Air Museum is home to the Apollo Command Module flown in Skylab 2, the first manned mission to Skylab.
Directions from Gulf Shores / Orange Beach:
Go East on Beach Blvd. (AL Hwy 182/ FL Hwy 282) towards Pensacola, continue on
across Perdido Key . The road is called various names: Sorrento Rd./Perdido Dr. and just
after you come across a bridge (Look for Food World & a Water Tower), turn right
(East) on Gulf Beach Hwy/ County Road 292A. Travel on until you see Blue Angel
Parkway where you will turn right (South). You will go straight to the National Naval
See a Blue
TIP: Order the Video
Tour of the Museum before you leave home, and make your Museum visit much more meaningful.
Any of these videos will bring greater insight for your visit to
Amazon gets it to you F-A-S-T
Museum Tour Video
From the first plane to
the Atlantic to the first man
on the moon, Naval Aviators
have led the quest to expand
our horizons. The National
Museum of Naval Aviation
offers a proud tribute to the
men and machines in this quest.
This video tour of the Museum
is combined with footage from
WWI, WWII, the USS Yorktown,
and the Blue Angels.
The Magic of Flight
Originally filmed using IMAX® cameras,
The Magic Of Flight, produced for the
Naval Aviation Museum Foundation,
takes you on a technological thrill
ride faster, higher, and wilder than
modern science or even your
imagination! Narrated by Tom Selleck,
the movie takes you from the
Wright Brothers first flight to gravity
defying maneuvers with the
world-famous Blue Angels.
Includes 'making of' the movie footage.
Run time: 82 minutes
Blue Angels, In Pursuit of Excellence (2000)
Fly with the U.S. Navy's elite Blue Angels
demonstration squadron in the breathtaking video The Magic of Flight, which explains the
basic principles of what enables airplanes (and birds) to fly, what creates lift, how
planes maneuver, how planes land again. Going back to the Wright Brothers'
The Living Sea
Narrated by Meryl Streep, enter the "world
ocean," traveling to Palau, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Alaska, Nova Scotia and the
Red Sea. Explore the mysterious depths and come face to face with humpback whales, swim
with thousands of golden jellyfish and witness the bizarre spawning behavior of giant
clams. The Living Sea celebrates the world ocean - its beauty, diversity and its
importance to all life on earth. Features songs and music by Sting.
Run time: 77 minutes
|If you plan on taking a
Dolphin watching cruise (great fun) while here be sure to let your family see these videos
first so they will have a more in depth appreciation of these wonderful creatures. Bring
the videos and order a pizza one night !
Believe it or not, an
IMAX film can make the transition to video perfectly well. It might not be three stories
tall, but Dolphins is still a lovely, larger-than-life exploration of these
strangely intelligent creatures. Visit the Bahamas, Argentina, and beyond to see different
varieties (like the graceful duskies) play and hunt. Pierce Brosnan's narration and
Sting's music fill the water with sound and add counterpoint to the dolphin's shrill
cries; the film is an overwhelming experience even in the living room.
Geographic's Dolphins: The Wild Side (1999)
I found this video very
knowledgeable and entertaining. I used it to teach a crash course on cetacean behavior to
children grades 8-12 and they found it very enjoyable. It is filled with many interesting
facts and great photography. It emphasizes the fact that although some cetacean species
are "playful" they are wild animals and will react in ways necessary to their
society. I would recommend it to anyone--brilliant underwater camerawork