American Helicopter Museum
The history of rotorcraft flight from the ground up
The 20,000-square-foot hangar full of 70 years’ worth of vintage helicopters is a rotorwing historian’s dream; here, vintage and modern aircraft demonstrate the copter’s roles in war and rescue missions, agriculture and police surveillance. You’ll see the only V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey in the world that’s on public display, and have the chance to climb into some of the helicopters to fiddle with the dials, switches and pedals.
But it’s not all pseudo-piloting: The museum has many exhibits on how copters actually work and how they differ from fixed-wing aircraft. There are also films about the helicopter’s commercial and military purposes as well as demonstrations of what may be in the future for the rotorcraft industry.
The American manufacturers who pioneered the development of the helicopter – including Piasecki, Boeing-Vertol and Pitcairn – were headquartered in Philadelphia and its suburbs, making the region the cradle of the nation’s helicopter industry. Copters still fly out of the adjacent Brandywine Airport, so the hangar filled with vintage helicopters and hands-on displays showing how they work is a natural here.
Open Wed-Sun; Open Mon and Tue by appointment
If you come on the third Saturday of the month between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., you can take a ride in a real helicopter.
Great Kids’ Stuff
Kids can sit in about a dozen of the copters and man the controls. Don’t worry, the museum keeps the keys.