The Air Heritage Museum located next to the Beaver County Airport in Chippewa is yet another example of a fascinating Beaver County attraction that is often overlooked. If you didn’t know better, you might think that the Air Heritage hangar was simply a part of the airport and drive right by it.
The Air Heritage hangar is a working museum where visitors can see and learn about aeronautical history both from aviation artifacts and the airplanes themselves. It is deemed a working museum because there are many different restoration projects happening at any given time. The museum focuses specifically on World War II and Vietnam era aircraft, but you will also see aircraft from both before and after that time.
History of Air Heritage
Like so many interesting relationships, the evolution of Air Heritage hinged primarily on a chance encounter that just happened to be followed by a small favor. The organization was established in 1983, but it really got its start in the late 1980s at the Latrobe Air Show. It was at that show that some of the Air Heritage members happened to meet David Tallichet and offered to do some repair work on his B-17.
Following the repairs the group made to Mr. Tallichet’s airplane, a working agreement was developed where he would finance a 120’ x 120’ hanger for the group to work out of in exchange for their volunteer efforts to restore some of his aircraft collection. With a hanger to work out of and the free labor provided by its members, Air Heritage has thrived at its location next to the Beaver County Airport.
Visiting Air Heritage
A visit to the Air Heritage Museum will provide the opportunity to see many different types of aircraft. I will be the first to admit that I don’t know much of anything about these airplanes, but that doesn’t detract from the experience in any way. Despite my complete ignorance, these beautiful planes that once flew all over the world are still completely awe-inspiring.
For those who are a bit more inclined, here are some of the aircraft on display:
- Mooney M20E
- F-4C Phantom II
- C-47B Skytrain
- Funk Model B-75-L
- F-15A Eagle
- Jet Provost T3
- C-123K Provider
- T-34 Mentor
- Fairchild 24 Forwarder
- T-28B Trojan
- L-21 Seneca
Air Heritage Events
In addition to their regular monthly meetings, Air Heritage participates in a number of local air shows in the tri-state area. There are alse annual events hosted at the Air Heritage hanger including a pig roast, hangar dance, and a Christmas party.
The Air Heritage Museum is open every Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and admission is free. Even visitors with no interest in aviation can’t help but be struck by the rich amount of history and engineering accomplishment that each aircraft on display represents, which is why the Air Heritage Museum is yet another hidden gem located in Beaver County.