Mid Atlantic Air Museum Photos
You can visit the Mid Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, PA. For directions and hours see the MAAM's website here.
The aircraft at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum that I was most interested in initially was the P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter that is currently undergoing restoration. They pulled it off a mountain top in Indonesia and are doing a ground up restoration with the intention of getting it airworthy. From my eye it looks like they are re-fabricating a lot of parts and all of the skin from scratch. It's apparent that the museum staff and volunteers are cutting no corners in this restoration. But I think the B-25 Mitchell turned out to be my favorite. It's been restored to a very high standard and more than being a hangar queen it is flown several times a year. The Custer Channel Wing is really fascinating and it's too bad that it didn't get a chance at production and development beyond the initial prototype. The Channel Wing used the principal of the prop pulling air from the upper wing surface producing a greater vacuum on the upper side of the wing and more lift for the airfoil. Oddly, the A-10 Warthog does the same, although the engines were placed where they are more from a standpoint of protecting them than adding extra lift. I hope one day they are able to do at least a cosmetic restoration on the Custer Channel Wing. It's a really unique aircraft and in original livery I think it would be quite striking. The Mid Atlantic Air Museum also has a Grumman Eastern TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber, which is so clean you could eat off it. I'm not certain if it is airworthy.
The Custer Channel Wing, Dakota, Sikorsky Helicopter, Martin 404 Airliner, and several other aircraft are outdoors and right next to an active taxi way, so you've got to heed the museum's instructions to keep near the aircraft and not let kids stray.
I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum as there were quite a few more planes and exhibits on display than I was expecting, and although you're not permitted to touch the aircraft you can get very close. Standing up inside of an airworthy B-25's bomb bay was quite thrill for me. Getting close enough to see the details of the wing folding mechanism of the Avenger was pretty neat too, and I love the smell of aircraft oils and hydraulic fluids. During the week the museum was fairly quiet, which was nice as the aircraft in the hangar are packed pretty close together. The staff was friendly and the volunteers were hard at work on the tail sections of the P-61. The folks in the front office were great and loved telling stories of their aircraft and their histories.
There is no food other than vending machines at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum, but a mile away just off the highway is a Subway. They sell bagels in the morning but having tried one I wouldn't t recommend them. The sub for lunch was pretty decent but keep in mind around noon you'll be dealing with a substantial line. Everything is on one level and aside from a step or two at the front entrance the museum is pretty much handicap accessible.
The Mid Atlantic Air Museum is located on the grounds of the Reading PA airport in a hangar that once housed military aircraft in WWII. It was an easy 2 hour 20 minute drive from Wayne, NJ, a bit west of Philadelphia. Make the trip out there. You won't be disappointed, and the staff members make you feel really welcome.