My son loves helicopters. I believe it’s because he’s exposed to it almost everyday. We live near the City Hall where there’s a helipad, and almost everyday, we would hear a helicopter flying in and out.
One time, he told me: “Mama, I want to ride a helicopter.”
I remember about this air museum near the airport that I found out about way before I got married, but the thing is — I have never visited it.
I finally had a pressing reason to schedule a visit.
So, for my godson’s birthday (he loves air vehicles, too), I told him that my gift would be a trip to an aerospace museum. He was so excited about it so we set a date without his mom (she has a lot of things to do — and waiting for her would mean delaying the visit).
We went on a weekday (Wednesday to be exact) and we were the only people there! Yey!
In a gist — it’s a great place to visit in Manila for children and people who are into aviation. It’s small, so you can go around in less than an hour, but if you want to read the descriptions and really learn about our aircrafts, allot maybe 1.5-3 hours.
We explored the Aircraft Park first. It has around 16 air vehicles on display ranging from Presidential planes to passenger vehicles to cargo to trainer jets to war vehicles and search and rescue helicopters. I especially liked the HU-16 Albatross, a search and rescue aircraft that can land on both land and water! You can it see from its shape — it looks like a boat! A flying boat, indeed!
My godson and son were particularly fond of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (more commonly known as “Huey”) but for two different reasons: my godson, because he learned that it’s a military aircraft that was used a lot during the Vietnam War, and my son, because as mentioned, he loves helicopters!
Good thing it’s one of the few air vehicles that are interactive — so we were allowed to go inside and explore it!
Here are some of their photos exploring the outdoor park.
After exploring the outdoor park, we went inside.
I was quite surprised with the beautiful collection of air vehicles inside, too! I especially loved seeing the bi-plane and the replica of the Wright Brothers’ 1902 Glider! Unlike the outdoor park, the indoor museum’s collection sadly had no labels. So I relied on research for the names of the planes, but I may be wrong. If you know what they’re called and I am calling them incorrectly here, please do send me a message.
Aside from the vehicles, you’ll also see different kinds of collection inside — model planes, scale models, photos, land vehicles (jeeps, presidential cars), a space capsule, etc.
For toddlers and young children, I think the following areas in the indoor museum would be really interesting:
1) Land Vehicles — if your child is into vehicles, expect some time here. It’s not a lot, but you know how young children are — they want to investigate everything.
2) Scale Models — for those in a sensitive period for small details!
3) Model Planes — a section with lots and lots of model planes (Philippine Air Force vehicles from 1947 to present)! The great thing about it is there’s a corresponding note for each model. So you can find out what they are and what their use is (for transport? for observation? for war? etc)
4) Uniform Display — My godson and I had fun walking through this section. I wish there were more information, but from the little we gathered, we were able to connect that the orange suits are related to search and rescue operations, for example. It was a good thing there was a photo on a search and rescue mission, too, so I was able to point out to my godson how it works (somehow) in the field.
5) Ejection Seats Display — for sitting and exploration, and for some seats – buckling and unbuckling.
6) U.S. Space Capsule — for slightly older children who are into space!
Just a note, there’s also a section on rifles and war camps. There’s also a heritage section with photos of our heroes. I think they would be more apt for older children studying History.
Overall, we had a quick and fun afternoon in the museum. If you have a child who loves air vehicles or learning History, this is worth visiting!
NOW ON TO THE DETAILS…
PHILIPPINE AIRFORCE AEROSPACE MUSEUM AND AIRCRAFT PARK:
Sales Street, Corner Andrews Avenue, Villamor Airbase, Pasay
YES! It is inside Villamor Airbase. The nearest gate would be Gate 4 of Villamor Airbase.
You can find it on WAZE.
Contact Number: +632-8323498 | +632-854-6729 | +632-762-6628
Weekdays – 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Saturdays – 08:00 AM – 12:00 NN
Sundays – CLOSED
PHP 20/ per head (from research)
* We did not pay because no one was manning the museum anywhere — not in the outdoor park, not in the indoor museum. There wasn’t even anybody in their small souvenir shop. We were able to enter thankfully, but no one collected the fee. That said, I’m not sure if children are also charged the PHP 20 fee.
* The entrance is waived for Air Force family members.
OTHER DETAILS WORTH SHARING:
1. Sandos and slippers are not allowed.
2. Picture taking is allowed for the aircrafts, but not for the base infrastructures and buildings surrounding the area.
3. No pets allowed.
4. Running, jumping, biking are not allowed in the park.
5. Not all aircrafts may be climbed and inspected. Only these two interactive ones may be climbed: the YS-11A (Philippine Presidential Aircraft) and UH-1H (the “Huey” helicopter).
6. The indoor museum is airconditioned. The outdoor park is best visited on a windy/ not-so-hot day!
7. There’s a store that sells drinks and some souvenir. I’m not sure if there’s food. But like mentioned, no one was manning it while we were there. So, just bring water and food for you and your child/ren.
8. You can rent a party room that can accommodate 250 people for birthdays, weddings, conventions or other similar functions. There is also a mini theater that fits approximately 44 people.
9. It’s very near Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3 (NAIA 3). You can visit this if you’re too early for your flight, or on a long layover.
10. Because it’s very near the airport, you will see airplanes flying every now and then – so yes, you may do plane watching here.
Last but not the least…here’s a list of the aircrafts you’ll find in the museum, in case you want to do some study with your child before you visit:
AIRCRAFT PARK (OUTDOOR)
1. Cessna 162/ T-41A Primary Trainer
3. T-28 Trojan (Tora-Tora)
4. SF-200 (Marchetti)
6. YS-11A RP77 (Philippine Presidential Aircraft)
7. C-47 Gooney Bird
8. Albatross HU-16 (Amphibian Plane)
9. UH-1H Iroquois (Huey)
10. F-5A Freedom Fighter
15. H-34 Choctaw (S-58 Rescue Helicopter)
16. 62-B HH-52A Sikopsky
*Incomplete – no information in the musuem. All thanks to THIS BLOG for the information I am able to share here.
1.Shark of Zambales 4823
2. PT-13D “Kaydet” 76-7551 code 551
3. Cali Super Pinto
4. Replica of Wright Brothers’ 1902 Glider
5. Marchetti SF-260