The Chance-Vought/LTV tilt-wing XC-142A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force
Five U.S. museums with military themes made a top-20 list compiled by the entertainment and business review website Yelp.
Yelp based its ratings on the number of reviews its users posted on the website and the star ratings they assigned to the museums.
Highest on the list was The National Museum of the Marine Corps, placing second (after The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri). In Triangle, Virginia, about an hour drive south of Washington, D.C., the museum honors the U.S. Marine Corps. (It is closing for three months in January for renovations that include replacing the Leatherneck Gallery’s Korean War Sikorsky HRS-2 exhibit with one depicting a Sikorsky UH-34D during 1965’s Operation Starlight.)
Coming in at No. 4 was the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Its exhibits include a variety of helicopters from the Korean, Vietnam and Cold wars, as well as a Chance-Vought/LTV tilt-wing XC-142A.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, was listed at No. 5. It apparently includes no rotorcraft.
Yelp ranked The National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, at No. 14.
Claiming to be the “world’s largest naval aviation museum,” the Pensacola facility is home to a host of restored rotorcraft, including the Sikorsky HNS-1 (or R4) Hoverfly. The museum describes the Hoverfly as “naval aviation’s first helicopter,” noting it was used extensively by U.S. Coast Guard aviators “as they spearheaded adoption of the new aircraft type.”
In January 1944, it notes, “the HNS-1 executed the first helicopter mission of mercy, flying through unfavorable weather to deliver blood plasma to victims of an explosion aboard the destroyer USS Turner in New York Harbor.”
At No. 17 was the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, the exhibits of which include a Bell UH-1, Boeing H-46 Sea Knight, Kaman SH-2 Seasprite and Sikorsky H-34 Seabat and SH-3 Sea King. The USS Midway was the longest-serving aircraft carrier, from 1945 (just after WWII) until it was decommissioned in 1992.