SELFRIDGE MILITARY AIR MUSEUM
Your passport and journey to The Selfridge Military Air Museum begins in the gift shop area at the Team Selfridge Wall. One will then turn slightly left and stroll through the earliest history of aviation between the U.S. Army's Lt. Thomas Etholen Selfridge, the first man to perish in a powered aircraft accident and whom this installation is named for, and the Wright Brothers. Lt. Selfridge was the first officer to pilot a powered aircraft and in 1908 he flew with Orville Wright on a flight demonstrating the Wright Flyer at Fort Meyer, Virginia.
The museum displays will take you on a winding path through aviation history from the early 1900s, through World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and then into the period of time known as "The Cold War". Our display wraps up near the doors to the air park (north side of building) with the display on Desert Storm.
Selfridge Field: The Early Years, 1903-2003 is located immediately around the corner from the Gift Shop. It displays: The Micarta Propeller: This propeller was built between 1917 and 1921 for use with the 400HP Liberty engines, the 32" U.S. Royal Tire & Rubber Company tire and wheel that was used on the Thomas-Morse S-4C "Tummy", a World War I era figher plane, and the Selfridge Field Military Reservation sign, among others.
This display depicts World War II aircraft identification models. The need to be able to properly identify friendly or enemy aircraft in the heat of battle was essential. This required knowledge of the aircraft's basic shapes and silhouettes. The government would enlist public school students to handmake the models using a 1/72 scale. At first, these models were painted gray, but it was later determined that black was the best for viewing.
Halfway through the interior museum displays, take a detour into the "Flight Training Room". Climb into and relax in the comfort of an F-16 or A-7 Cockpit. Put on the helmets provided, and imagine that you're 'flying the aircraft'! On display in the back of the room is a 'working model' of the 1930s Link Trainer, originally designed and built by Edwin A. Link. This trainer was developed as a means for pilots to learn the feel and functions of flying without actually getting into an airplane. A video has been prepared and can be viewed in the "Flight Training Room" showing the Link Trainer in operation.
Along the way there is a display case dedicated to the Museum's Founding Director, Col. Robert A. Stone. Stop by the display case and read the brief history on the Museum's founder. Colonel Stone originally enlisted as a Private in the Michigan National Guard in 1940 and served with the 107th Observation Squadron. In 1946, Colonel Stone re-enlisted in the Michigan Air National Guard where he received a commission to Second Lieutenant and eventually retired as a full Colonel in 1978.
This T56-A-7 turboprop engine is used in both the C-130 and the Navy's P-3 Orion. Both of these aircraft are on display and open for tours during normal operation of the museum or by special request. Both aircraft requires four engines to power them. Each engine, with prop and accessories weighs 4200 lbs. One of the aircraft uses the engine upside down. To find out which aircraft, you'll have to read the sign at the display.
This display includes Enlisted Women Uniforms for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Army from the Vietnam War and later. It is located right before you exit the museum to the air park.
This newer display of a female U.S. Marine Corps Enlisted uniform (pictured at right) was added mid-2016. It is located in the museum near the other U.S. Marine Corps display.
Newer display added in 2016 is of a U.S. Coast Guard officer. This display stands near the other Coast Guard display case in the museum before exiting the door to the air park.
This is the final display area before exiting the museum to the air park. It includes a Russian Drone, the U.S. Navy Patrol Squadron 93 display, the U.S. Coast Guard Display, and much more.