Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is a warbird museum with military aircraft, equipment and vehicles on display from WWI through Vietnam. Located at the Pueblo airport, this museum is part of a base constructed in a record 90 days shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The search for roasted Pueblo peppers lead us to the city and we got so much more than we anticipated. Our original plan was to load up on peppers, spend a night and head to our next destination. A quick search on the Harvest Hosts map lead us to the museum and our one night trip turned into two nights of boondocking or dry camping near warbirds thanks to the generosity of Michelle and the other volunteers at the museum.
The museum has a good sized gravel lot and we were able to park our 29′ RV next to the edge of the lot, allowing us to put our slides out. This also gave us a pretty cool view through the fence of larger aircraft and trucks on display. The museum doesn’t have any facilities for RV’ers, but they told us we were more than welcome to come in and use the restrooms during operating hours. Once the museum was closed, we had the lot to ourselves and ran the generator when we had to. The area is quite noisy with what appears to be a machine shop across the street and a 24/7 airport. The noise didn’t bother us the two nights we stayed. Although the museum does not allow dogs, we were able to walk ours in the parking lot and around the area which had plenty of grass.
On our second day, we took a fully guided tour with Mac, one of the volunteer docents. The cost is $9/adult and is worth every cent (discounts available to students, seniors and veterans). The tour lasted about two hours and went through virtually every plane and display on site. Mac was a wealth of knowledge and had a great sense of humor. Two of the many cool facts we learned was that 1) Clark Gable trained here after he enlisted during WWII and he event trained the gunners on planes, and 2) there was an entire squadron of female pilots during WWII that were used to shuttle planes back and forth because there weren’t enough men at the time.
The museum has two hangers with a large number of items on display in each one. Inside the first hanger was a B-29 and several smaller planes including the C-47, which looks small parked next to the B-29. In addition to the aircraft, there are displays of weapons used in combat, uniforms, patches, etc…all donated to the museum.
In the second hanger, there were displays of the U.S. space program and even a tire from one of the shuttles that was in space – and we got to touch it. A STEM learning lab for children was setup between the space displays and modern day aircraft, with interactive experiments. Even as adults, we found the experiments fun and educational. Beyond that, they have a wide variety of jets and helicopters used during the Korean and Vietnam wars and beyond. Most of the aircraft on display were used and are on loan from the government. We got a chance to hear some stories about those specific aircraft and the people who flew them from our guide Mac.
Outside of the hangers were more aircraft and vehicles on display. Some are complete while others, like the two Migs, were in pieces waiting to be restored. There were also several engines that were pulled from the aircraft which I enjoyed looking through and being able to see the inner workings of the actual jet engines.
After the tour, we went off on our own to explore everything in the museum and probably spent another hour examining the aircraft up close and connecting with the history of each. This has been one of the best museum experiences for us because, unlike most museums, most of the displays are out in the open for patrons to touch and to see up close. We had the opportunity to walk up to almost every aircraft/vehicle, touch it, look inside and really get a sense of the machine. During our tour with Mac, he showed us how thin the skin is on many of the planes by having us knock on them. He also showed us the contrast of planes made by Grumman which were built with a much thicker skin than others. Being able to go inside a few of the larger aircraft and get a sense of what it was like to fly in one made the tour extra special.
As you can tell from this post, we really didn’t enjoy our experience. Which is why we highly recommend the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum to anyone who is in the area or driving through. Any history buff would love this museum. As with all museums, there’s a gift shop with flying related items, toys, patches and clothing. We look forward to going back to the museum the next time we travel through Pueblo, Colorado.
What cool museums would you recommend that we check out on our journey around the United States?