Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Taking Up Time & Space - Air & Space Museum - The OTHER One!

Parked Out Front Of the Outdoor Display

    Recently, a friend and I took a quick trip to a place I'd never even heard about, The Empire State Aerosciences Museum (ESAM) at Schenectady County Airport in the Town of Glenville, N.Y. Being a long time pilot, I was amazed to have never even heard of this place. Especially since it is at the site of the former General Electric flight test center. After a quick call to their office confirming that they were open we set off on Saturday morning from my base 90 miles North East of NYC or about 1.5 hours away. Arrived without any incidents at all! Likely a first for me.... We set up in a small "offshoot" parking lot in front of the outdoor aircraft display.

Electra Interior
Amelia Earhart Lockheed Electra 
The Museum itself spans two complete buildings and a very large section of the tarmac. They have some amazing displays inside including a full size Lockheed Electra as flown by Amelia Earhart. There are several interactive exhibits that you play with. Many of them are electrically powered aircraft you can "fly." I'm pretty far from being a kid these days, but they were a blast to mess with.

Hughes OH-6
Inside, are many old and newer aircraft; kits, military, civilian and antique. You can sit in most of them and there are no ropes preventing you from closely examining most of the exhibits. Being a helicopter pilot, I naturally liked the Hughes OH-6 chopper.

In the second museum building there is an entire exhibit showing several space missions with NASA memorabilia and a large interactive moonscape. In the second room there is a 20foot+ model of a World War II Japanese aircraft carrier. The detail level was/is AMAZING! Thery were showing "TORA! TORA! TORA!" on a video monitor to set the right "atmosphere."

Outside, their display is outstanding. There are aircraft from all over the world, from every branch of the armed services and many from other nations as well. Jets, Turboprops and Helicopters you can get up close and personal with. There were quite a few families there and the kids appeared to be having a great time. There's even a Mig 15 (Ex-Soviet era Chinese version) that kids can sit in and wear a fighter jock helmet for a great photo-op.

Mere words cannot do justice to the myriad of sights at this "off the beaten path" destination. Here are some photos to give you an idea of what I mean! Be aware that the formatting of this article will get all funky when it's published. Sadly, I have no real control as to the layout that you'll see. But hey, the pictures are neat!
Mig 15

So many things to see, we had to stay overnight to get a close look at everything.

I highly recommend this as a stop on any trip through the area. The folks are incredibly nice and the museum is interesting and informative.

If you enjoy aircraft served with a bit of history. You can't go wrong here.

Besides, it's pretty neat to stay overnight at a large airport. Well, at least I think so!
If you have any suggestions for similar stops, let me know. I'm starting to compile a "destinations" book now. Hey, I have to keep myself occupied during the winter No-RV season. You know?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. We will have to try to get up there. Anytime I find a place with air craft, especially helicopters - Huey UH-1 - or old cars, I can see what I want, then go to the MH to wait or wait and take a nap while he is busy with the camera. It also sounds like it will be one of those 3 or more hour museums. By having the park there also, they are definitely helping everyone.

    1. Anon,
      It's really a cool place. They just received some "new" aircraft from the Intrepid Air and Space museum in NYC. Intrepid needed to make room for the Shuttle.

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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