top of page
Arkansas Air and Military Museum-2.png

About Us

Museum Mission Statement

The mission of the Arkansas Air and Military Museum is to establish and maintain a museum for public display of aircraft, aviation artifacts, and military memorabilia from the earliest period to the present with special attention to items related to the state of Arkansas, to encourage the restoration and preservation of aircraft, aviation artifacts, and military-related items, and to educate the public about the cultural and historical significance, and the technological developments related to items on display. 

The History of Drake Field, The White Hangar and AAMM

On May 1st, 1943, the ground was broken at Fayetteville Field (now Drake Field) for a new 138 feet by 150 feet all wood aircraft hangar to house planes used by the 305th College Training Detachment. The hangar was designed by Henry George, assistant city engineer, at a cost of $15,000 ($258,130.92 in 2022). The hangar was designed to hold at least 40 aircraft. In later years this claim was put to the test. The new White Hangar was formally dedicated on June 28th, 1944. At this time the Fayetteville airport was rededicated dignitaries from all over NWA were present for the ceremony including WWII Arkansan Fighter Ace Pierce W. McKennon. The building was used by the 305th College Training Detachment for 2 whole days before their contracted ended and they left Fayetteville airport permanently. Fayetteville Flying Services would quickly move into the building and began offering flight services to Little Rock, and would also transport 5,000 baby chicks from Joplin, Missouri to Springdale, Arkansas for John Tyson (Tyson Foods). On April 14th, 1947 Fayetteville, Field was officially renamed Drake Field after Dr. Noah Field Drake, who had funded the original building of the airfield. Drake Field would become the aviation hub for northwest Arkansas until September 8th, 1999, when the last commuter airline would depart and all airline business would move to XNA. 

In late 1985, an idea was conceived to build an air museum at Drake Field. There was only one logical location that the city could use for this project, the old White Hangar. Then Mayor Marilyn Johnson approached a few of the local aviation enthusiast to help make this project a reality. Johnson's idea was to have the first aviation museum ready and open as part of the state's 150th birthday. The restoration of the hangar took about a year to complete at a cost of $150,000 ($415,024.63 in 2022). Late in 1986, the White Hangar was converted into the Arkansas Air Museum. In 2007, the Arkansas Air Museum gained a new neighbor, the Ozark Military Museum, who had just moved from the Springdale Airport (and had previously been located at the Siloam Springs Airport and was know as the World War Two Museum). The neighbors lived in harmony for 5 years but eventually decided to become one museum in 2012, forming The Arkansas Air and Military Museum. (Research by: Mike Eckels)

WH-033 (1).jpg
WH-035.jpg
bottom of page