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Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace Museum In Paris

The Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace or the Air and Space Museum was established in 1919 and is the world's oldest aeronautical museum.

Here you will be able to discover the technical and historical milestones in the conquest of the skies through the history of air travel which is provided by a comprehensive tour of over 150 aircraft, along with aircraft prototypes and space objects as well as replicas of rockets.

L'Air et de l'Espace

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Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace Museum In Paris

From a room that is devoted to the ballooning era through to military aircraft from the world wars, to life-size models of the Ariane rockets, this museum is a must for aeronautical fans and children alike. There is a hall devoted to the Concorde Sierra Delta and the Concorde Prototype 001, which flew for the first time in 1969 and is the only museum to hold two Concordes.

The Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace has always been designed as a general museum with a mission of taking into account the entire field of aeronautics, both from a civilian and military point of view and along with the aircraft this museum preserves historical, scientific and technical documents, art objects and materials that are all related to air travel.

Situated on the site of the Airport of Paris Le Bourget it is around 10 minutes North of Paris, via Porte de la Chapelle or Porte de la Villette and only around 5 kilometres to the East of St-Denis a only a few kilometres to the North of the Stade de France.

This museum has a significant infrastructure, which is divided into two zones and the first is on the site of the old terminal that measures 125000 square metres.  The second zone is located on the former Air Force base at the other side of the airport and is around 130000 square metres.

Some history..

The land between Dugny, Bourget and the North East of Paris formed a vast area without any construction and this was requisitioned for the purposes of war and many outgoing aircraft plants past through the new military base before being sent to the front lines by air. 

Between World War I and World War II, some of the facilities were converted to civil aviation and commercial lines to London and to Brussels were set up from 1919.

The American pioneer Charles Lindbergh triumphantly landed his aeroplane the Spirit of Saint Louis, in 1927 when he achieved the very first transatlantic flight.

The terminal was designed and built in 1936 by the architect Labro and this is now protected as an historical monument of Paris.

After the Second World War air traffic was growing rapidly and in 1952 Paris was to get a second airport at Orly, which reduced the traffic at Le Bourget and in 1977, after the disappearance of commercial traffic, the airport was rapidly converted to an aviation centre that responds to emerging needs and today Le Bourget Airport is one of the most active in Europe.

As a result of the establishment of the new airport at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, the decision was made to consolidate the collections of the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace at the prestigious site of Le Bourget Airport.

The Air and Space Museum has lots of historic aeroplanes that pay tribute to the early pioneers and it features a 1908 Wright plane, an 1879 flying machine, which is the oldest in the world, the 1907 Voisin-Farman plane that took the first 1km flight, a Spitfire Mk16 and of course the first Concorde prototype. The museum also has a basket Zepellin and many other aircraft originals and aerobatic planes on display.

Although its free to wander around the outside displays you can also pay to enter the Concorde and also visit the interior of a Boeing 747 right through from the cockpit to the baggage compartment.

There is a documentation centre at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace's and is there to preserve the memories of aerospace through the conservation of historical and technical documents, plans, photographs, books etc and is open to the general public for viewing.

The library also consists of a collection of antique and contemporary photographs on the history of aviation, glass plates and slides of museum artefacts and the collections of glass plates are a unique source of information on the balloon and the beginnings of aviation.

Consulting these collections and dissemination of scientific and technical information are provided in the reading room, which is open to the public from a Tuesday to Friday and on the first two Saturday's of each month, from 10am to 5pm, by telephoning for an appointment on 1 49 92 70 20.

There is also a shop situated in the lobby of the museum where you can purchase models, aeronautical and aerospace books, general and specialised publications, decorative items, toys and gifts, etc and is open from a Tuesday through to Sunday during the same hours as the museum and you can reach the shop directly by telephoning 1 48 35 95 52.

The Museum is accessible to the disabled and opposite the museum you will be able to access over 100 car parking spaces including seven that are reserved for the disabled.  Wheelchairs are available to hire as well as audio guides that are available in different languages such as German, French and English.

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and as with most of the museums in Paris, there are no animals allowed except guide dogs for the blind.

The Museum is open from a Tuesday through to a Sunday, yet is closed on a Monday and on 25th December and 1st January.   The hours are from 9am through to 5pm and in the summer months it stays open until 6pm and photography is allowed except for in the balloon room.

You will find that the display does change, as there are other exhibits held elsewhere and therefore these aircraft are rotated in and out of Le Bourget at infrequent intervals, but with some good weather, this is an amazing place to spend some time and have a cheap, enjoyable day out.

Address & Contact Details:

Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace
Aéroport de Paris-Le Bourget

Telephone: 1 49 92 71 99 or 1 49 92 71 71

Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace Museum

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