Eden Prairie’s best-kept secret sits within the confines of Flying Cloud Airport.
Founded by a group of volunteer aviation enthusiasts in February 1998, today’s museum is located on Runway 36 at 10100 Flying Cloud Drive. The air museum features fully restored and flight-ready aircraft from World War II and Korea and many displays.
As you arrive at the museum, you’ll be greeted by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide who will lead you through the museum – delivering tech specs, some history, and personal stories of the aircraft. All of the fully restored airplanes at the museum are flight-ready. One particularly interesting piece is a Boeing N2S Stearman training plane from the MSP Naval Air Station. Future President George H.W. Bush flew this plane while training in Minnesota.
Look inside Sierra Sue, a P-51D Mustang. Then read a story about the real Sierra Sue. The museum also houses an AT-6 Texan, a TBM3 Avenger, an F4U – $ Corsair, and a 1942 World War II Ford Jeep.
Other air artifacts include a replica Spirit of St. Louis plan, built for the 1957 film, The Spirit of Saint Louis and starring Jimmy Stewart as Charles Lindberg. Older visitors might remember seeing the replica hung in the MSP Airport Terminal 1.
Explore scores of model aircraft, an Apollo display – featuring various models and artifacts from the Space Program, aircraft engines, official uniforms, and so much more. Wings of the North is a great idea for Eden Prairie weekend fun as the weather turns colder.
For aircraft history buffs, the museum features restoration tours, a Plane Talk series, and an Aviation Pioneers and Technology series. And an Aviation Expo in the summer.
And, of course, the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame, featuring notable aviators from the State of Minnesota. This month, on November 7, the Wings of the North will unveil and honor their 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees.
The museum has big plans for the future as volunteers continue to find and restore aircraft from the past. Eventually, they’d like to have a “world-class air museum and educational facility in the Twin Cities.” The museum is well worth the visit – many of the tour guides are retired military pilots who share personal stories from their experiences with the aircraft along with all the tech specs.
The museum is open from 11 am – 3 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Admission – $10.00/adult; $5.00/children 7-17 – one child admission is free with adult admission. Children under 7 are always free.
Come and explore the museum and see the history of aviation in your own backyard.
Visit www.wotn.org to plan your visit and learn more.