Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hiller Aviation Museum

Perhaps you've seen the sign for this museum while driving on the 101 up or down the Peninsula?
Sak and I went to the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos when we first moved to the Bay years ago, but since my family was in town for 4th of July, we thought it'd be fun to go again. Plus there is a Living Social deal going on now for 50% off admission. That helps. (As of the post date, general admission for adults is $14)

The museum is one large building of aircraft, models, and information, and there's also a few cool things outside in the back as well.
Flying things!
Penga-Sis wasn't too keen on going at first, but she warmed up quickly at the promise of photo ops :P
This was in Mythbusters, no?
Anyway, for Sak, planes are probably his second most favorite thing after trains. And my dad has really been getting into hobby planes lately (he even puts his flights on Youtube @_@), so they had a good time.
There are many different types of motors on display, if you want to learn about how they work!
Dad said this type of mini plane was in one of the older James Bond movies.
Gas will give you  flight??? I don't even know.
The cool part about this museum is that it heavily caters towards flight in Northern California.  Innovators (like the museum's namesake, Hiller), and Bay Area expos and such.

Like, in the 1920s there were competitions to fly from the Bay to Hawaii! The amount of contestants that wound up "lost at sea" or "crashed on takeoff" is ridiculously high.
For some reason I thought there were more WWII planes here, but I must have been confusing it with Oahu's or DC's flight museums =_="  So not too much WWII, but I found this mini model plane to be interesting - did they know what baka meant when they named it? I guess?

Anyway, upstairs in the main hall are many computers where you can run flight sims for an extra $3 on weekends.  Back on ground level there's also a window to look into the museum's restoration workshop, but the coolest part awaits out the back.
Yes, that'd be the front part of a 747 jet. So ginormous up close.
Not everyday you can *safely* model in a jet engine.
Inside the plane they've kept it, for the most part, pretty original.
Might be waiting a while for take-off though.
And you can sit in the cockpit!!! SO COOL.
All the buttons and dials can move too :) So many buttons!
Sak says it's more simplified now that everything is digital.

When you're done in the jet, you can go right up to the San Carlos airport runway and watch the little planes take off and land.

Overall, it's a fun little museum to spend a couple hours at. You can sit in several of the planes and helicopters, and there are interactive simulator games spread throughout the museum.  The mannequins, like most mannequins, are pretty creepy though. Haha!


  1. I've never noticed this, but when I started driving, I usually stuck to 280 instead of 101. Looks fun!

  2. I went a few months ago!!! :) The big plane out back is cool. I like planes cause my dad's a pilot! But I didn't get to sit in the cockpit cause there were a bunch of people in there and I didn't feel like waiting. Maybe I should have. :(

  3. what what! That's so cool your dad's a pilot!


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