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Naval Air Museum hosts grand opening weekend

patuxent river naval air museum

LEXINGTON PARK, MD -- Making history come to life and inspiring the community to never stop pushing the limits can be found at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum (PRNAM) at 22156 Three Notch Road. 

The museum hosted their grand opening May 28 to all ages interested in discovering the heritage of navel aviation’s research and development, said Dan Bramos, with the museum board of directors. 

“The 20,000 square-foot new exhibit hall, located next to the main entrance to the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, is arguably the most recognizable structure on Three Notch Road,” said Bramos. 

PRNAM spans three buildings and includes a flight line of 14 different one-of-a-kind aircraft and aircraft configurations unique to the Naval Test Center here at NAS Patuxent River, said Bramos.

Visitors to the museum can experience a range of test and evaluation-centric artifacts, said Bramos.

“We have a replica A-1 Triad, the U. S. Navy’s first aircraft. It was built by the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and it’s as close to flyable as possible,” said Bramos. “We also have a refurbished UVA, the MK8A Fire Scout, and the X-35 prototype of the Navy latest aircraft, as well as galleries of aircraft engines and ejection seats.”

To Bramos, it’s more about the stories and the people that made the exhibits possible.

“You can and walk around and go ‘oh its airplanes and stuff.’ But once you get the stories, the history behind everything in here, you see how far we have progressed and what we can do if we put our minds to it,” said Bramos.

No visit is complete without a stop at the flight simulators followed by a trip to the Flightline gift shop, which offers aviation souvenirs for enthusiasts, said Bramos.

“With this grand opening, our museum complex will be open six days a week. Our hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays,” said Bramos.

Admission to the museum complex is $5 for adults and $3 for children, seniors and active duty personnel, said Bramos.

Design and construction of the museum has been ongoing for several years, said George Hill, president of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association.

“From its roofline reflecting the shape of an aircraft, to its state-of-the-art environmental controls, this building is a source of pride for St. Mary’s County and all of Southern Maryland,” said Hill.

The PRNAM Board of Directors, museum staff and dedicated volunteers are truly excited to welcome visitors to this unique landmark and historic collection, said Hill.

“We hope you’ll join us at the museum as we journey to preserve our heritage, educate future generations about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs and inspire our community to never stop pushing the limits,” said Hill.

About PRNAM:

PRNAM is operated by the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization. For additional information please contact us at association@paxmuseum.com or 301.863.1900.

Contact Jacqui Atkielski at j.atkielski@thebaynet.com. 

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