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From Kitty Hawk to College Park

On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers made their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Caroline. However, it was not until five years later that the United States government showed interest in their airplane.


In 1908, the Wright brothers flew their newly-designed aeroplane for the United States Army flight trials at Fort Meyer, near Arlington, Virginia. The trial required the aircraft to seat two people, fly 40 miles per hour, stay airborne for an hour, and have a range of 125 miles. The Wright Military Flyer met all the specification in the government contract. All that remained was to teach two military officers to fly the new aeroplane. 

Needing more substantial space for the training, the government leased a 160-acre tract of land here in College Park, Maryland in 1909. Open since then, College Park Airport is the world's oldest continuously-operating airport.

College Park 
Aviation Museum

The College Park Aviation Museum celebrates the site of the world's oldest continuously-operating airport, and tells the remarkable stories of this "field of firsts."

The museum is dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and promoting aviation history and innovations at College Park Airport and in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Explore historic aircraft in the museum

Watch for aircraft taking off or landing at the airport

Learn why College Park was chosen as the site of the Army's first military training grounds in 1909

Discover the numerous aviation "firsts" that happened at College Park since then

Play in our Flight School and two hands-on aircraft--just don't take off inside!

More visitor information

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Plan your visit

Events calendar

Open: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm

Closed Mondays and holidays

Join us for special events or monthly programs at the museum. Check out the calendar.

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Tours and Groups

The museum offers guided tours for schools and groups of 10 or more.

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