Just down the road from the Virginia Air and Space Museum is the Virginia Air Power Park. This has some similarities to the Air and Space Museum and some differences. First, since it is also close to the Air Force and NASA facilities, it shares the access to some interesting exhibits. Therefore, there are some very interesting aircraft on display. This includes an XV-6 Kestrel from NASA, just like the Air and Space Museum. Strange that such a rare aircraft should have two on display in such close proximity!
The differences are more pronounced. It is an outdoor exhibition and decidedly less glamorous. Getting funding to look after the aircraft is a continuing issue for the team there and they are working hard at it. Some of the aircraft are repainted but others a in need of a new coat when they can get it. Since everything is outdoors, I imagine that the preservation task is a more difficult one. We were there on a rather grey day. It had been raining heavily and was still cloudy and dull while we were there. Some of the aircraft were standing in large puddles which can’t be good for them.
None of this is meant to be critical of the team. That they are doing what they can to keep these aircraft on display is great but it must be a struggle to make sure that they are not going to rot away. Not only are there aircraft but also some interesting missile and some rockets from the space program’s test activities. They also have some capsule hardware from test activities.
There is a building at the park as well which currently contains a wide selection of models of different aircraft, ships and spacecraft. Again, if you are passing by, I would recommend you pay it a visit but you might need to make sure you have some shoes that don’t mind puddles!