Do you like to incorporate a little bit of adventure in your travels? Do you consider yourself an aviation enthusiast? Are you a scholar of military history at all? If your answer to all of the above was “yes!”, then you need to plan a visit with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation’s Sky Soldiers attraction. The charter of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation is quite unique. It is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the US Army’s Aviation program through a public outreach program like no other. According to their website, they do museum tours, school programs, and air shows among other things. They are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, with an extremely dedicated and talented staff.
What really makes the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation stand out from its peers is that it maintains a fleet of airworthy warbird helicopters that it takes to airshows around the country and offers the public a chance to ride in them as part of its Sky Soldiers attraction. Have you ever wanted to fly in the legendary UH-1 “Huey” helicopter made famous in the Vietnam War? They will happily help you check that off your bucket list. What about a ride in an AH-1 “Cobra” attack helicopter? That is also absolutely possible. Those rides are for a modest fee of course. After all, aircraft are not exactly cheap to maintain as aviation parts and fuel cost money. These aircraft are veterans in their own right, having been retired from service from the US Army, and now continue to fly for the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation. But they still maintain their traditional US Army paint and markings.
The best part of the whole experience though, is the staff that operate these legendary aircraft. The pilots, crew chiefs, and maintainers of these aircraft are mostly retired or former military aviators themselves that have countless hours of experience with these aircraft. Not only does this give you the opportunity to engage in conversation with combat veterans that flew the “Huey” in Vietnam, or the “Cobra” in Desert Storm. It also allows you to hop in and take a ride as these veteran aviators fly you around in the very same warbird that they flew in combat. Those of you that are scholars of history, as well as those that are aviation aficionados, fully understand how unique an experience that is. And for the adventure seekers? Well, just the thrill of being strapped into the “gun well” of a “Huey” in flight with the doors off is certainly worth it.
So go to their website and check out their schedule. As you are planning your next adventure in travel, see if they will be in the area during your itinerary. Heck, even divert your itinerary a bit just to check them out. You won’t be disappointed. The staff are truly genuine in their love for aviation, and eagerly interact with the public to tell their story. So while you are in line waiting for your flight, feel free to talk to the pilots and the crew chiefs. They will be more than happy to share with you their experiences and enthusiasm for aviation.
Visit their website HERE