About Patuxent River Naval Aviation Museum
The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum preserves and interprets the Patuxent River Naval Air Station history and heritage of advancing Naval aviation technology. This Museum is the repository of artifacts, photographs and film, documents and related heritage memorabilia from Patuxent River and other stations, such as Warminster, PA, and Trenton, NJ, that have been consolidated at Patuxent River. The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum is dedicated to those who have employed their myriad of talents in advancing Naval aviation research, development, testing and evaluation. The Pax Museum is one of 12 museums operated by the U.S. Navy.
The mission of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum is to:
- collect, preserve, interpret, and communicate the aviation heritage of the United States Navy as it has evolved at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
- present the continuing story of naval aviation research, development, testing and evaluation at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
- educate Naval personnel and the American people about the role of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station as it relates to Naval history.
- demonstrate the Museumís importance to our community and nation.
- foster respect for the value of Naval history and traditions through professionalism and education.
Supported by the non-profit Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association, the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum first opened in 1978. Originally located on the grounds of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, in 2001 the Museum was moved to a site just outside the boundary of the Naval Air Station in Lexington Park, Maryland, a St. Maryís County-owned facility. The Association contributed significantly to the Museumís relocation to its present site, and it has committed the majority of its resources to funding an additional Museum building on this site.
Indoor exhibits feature audio-visual and hands-on displays, providing visitors with an overview of the technical processes for testing aeronautical systems and components. Among the displays are flight test instrumentation, a sonobuoy exhibit, The Great Model Collection, a propulsion exhibit that includes reciprocating, turboprop and turbojet engines, an exhibit of unmanned aircraft, and artifacts related to the development of Naval aircraft, featuring a full-scale model of the proposed carrier-based Northrop Grumman X-47A UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle). The Museum also has on display a moon rock donated in 2009 by Captain Jim Lovell.
Outside are 21 display aircraft that are actual test articles or representatives of types that were tested at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. An additional 10 display aircraft are aboard NAS Patuxent River and are maintained by the Station.