Aviation Heritage Park and Museum is free to the public and a must-see destination in Bowling Green, Ky.  Fighter jets and helicopters are on display outside for visitors to touch, inspect, and take photos with, including an F-4 Phantom, an F-111 Aardvark, an F9F Panther painted in Navy Blue Angel livery, an SH-3H Sea King Helicopter in Marine 1 configuration, and a “Huey” helicopter. All of these aircraft were curated because they all connect in some way to aviators from this region.

Inside the museum, we use aircraft and artifacts, along with video, images, and interactive screens, to tell inspiring stories of bravery, honor, determination, and self-sacrifice. With ever-changing exhibits, we will always present a fresh look at this important history.

A Piper Cub aircraft from 1940 is suspended inside to honor Willa Brown, the first African-American woman to receive a commercial pilot license, who went on to train the Tuskegee Airmen. There is also a T-38 Talon on display that holds the distinction of being flown by every person who ever walked on the moon.

The AHP aircraft are available outside for viewing every day from 8:00 am to dusk.

The AHP Museum is free to the public and open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.


History of Aviation Heritage Park

More than a decade ago, Brigadier General Dan Cherry and a group of friends from Bowling Green, KY made a “boy’s trip” to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. While there the Director of the Museum came down on the museum floor and advised Cherry that there was an aircraft on static display at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in Enon, Ohio, that he and his group might like to visit. It was the very F-4 Phantom fighter (#550) General Cherry had been flying in Vietnam on April 16, 1972, when he achieved an aerial victory over a MiG 21 in Vietnam. The group went to the VFW Post and Dan was reunited with his fighter, while giving his friends an emotional recital of the aerial dog-fight when he shot down an enemy aircraft.

During the long trip home these men speculated about the possibility of obtaining the F-4 for display in Bowling Green, to honor not only Cherry, but also to secure other aircraft to honor aviators from South-Central Kentucky who had aviation accomplishments. Thus was born the concept of Aviation Heritage Park.

Aviators Honored with Representative Aircraft

LCDR John J. Magda, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot and commander of the Navy Blue Angels.

General Russell E. Dougherty, a four-star USAF general who commanded the Strategic Air Command.

Colonel Arnie Franklin, the mission commander of the USAF participation in the Operation El Dorado Canyon raid on Libya on April 15, 1986.

Colonel Terrence W. Wilcutt, A NASA astronaut since July of 1991.

Colonel Raymond T. Nutter, a highly decorated U.S. Army helicopter from the Vietnam War.

Willa Brown, trained the Tuskeegee Airmen and was the first American black woman to earn a commercial pilot’s license.

Colonel Arthur (Mac) Reynolds, Marine One pilot for four presidents and Commander of HMX-1