Photo Credit: Loren Holmes

Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum Audio Guide

Learn about Alaska's aviation history and the daring bush pilots who opened up the Last Frontier. This audio guide covers the highlights.

Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum Audio Guide

First of four air­craft in the first expe­di­tion to cir­cum­nav­i­gate the globe. The Seat­tle nev­er made it out of Alas­ka. It crashed on April 30, 1924 near Port Moller and was recov­ered in 1961 to pre­serve what was left of the airframe.

For­mer­ly a part of a fleet of 14 DC-6’s flown by North­ern Air Car­go this air­craft rep­re­sents the core capa­bil­i­ty for over 50 years to fly­ing car­go to remote alaskan com­mu­ni­ties. DC6 air­craft con­tin­ue to pro­vide car­go sup­port to rur­al alas­ka com­mu­ni­ties even to this day.

This Boe­ing jet rep­re­sents the tru­ly unique capa­bil­i­ties required of com­mer­cial air­craft to effec­tive­ly oper­ate in Alas­ka while sup­port­ing rur­al com­mu­ni­ties. This air­craft was also instru­men­tal in open­ing up com­mer­cial trav­el to and from the for­mer Sovi­et Union.

The Muse­um’s P‑40 is a true bat­tle­field arti­fact with the foren­sic evi­dence main­tained as it was on that fate­ful day, June 4, 1942 when the Japan­ese Impe­r­i­al Navy attacked the Aleut­ian Islands. This air­craft marks the begin­ning of a 15 month bat­tle by US and Cana­di­an Forces to regain con­trol of the Aleut­ian Islands from the invad­ing Japan­ese forces.

After a very short peri­od of pas­sen­ger ser­vice these large sin­gle pilot air­craft paved the way for car­go oper­a­tions through­out Alas­ka. This Pil­grim hauled every­thing from cat­tle into the Mat-Su Val­ley, asphalt for build­ing run­ways dur­ing WWII and fish totes off the beach­es enroute to the canneries.

The Queen of Dago Lake” was the first major air­craft recov­ery accom­plished by the ear­ly muse­um founders and it became the impe­tus for estab­lish­ing a per­ma­nent home for the Museum.

Flown by most ear­ly Alaskan avi­a­tors the Stear­man is the cen­ter­piece for Pio­neer Hall. Flown on the first res­cue mis­sion to Mt. Denali, on the search for Carl Ben Eielsen and Earl Bor­land and the pri­ma­ry air­craft flown on the Serum Mer­cy flights in Win­ter 31 – 32.

The ear­ly cab­in Wacos were the main­stay of flight ser­vices in Alaska’s ear­ly avi­a­tion his­to­ry. Equipped with wheels, floats or skis, these air­craft were at the heart of enabling the devel­op­ment of the state of Alaska.

Two small air­line com­pa­nies began oper­a­tions near­ly 80 years ago and grew into the world class air­line known today as Alas­ka Air­lines. This exhib­it speaks to the per­se­ver­ance and per­sis­tence of those ear­ly avi­a­tion com­pa­nies to over­come obsta­cles and deal with the unusu­al­ly harsh Arc­tic envi­ron­ment to pro­vide ser­vice to com­mu­ni­ties through­out Alaska.