The Museum of Air and Space is an entirely different experience from the various city-centered museums we’ve been touring lately. This one is located at Le Bourget airport, about 10 km north of Paris. It was created in 1919 and is one of the oldest aviation museums in the world. It’s huge: 150,000 square meters of land and hangars. It has 19,595 items, including 150 aircraft and related items from as far back as the 16th century (Montgolfier brothers balloon memorabilia, bronze medallions, and other items). Think about that for a moment: that’s a whole degree of difference from having, say, 150 paintings, even big ones. You can visit a prototype of the Concorde, Swiss and Russian rockets, and even the landing gear from the L’Oiseau Blanc (White Bird) which attempted to make a transatlantic crossing to New York. If you are an aficionado of aviation, this is a must-see destination. I have been to the Museum of Air and Space in DC and was deeply moved and impressed and a little scared – in part by the tiny older planes, like Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. It was hard to believe he went across an ocean in something that looks smaller than a VW. These early aviators were definitely slim. Visiting this museum will be overwhelming.
There are rafts of pictures of the planes and other machines here on Wikipedia. A couple are provided below with required attribution.
This is a commemorative medallion. Not every exhibit is a plane or rocket.