The Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven honors the legacy of the Piper Aircraft Corporation, which designed and manufactured aircraft in Clinton County, PA between 1937 and 1984.
The Piper Aviation Museum, opened in 1996, is located inside the company’s former engineering research building.
Company founder William T. Piper earned the nickname “the Henry Ford of Aviation” for his efforts to popularize air travel by building simple-to-operate, low-cost airplanes designed for purchase by private individuals.
Today, you can relive the glory days of the Piper Aircraft Corporation and see dozens of actual examples of these iconic planes by touring the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven.
Visiting the Piper Aviation Museum
The Piper Aviation Museum has an upstairs exhibit area, a mezzanine with additional displays, and a hangar floor with more than a dozen aircraft on display.
Tours begin upstairs in a theatre next to the gift shop.
Here you’ll see a short film entitled “The Cub That Roared”, which gives a concise overview of the history of Piper Aircraft.
Tours of the upstairs exhibit area are self guided and laid out in a time-line fashion that makes it easy to trace the evolution of the aircraft and the Piper brand.
There’s also a fair bit of info about the company’s founder, William T. Piper.
The simplicity, affordability and popularity of the Piper Cubs that propelled the early success of his aviation company lead many to compare him with Henry Ford and his Model T.
And as mentioned earlier, the gift shop is located in the upstairs portion of the museum.
The Mezzanine at the Piper Aviation Museum
The mezzanine features several Piper aircraft on display, including this L-4 Grasshopper used for photoreconnaissance and artillery spotting during World War II.
Also on the mezzanine level you’ll find a flight simulator, which my daughter and I tried our hands at.
We paid $5.00 each to take a rather lengthy simulation run, which while fun, convinced me that the “piloting gene” skipped over our family.
The Hangar Floor at the Piper Aviation Museum
The hangar floor is where you’ll find more than a dozen Piper aircraft from various time periods on display, some of them one-of-a-kind.
Among them is this PA-12 Super Cruiser dubbed the City of the Angels, which along with its sister ship, City of Washington, became the first light aircraft to fly around the world, a feat accomplished in 1947.
The City of Washington now hangs in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C, while the the City of the Angels remains on display at the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven.
This Piper PA-29 Papoose experimental aircraft was designed in 1959 and made of a phenolic honeycomb core covered with fiberglass.
This 1963 Comanche was one of only 146 400-series Comanches built.
And if you didn’t know this already, you’ll learn that Pennsylvania designated the Piper J-3 Cub as the official aircraft of Pennsylvania in 2014, when Governor Tom Corbett signed the law into legislation.
Even if you have only a casual interest in aircraft and/or aerospace technology, you’ll find the displays on the hangar floor at the Piper Aviation Museum quite informative.
Visiting the Piper Aviation Museum
The Piper Aviation Museum is located at 1 Piper Way, Lock Haven, PA 17745.
The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday (closed Mon/Tues), with hours varying by season – check out the museum’s OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the most current hours.
Admission rates as of the summer of 2022 are as follows: Adults – $10.00, Senior Citizens (55 and Up) and Military- $8.00, Children & Teens (6-16) – $5.00, Children under 5 – Free.
If you love vintage aircraft, or just want to learn more about an iconic symbol of central PA, you’ll definitely want to take a tour of the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven!
Hyner View State Park in Clinton County offers visitors one of the finest scenic overlooks in all of Pennsylvania!
Logan Mills Covered Bridge is the last remaining historic covered bridge in Clinton County.
The Taber Museum in Williamsport tells the story of how people have lived and worked in the Lycoming County area from prehistoric times to the present day!
The Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat cruise in Williamsport is a relaxing, hour-long sightseeing excursion up and down the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
The Pine Creek Declaration of Independence, as it has come to be known, was signed on July 4, 1776 beneath an elm tree on the west bank of present-day Pine Creek in Clinton County.
The abandoned Alvira bunkers are remnants of the American WWII war effort, 149 dome-shaped concrete bunkers that once housed explosives, now being slowly reabsorbed by the Earth on State Game Lands 252.
Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland near Williamsport is a zoo that specializes in exotic reptiles and amphibians from around the world!
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