“A Living Museum” Vivid Experiences at the National Aviation Museum of Korea

“A place to learn about the 100-year history of Korean aviation”

“Experience hands-on jet aircraft cockpits and air sports in VR”

Did you hear? A museum will be opening soon where you can explore the history of Korean aviation and enjoy air sports!


Looking for a place to explore the history of Korean aviation as well as learn about aviation technologies and how they will impact our lives in the future? Look no further than the National Aviation Museum of Korea located near Gimpo International Airport!

Even before its opening, the museum is the talk of the town with its visitor-friendly interactive centers open to all—from children and students to families. Curious to see if Incheon Airport is also featured in this museum? Keep reading till the end to find out! 😊 Let’s get started on our tour of the National Aviation Museum of Korea.

How was the National Aviation Museum of Korea established?

A hundred years ago, Korea was a barren land for the aviation industry. Now, Korea has become a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as a country with outstanding aviation infrastructure. However, despite its highly acknowledged status, Korea lacked facilities to systematically promote and exhibit the history and artifacts of its aviation industry.

This is why the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) decided to establish an aviation museum in their enactment of the Second Framework Act on Aviation Policies (2015-2019) in December 2014. The construction began in November 2017 and the museum will soon open on July 5, 2020!

The National Aviation Museum of Korea is designed with symbolic images to increase its aesthetics and merit. The exterior resembles the engine of an aircraft, while the inner skylight the turbine.

Moreover, July 5 is also the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Willows Korean Aviation School, which was the first pilot training school in South Korea. The school was organized in Willows, California on July 5, 1920, by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea and Korean-Americans to give opportunity to Korean youths willing to participate in the Korean independence movement.

The opening of the school made the headline of the Willows Daily Journal at that time—you can also check out the original copy of the newspaper at the museum! The pilot license of Lee Yong-keun, an independence activist who was designated the first flight officer by the Provisional Government, is also one of the major exhibits.

As you enter the museum, you will be greeted by Narae, a character from an animation on EBS. Don’t forget to take a photo with Narae to remember your visit! Let’s now explore the museum in depth.

The past, the present, and the future of South Korea at a glance—sites of attraction for each floor

Once you step inside, you will feel fresh and nice as the sunlight shines through the turbine-shaped skylights. The exhibition halls on each floor are thematically divided by the past, the present and the future of the aviation industry of Korea.

On the 1st floor, there is an aviation gallery where you can witness the top aircrafts in history and various historical materials. The 2nd floor lies an exhibition hall of the aviation industry and an interactive center; the 3rd floor, a special exhibition hall, an aviation library, and an interactive center for children; and the 4th floor an outdoor observatory and a cafe.

Let’s take a closer look at each floor!

1st Floor – Hall of Aviation History

On the 1st floor of the “Hall of Aviation History,” you can browse the history of the world aviation and the 100-year history of the Korean aviation.

At the “Republic of Korea section, there are a total of four themes: “National Salvation,” showing the remarkable activities of the pilot independence activists; “National Defense,” showing the foundation of the Korean Air Force and their activities during the Korean War; “National Prosperity,” showing the country’s economic growth despite the difficulties during early civil aviation; and “National Power,” showing several cases of the Korean aviation industry ruling over the world.

You can also find exhibits that show the proud history of Korean aviation. 13 life-size aircrafts that show the changes and development in the history include: Standard J-1, the training aircraft of the Korean aviation school of the Provisional Government; T-6, the aircraft that was purchased through contribution and committed in the Korean War; and KF-5, the first supersonic jet that was assembled and produced in Korea!

Taking photos is permitted, so be sure to snap some photos of the aircrafts on display!

2nd Floor – Hall of Aviation Industry

On the 2nd floor lies the “Hall of Aviation Industry” where you can learn the present of the Korean aviation industry.

Here, you will not only understand the present and the vision, but also the development of aircrafts and its scientific principles. Aircraft manias will love this place because you can learn the basic scientific principles on how aircrafts are manufactured, their components and how to pilot as well as fly the aircraft.

You can also see the aerial view of Korea’s representative airport—Incheon International Airport! 😊

Museums are boring, you say? No way! Unlike other museums with dull exhibitions, about 40% of the National Aviation Museum of Korea is organized with interactive centers!

“Can you see the runway?

If you set the indicator in the instrument to the rectangular box, the plane will automatically land on the runway.”

Get a chance to become the first officer of the Boeing 747-400 Flight Simulator which is found in the Pilot & Control Room. The instructor who will help you is a former pilot with more than 20 years of experience, so wouldn’t it be reliable? It would definitely be a vivid experience for you!

The instructor for the “aircraft experience,” which includes safety and emergency escape drill, is also a former flight attendant. Here you can have a thrilling experience of escaping from the aircraft using a slide that unfolds in case of an emergency!

3rd floor – Hall of Future

At the “Hall of Future” on the 3rd floor, you can take a glance at the development of aviation technology and its future.

Here would be a place for children to grow their dreams and hope. You’ll witness everything you have seen in sci-fi books; such as solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous aerial vehicles, and more with cutting-edge aviation technology.

Various interactive centers are available on this floor as well. You can enjoy vivid experiences using high-tech equipment such as VR and simulators from “air sports” like riding a light-sport aircraft, paragliding and hang gliding to taking part in drone racing! Don’t miss the “Black Eagle Riding” as well, where you can pilot the aircraft of the Black Eagles aerobatic team!

There are also interactive educational centers that offer easy explanations for children: the “Children’s Creativity Center” where even toddlers can experience the functions and roles of an airport, and the “Aviation Culture Class” where they can make and paint things. This museum should be the best venue to play and learn for children!

* Admission is free, but interactive centers are charged. Reservations are required for interactive centers. Please visit the National Aviation Museum of Korea for more details!

Operation Hours and Directions

  • Operation Hours: Tuesday – Sunday / 10:00 – 18:00 (last entrance at 17:00)

  • Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Seollal, Chuseok

(If Monday is a holiday, the museum opens on the day and closed on the next day.)

  • Admission Fee: Free for exhibitions / Charged for interactive centers

We have browsed through the different exhibitions and interactive centers as well as the past, the present and the future of the aviation industry here at the National Aviation Museum of Korea. How about visiting the museum during your family trip this summer? Thank you for your interest and support of the National Aviation Museum of Korea!

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