SAN CARLOS -- Once helicopter pioneer Stanley Hiller decided that the public needed a place to examine aviation, the Hiller Aviation Museum and Institute was founded. From its beginning in June 1998, the museum has been educating and enhancing dreams of flight through events and exhibits.
Located on the San Francisco Peninsula at the airport in San Carlos, it offers two large display areas. Inside the Main Gallery, visitors take a walking tour of aviation history featuring more than 40 aircraft, exhibits and interactive displays. The tour provides a look at aviation's past, as well as a glimpse into its future.
In the atrium, more than a dozen large-scale aircraft models are on display and a theater shows aviation documentaries and films throughout the day.
The collection of aircraft at the museum includes an 1869 aeroplane, gliders from as early as 1883 and a 1986 spy plane. Among the interactive displays is a 1970 Boeing 747 cockpit for those who want to play pilot.
Each month the museum hosts special events. Coming up is a visit by master paper airplane builder John Collins on July 22.
On the last weekend of the month, the museum will join hands with railroads to co-host the Eurowest 2008 European Train Show.
For young aviation enthusiasts, Hiller Museum also has aviation day camps offering adventure in aircraft experimentation and flight simulations. More than 50,000 guests fly in to visit the Hiller Museum each year to enjoy the history and science of the amazing world of aviation.
WHERE: 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos, adjacent to Highway 101 in the northwest corner of the San Carlos Airport
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily
ADMISSION: $9 adults; $6 seniors (65 and older) and youth 5 to 17 years of age; children 4 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
GETTING THERE: From the Central Valley, take Highway 580 (Altamont Pass) into the Bay Area. In Castro Valley, take the Interstate 238 connector to Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway). Go south on I-880 toward San Jose and take Highway 92 to the San Mateo Bridge. Cross the bridge and take Highway 101 south toward San Jose. Take the Holly Street exit toward Brittan Avenue, take the ramp toward Brittan Avenue/Redwood Shores Parkway. Stay on the ramp for Redwood Shores Parkway and merge onto Holly. Holly becomes Redwood Shores Parkway. Turn right onto Airport Drive/Airport Way and make a right onto Skyway Road.
DRIVE TIME: 1 hour, 36 minutes (MapQuest)
MORE INFO: 650-654-0200 or www.hiller.org
Bee assistant librarian Karen Aiello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2392.