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Aviation in Miami: the first 100 years — on view in HistoryMiami until 22 July

3 July 2012

Aviation in Miami: the first 100 years — on view in HistoryMiami until 22 July

25º 46′ 28″ N / 80º 11′ 50″ W

Miami FL is an international city with a flair for style and architecture. I visit there on occasion to enjoy Cuban coffee, Venezuelan chocolate as well as to pick up larimar set into jewelry for my lovely wife. It is also active in aviation with the many  flight schools — including Pan Am International Flight Academy and  the Airbus Training Centre — and rich in aviation’s history. So rich that Miami’s history museum in a beautiful plaza, HistoryMiami, has a special exhibit in display until 22 July — and is well worth the $8 ticket price.

There are well made, professional models, artifacts and large photos that show Miami’s active aviation scene during the first century of powered flight. Early biplanes, Pan American Airways and historical deeply personal artifacts are on display. Most are behind clear plastic but almost all can be viewed from mere inches away. This exhibit is wonderful to see for the proximity and uniqueness of the displays. Juan Trippe planned and ran Pan American from a roll top desk for decades — and it is here! Artifacts from the first U.S. international flights are here as are wonderfully constructed models of historical aircraft of the day (the LZ 129 Hindenburg, Sikorsky S-40 and Aeromarine 75 to name a few of the dozen or so models) — and there is so much more.

See it and see it by 22 July!

Main entrance to HistoryMiami — photo by Joseph May

Model of  the Wright Flyer Model B as flown in Miami — photo by Joseph May

Model of the Curtiss Model D Pusher as flown in Miami where Glenn Curtiss had a flying school — photo by Joseph May

The famous desk, THE desk, of Juan Trippe — photo by Joseph May

Model of the 12 engine Dornier Do X flying boat — photo by Joseph May

Model of the Sikorsky S-40, first of Pan Am’s flying clippers — photo by Joseph May

HistoryMiami — Miami’s history museum — is a national caliber facility with a neighboring parking garage.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 July 2012 02:38

    Another good post, Joe! As you point out, the HistoryMiami exhibit features many Pan Am artifacts and pieces of memorabilia. We are still hoping to have a Pan Am museum in the MIA area one of these days! In the meantime, the Richter Collection at the University of Miami is the repository for our official archives. Your readers will enjoy the newly-updated Pan Am Historical Foundation (PAHF) website at

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      4 July 2012 07:56

      Thanks for the tip, Mac!

      I checked out the revised web site of the Pan Am Historical Foundation (PAHF) and it is even better than before 🙂

      Now, about that museum idea for Pan Am …

  2. 8 July 2012 15:41

    World War II brought a second boom to Miami. Soldiers replaced tourists, and after the war servicemen who had trained in the city returned to make their homes there. This second boom has continued without significant interruption to the present. It was given impetus in the 1960s with the migration of more than 178,000 refugees from Communist Cuba. The Cuban migration transformed Miami into an international city, strengthening existing ties with the Caribbean and South America. Today the city is bilingual; Spanish-speaking employees work at most businesses, and downtown shops post signs in both English and Spanish. Still, racial tensions persisted. For example, an incident of alleged police brutality toward an African American caused major rioting in 1980. And African Americans staged a tourism boycott resulting from the snubbing by county commissioners of former South African President Nelson Mandela during his visit to Miami in 1990.

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