Adult Education education

The Virginia Aviation Museum has a wide variety of programs for adults and seniors.  Adult and senior classes are listed below. Click here for K-12 programs.

Reservations are required. Please call (804) 864-1400 to book your program.

History of Flight Amelia EarhartHistory of Aircraft CarriersCivill War Ballooning F-14 Tomcat Adult Classes

The History of Flight - From Myth to the Moon
(short version 1.5-hr, long version 3-hrs)
Revisit the events and people who engaged in our quest to fly.  A story of pilots and aviation inventors—but also the important contributions made by many of the great thinkers and scholars in human history.  Learn why the Wright Brothers succeeded and how they used problem solving skills to unlock the secrets of powered flight.

Black Wings (1-hour)
The Black Wings program traces the history of African-American aviators and astronauts.  You will be introduced to the first African-American combat pilot, Eugene Jacques Bullard, who flew during World War I; meet Bessie Coleman, the first African-American, male or female, to earn a pilot’s license; hear about the heroic Tuskegee Airmen; and meet the first African-American commercial airline pilots and astronauts.

The Wright Brothers (1-hour)
Examine the process the Wright Brothers used in designing and flying their three experimental gliders.  Learn how they used wind tunnel experiments to unlock the aerodynamic secrets behind their 1902 glider and 1903 Flyer.

American Women in Aviation (1-hour)
Highlighting famous American female aviators and their contributions to aviation, you will hear the exploits of early aviators such as Bessie Coleman, Louise Thaden, Amelia Earhart and Jacqueline Cochran as well as modern pilots and astronauts.

History of Helicopters (1-hour)
Following the development of the helicopter, uncover the stories of inventors that played a role in overcoming the many control and stability problems.

History of Air Refueling (1-hour)
Discover the unique history of the quest to extend the range and endurance of fixed wing aircraft through the use of in-flight refueling.  The use of air-refueling helicopters as well as the overall future of air-refueling is discussed.

History of Aircraft Carriers (1-hour)
Trace the history of US Navy aircraft carrier development during the 1920’s and 30’s, and their emergence during WWII through today’s modern nuclear carriers. 

The SR-71 Blackbird: Birth of a Legend (1-hour)
Once highly classified, the secrets of the SR-71 Blackbird are now revealed. A fascinating study of the Cold War, and how and why the SR-71 was used to reduce tensions all over the world.  Discover the political and technological history of Lockheed's famous SR-71 Blackbird and learn how it was built and used.

Civil War Ballooning (1.5-hour)
The American Civil War marked an evolutionary point in human history concerning the use of technologies during armed conflict.  Although balloons had been around for some 70+ years they had been used generally for sport.  During the Civil War, the balloon matured into a reliable tool for commanders to gain valuable intelligence about their adversary.  The History of Civil War Ballooning covers the development and employment of reconnaissance balloons by both Union and Confederate forces during the first two years of the Civil War.  It highlights Virginia's role in this effort as we discuss the first use of military balloons around Arlington, Ft. Monroe, Hampton Roads, Yorktown, and Richmond.  

The F-14 Tomcat – an aviation legend. (1-hour)
Trace the exciting history of the US Navy’s F-14 Tomcat.  Learn why and how the aircraft was developed.  Explore is many unique and revolutionary technologies that made it one of the best fighters in the world.