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Quonset Air Museum

The Quonset Air Museum was an aerospace museum located at Quonset Point Air National Guard Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Quonset Air Museum
Quonset Air Museum is located in Rhode Island
Quonset Air Museum
Location within Rhode Island
LocationNorth Kingstown, Rhode Island
TypeAviation museum
FounderWilliam E. Sheridan, Larry Webster
PresidentJohn Kane

The museum's collection included military vehicles, missiles, aircraft and over 5000 smaller aviation artifacts. An extensive archive of books, magazines, manuals, photos, documents and blueprints was preserved within the Quonset Air Museum.

Notable aircraft in the collection included the last surviving Curtiss XF15C mixed propulsion prototype and a twin tail C-1A Trader. This one of a kind aircraft had been fitted with twin tails and radome (but without associated electronics) to serve the aerodynamic prototype for the E-1 Tracer Electronic Counter Measure aircraft. This C-1A has the distinction of being the last aircraft to fly from Naval Air Station Quonset Point upon its closure in 1974. The museum housed several Vietnam era combat aircraft as well as the legendary Grumman F-14 Tomcat.


The museum recovered an F6F-5 Hellcat from Martha's Vineyard on 4 December 1993. It became the subject of a court battle after the U.S. Navy claimed that the aircraft had been salvaged without their permission.[1] Eventually, a settlement was reached where the museum received the aircraft on loan from the Navy.[2]

An Antonov An-2 at the museum was given to the Antonov Foundation in 2004.[3] The following year David H. Payne Sr. became the museum president.[4]

The museum occupied Painting Hangar #488 located at what was once the Naval Air Station Quonset Point. This 50,000 sq. ft. facility was one of only three existing specialized wood and brick hangars built during WWII. Heavy snowfall in March 2015 partially collapsed the building's roof and the hangar was condemned.[5][6]

In January 2016, plans for a new museum were announced.[7] The museum was originally supposed to leave by April 2nd, but it was given an extension.[8] Later, in June, a $4 million request for state funding failed to materialize.[9] On December 16, 2016, it was announced that the museum would not reopen.[10] Although many aircraft in the collection have been transferred to other museums, the museum's P2V was scrapped in May 2018, as it was too large to move.[11]

Formerly on displayEdit


  • Harris, Patricia; Lyon, David (19 August 2007). "Restored war birds guard a proud history". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  1. ^ Arnold, David (5 March 1994). "Museum, Navy battle over plane". Boston Globe. pp. 21, 24.
  2. ^ Dailey, Keli (26 August 2001). "Fossils of Flight". Westside Weekly. Times Community News. p. 2.
  3. ^ "A sight that's bound to stop traffic". The Record. Associated Press. 6 March 2004. p. A-13.
  4. ^ Bessette, James (16 March 2017). "Passages: Former Quonset Air Museum president had 'great love' for state's military past". The Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Quonset Air Museum may stay closed after building condemned". WPRO. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  6. ^ Towne, Shaun; Wright, Madeleine (18 April 2016). "Airport Road dome may end up at Quonset Air Museum". Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  7. ^ Bessette, James (30 January 2016). "Plans for new Quonset Air Museum in their "infancy"". The Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  8. ^ Kirby, Shawn (2 April 2016). "Air museum to get extension from RIAC". The NK Standard Times. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  9. ^ Parker, Paul Edward (10 June 2016). "Quonset Air Museum threatened by lack of funds". Providence Journal. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  10. ^ Bessette, James (16 December 2016). "Quonset Air Museum won't reopen". The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  11. ^ Crandall, Brian (8 May 2018). "Old military plane demolished at Quonset Air Museum". Turn to 10. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Exhibitions". The Quonset Air Museum. Archived from the original on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Bell OH-58A Kiowa, s/n 70-15117 US". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Curtiss-Wright XF15C-1, s/n 01215 USN". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Douglas A-4M Skyhawk, s/n 158148 USN". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Grumman Avenger, s/n 53914 USN, c/n 3976, c/r N7029C". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Grumman F-14 Tomcat, s/n 162591 USN". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Airframe Dossier - McDonnell F-4A-4-MC Phantom II, s/n 148252 USN, c/n 0024". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 20 August 2019.

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