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Spring news: A Harrier, some history, and a very big painting

Pax River Air Musuem

Pax River Air Musuem

Holy Hopping Harrier!

Earlier this spring, with the assistance of Naval Test Wing Atlantic and Nalls Aviation, the AV­8B Harrier was relocated from a display on base to the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. This aircraft, BuNo 161576, was the 4th production AV­8B built. It served with Strike Aircraft Test Directorate, VX­5 and the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron. It was retired in Aug 1999 and transferred to this museum in Jan 2019.

Merit Badge Day Event Included A Surprise Astronaut Visit

During our recent merit badge day event, 24 scouts from the area were invited to participate in an immersive learning experience where they were able to accomplish all of the requirements to earn their Aviation Merit Badge in one day. Scouts flew the simulators, constructed foam airplanes, and learned about aircraft controls, instruments, and inspection criteria. Towards the end of their experience, retired NASA astronaut Michael López­Alegría was touring the museum with friends and took the time to speak with the scouts about aviation and his time in space, and to take pictures with them.
Historian and Curator Bob Tourville talks about the aircraft, squadrons, and people of Naval Air Station Patuxent River throughout the last 75 years.

Follow our aviation and history blog… the story continues!

A Brief History of NAS Patuxent River’s Operational and Test Squadrons

Part 2 ­ Special Mission Squadrons


Naval Aviation In Space Mural Fund Has Launched!

Thanks to everyone who has helped kick off our campaign to restore the Naval Aviation in Space mural after it was saved from the abandoned Cedar Point Officer’s Club.

So far we are more than 25% of the way to our goal!

When restored, this large mural will become the very prominent backdrop for the Naval Aviation in Space exhibit which includes Captain Jim Lovell’s moon rock, due to open later this year.

To  make a donation and help us save the painting, please navigate to our website or read the rest of the story on our GoFundMe page.


The above picture was taken while artist George McWilliams was working on the painting in 1986.
We accomplish amazing things with our almost all­volunteer staff!