Empire State Aerosciences Museum

 Avg. visitor rating: (184 visitors)
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Address(1)130 Saratoga Rd
StateNew York

    The ESAM Story
    The Empire State Aerosciences Museum was established by a group of aircraft and flying enthusiasts in 1984 as a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a charter from the New York State Department of Education.

    An Aerosciences Museum representing the history and achievements of New York State aviation is of great value to the Capital Region. We are located at a tourism crossroads here at the Schenectady County Airport and wish to tell the story of aviation in a context and environment accessible to the general public by:

    • Stimulating interest in aviation for residents & visitors of all ages.
    • Providing a repository for historical artifacts, documents and aircraft.
    • Helping schools meet the NYS Regents mandate to expose students to aviation technologies and career opportunities.
    • Providing space for meetings of aviation advocates.
    The mission of the Empire State Aerosciences Museum (ESAM) is three-fold:
    • To develop a center for aviation education, research and discovery.
    • To provide a nationally recognized facility presenting and preserving the heritage of New York State aerosciences and aviation history.
    • To showcase the future of flight and space exploration

    At present ESAM occupies three buildings and six acres of land on the western perimeter of Schenectady County Airport which have been made available, on long-term lease, from Schenectady County. ESAM's main building houses the main exhibition galleries, a space flight simulator exhibit, a 30-seat film and video theater, a large meeting/instruction room, our Aviation Research Library, a small kitchen and offices. A second building serves as a sheet metal and wood shop and is connected to a recently erected 40' x 50' hangar where aircraft undergo restoration. In addition, a small (16' x 40') temporary exhibition building for artifact display and instruction was donated and has been renovated and installed as an Education Annex.

    Outside, the Museum has on display a collection of actual aircraft including the A-4F "Skyhawk", F-4D "Phantom II", F-101F "Voodoo", and F-105G "Wild Weasel" fighter planes, Huey and Hughes (LOH) helicopters, a World War II era C-47 "Dakota", a Polish Mig-17F, an A-10 "Thunderbolt/Warthog", an F-84F "Thunderstreak" and NASA J-4 Javelin glider among others.

    Our main galleries contain some of the more fragile aircraft, detailed models, dioramas, historical artifacts and memorabilia, and photographic displays. A few of our more popular exhibits are the DePischoff "flying motorcycle", the Amelia Earchart Exhibit, and a 32' scale model of the Japanese aircraft carrier "Akagi." The Museum also contains some hands-on exhibits including a mock-up of a 1910 Von Pomer aeroplane, electronic "spotter" aircraft identification, a small motorized model aircraft/airport exhibit, and a space flight simulator.

    Our "Restoration Center" presently houses a B-26 Martin "Marauder" undergoing extensive reconstruction and restoration. Volunteers have spent upwards of 2,400 hours on this project and continue to work toward returning this aircraft to its former glory. The Museum makes this area accessible on guided tours when possible, to allow visitors to see restorations as they progress.

    The Aerosciences Center for Education (ACE) was established to provide educational opportunities for youth and adults in the aerosciences and aviaton fields. Learning and discovery are encourages with programs for youth in model rocket building, aircraft construction and line control model building (wing ribs & airfoil, wings etc.) while introducting basic principles of lift, balance, stability and flight control. Students in grades 2 and higher, may attend these half-day workshops which include a guided tour of the museum. As part of ESAM's Outreach, similar programs are offered off-site at schools throughout the region. In addition, members are often invited to speak at meetings of local community organizations and to "mentor" aviation-related youth activities such as the Explorer Scout troop which meets regularly here at the museum.

    Space Base Alpha is a working space flight simulator consisting of a two person capsule that realistically duplicates the flight characteristics of a spacecraft. The capsule raises off the floor and hangs free for maneuvering by the two astronauts. Pitch and yaw are realisticallty and physically acheived to direct the craft towards its goal in space. Surrounding the capsule is "Mission Control." Students may script a mission to space and occupy positions such as communications manager, launch/landing coordinator, trajectory specialist, mission time director, etc. The experience provides an appreciation for the intricacies and accomplishments of people who must work together harmoniously to achieve a successful manned flight mission.

    Saturday Aerosciences Adventures is a Saturday morning program offered to young people at a minimal cost per participant. Sessions vary in content and include kite building, model construction, rocketry building and experiments in rocketry, short "missions" in Space Base Alpha and others.

    ESAM offers a Private Pilot Ground School and an Instrument Pilot Ground School annually (weekly 3-hour sessions for 12-13 weeks duration) to prepare future pilots and pilots for FAA written exams. Refresher courses are also offered regularly for those who wish updates on regulations and procedures to hone skills.

    Volunteers make up an extremely important part of the ESAM picture. Our volunteer work force is almost solely responsible for the construction of our recent gallery addition and restoration hangar as well as exhibit repair and maintenance, and general grounds/building maintenance. Work parties gather on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings to keep ESAM at its best.

    Tuesday mornings an entirely volunteer Library Committee works to catalogue, preserve, and maintain ESAM's Research Library. Writers and aviation enthusiasts make use of this valuable resource through the committee members' generous assistance and capable handling.

    Many hours are required to restore some of the aircraft the Museum has acquired. ESAM's "Restoration Crew" goes to work on Monday evenings, Thursday and Saturday mornings. The work involves a variety of skills - machinist, welder, woodworker, etc., yet there always seems to be a volunteer with the skills needed.

    In addition to the above regularly scheduled volunteer times, ESAM is fortunate to have members "on-call" to help as needed with office mailings, fundraising events, speific exhibit dvelopment/research and other projects. Volunteer Educators make ACE programs listed above possible. Without them ESAM could not serve the schoolchildren we continually provide aerosciences experiences. They often adjust their personal schedules to teach two to three mornings a week. Volunteers are ESAM's most valuable resource and we are highly indebted to them in every area.

Courtesy of The Empire State Aerosciences Museum

General Information

    Hours of operation
    Tuesday - Saturday : 10:00am to 4:00pm
    Sunday (May - October): 12:00pm to 4:00pm
    Adults: $300
    Children: $1.00
    ESAM Members: Free
    Free Parking
Exhibits - By Primary role
Attack - 'A' 1962-Present
 Douglas A-4F (Skyhawk) Serial No: 155009 
 Fairchild-Republic A-10A (Thunderbolt II) Serial No: 75-263 
Fighter (USSR)
 Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-17F (Fresco C) Serial No: 605 
 Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-21MF (Fishbed-J) Serial No: 2406 
Fighter - 'F' 1948-Present
 McDonnell F-101F (Voodoo) Serial No: 59-413 
 Republic F-105G (Thunderchief) Serial No: 62-4444 
 Republic F-84F (Thunderstreak) Serial No: 51-1620 
Fighter - U.S. Air Force 'F' 1962-Present
 McDonnell-Douglas F-4D (Phantom II) Serial No: 65-626 
Helicopter - 'H' 1962-Present
 Bell UH-1M (Huey) Serial No: 65-9435 
 McDonnell-Douglas OH-6A (Osage) Serial No: 68-17343  
Transport - 'C' 1925-1962
 Douglas C-47A (Skytrain) Serial No: 43-12061 


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12/15/2014 @ 20:14 [ref: 55716]
 Albany, New York

Shouldn't kids be free if adult admission is $300?
01/25/2014 @ 03:54 [ref: 55568]
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09/10/2012 @ 22:28 [ref: 55276]
 Ray Davis
 Glenville, New York

Hour of operation and admission fees are not up to date. Please check the web site of the museum.
10/06/2010 @ 10:44 [ref: 11178]
 John Schneider Jr
 Albany, New York

A visit is definately worthwhile for aviation and history buffs... as well as for those with a casual interest in aviation. The compact size and layout makes this an easy place to visit and enjoy. Bring the kids they will have a grand old time among the hands on exhibts and the display aircraft. And... You don't have to break the bank!
07/11/2008 @ 09:28 [ref: 8214]
 J. Panoski
 Charlton, New York

This museum occupies the former General-Electric Flight Test Facility and was given to the city of Schenectady in 1964, when G-E moved to Edwards AFB CA. The museum includes several buildings to include the main hangar(one of the honorees at the dedication was LT/GEN James Doolittle) The airpark collection includes; A-4F, A-10, A-6E A-7E, F-14A, F-84F, F-101F, F-105G,F-4D,Mig 21PF Mig 17F, RA-5C, T-2C and soon to be aquired;TS-2 also a UH-1M. The indoor exhibits include a Folland Gnat ( painted in the colors of the RAF "RED ARROWS", OH-1 Loach, Mooney Mite, Von Pomer Curtiss Flyer, Curtiss Jenny, pietenpol and several other homebuilts to include a Soneraii II. In Gallery II, there is the only reproduction of the Japanese Aircraft Carrier "AKAGI", which was built for the original movie "TORA, TORA, TORA !!" It is approximately 38' long and has a 2 cyl diesel powerplant and floats. it is on display for the "BATTLE of MIDWAY" exhibit. The museum is constantly addind to its collections and upgrading its displays. Its mission statement is to;"showcase the history of aviation, the development, manufacturing and achievements as they occured in New York State.
06/24/2008 @ 16:37 [ref: 8133]
 Chris Mangus
 Schenectady, New York

I have been to this museum many times (I live 20 minutes from it) with my kids and love it every time. It's a great atmosphere and the people there are great. Can't wait until Spring!!
02/20/2008 @ 17:00 [ref: 6825]
 Ray Davis
 Glenville, New York

Our collection is significantly changed from the earlier reviews. Please visit our website www.esam.org to obtain the latest information. New hours, new exhibits and new airplanes are now available for viewing. We've just acquired a opposing forces F-5N Tiger in the colors used for its Top Gun role.
10/28/2007 @ 19:11 [ref: 6445]


External pages about this museum

Last updated: 02/14/00.

Send corrections/additions by e-mail to museum-info@brooklyn.cuny.edu