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“Free, Well Run Museum with great Planes and Missiles”

South Dakota Air and Space Museum
Ranked #7 of 70 things to do in Rapid City
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Aircraft that have been flown throughout the eras are on display at South Dakota's premiere free aviation museum! The museum has two major static display venues: First, a outdoor air park filled with WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, and present day aircraft lets you get close to & touch history. This includes the currently flown B-1B Lancer. Secondly, four historical hangars showcase military history & technology,space tech & EROS, SD aviation, and EAFB local military history in a fresh and immersive walk-through. Mid-May through Mid-September bus tours of nearby Ellsworth AFB and the Minuteman II missile training silo are offered at a nominal fee. You will be able to go inside the silo and on base for a 50 minute guided tour of the only MMII silo open to the public. Make sure you bring your ID or Passport (Non-US) to enjoy the tour!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Hill City, South Dakota
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Free, Well Run Museum with great Planes and Missiles”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

A great display of military aviation and ballistic missiles from the Cold War Era. Out front are WWII B-24 (Mitchell) used by Eisenhower, a B-29 Super Fortress, a Vietnam era Arc Light B-52, and plenty of great interceptors, fights and even trainers and helicopters. The Launch Control Facility and great, according to my Dad, a missileer, it is exactly how he remembers it. Check out the SD Aviation Hall of Fame and the Strato bowl displays as well. Did I mention that it is FREE!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Reid R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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644 reviews from our community

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Huntington Beach, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Worth the stop!”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

On a trip across the US and Canada (East to West) we came across Ellsworth AFB. Being a pilot and aviation junky I appreciated the aircraft displays and missile silo. The planes are just parked on the tarmac so looking into, going into or any interactive displays. Still, how often do you get up close and personal with a B-29 Super Flying Fortress. The plane that dropped the nikes on Japan in WWII. Seeing the minute man missile and silo was a step back in time. Remembering the "Cold War" and how close we came to distorting the planet during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The museum has nice displays and I bought some souvenirs for me and to support the museum. Give yourself a half a day.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge City, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Big Planes”
Reviewed August 4, 2014

Nice collection of planes, including the rare B1 bomber, B52, and a B29. Not a lot of explanation or history, but adequate for a fan like me.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank IndianaEd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“See some great planes”
Reviewed August 3, 2014

Wonderful little aviation museum. They had some great planes outside and great items to see inside. The inside surprised me it was so unique with plenty of unusual but interesting items. The museum store had a lot of unique items for sale, not just the usual junk, but many items one might never otherwise be able to purchase. The Ellsworth AFB Tour was a bit disappointing in that we didn't get to drive by the flight line, but the driver was just great and knowledgeable. We actually visited a training missile silo used during times past when the base operated numerous ICBMs from the area.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ray M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Draper, Utah
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A great way to spend some time while in Rapid City.”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

This museum is FREE. There is a small charge IF you go on the bus tour of the Air Force Base & missile silo, but there is plenty to see for free. We have been to many Air Museums, but there were many planes here we have never seen before. There were a few planes inside, but most were out on the grounds. The displays inside were very historical; we particularly found the Cold War info interesting. Much of the nuclear technology was kept secret from the public at the time. We watched a video about a woman in the W.A.S.P. ( Women's Air Support Program) during WWII. It was inspiring and worth the time.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Carol A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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