Exploring a Decade of History at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA

Tucked away in the town of San Carlos, CA, lies a little-known gem of the Bay Area: the Hiller Aviation Museum. The museum offers visitors a look at over 100 years of history, from powered flight to the space age and beyond. Whether recent history or ancient history, this museum offers something for everyone. The museum was founded by Stanley Hiller, Jr., who began his passion for aviation as a young boy in California. As a young adult, Hiller was a successful entrepreneur and inventor, often hand-building and flying his own plane designs. His passion for aviation and need to understand how to design and fly aircraft eventually led him to create the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA. Learn more here.

The museum is home to more than 70 different aircraft collections, from the Airbus A380 to the F-105 Thunderchief, from the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird to the Bell X-22A fighter jet, as well as many others. These historical artifacts are supplemented by an interactive, hands-on area for children and adults, featuring a full-motion flight simulator, robotics and space exploration exhibits, and educational programs for all ages. The museum’s main attraction, however, maybe the gallery dedicated to the life and works of Stanley Hiller, Jr. Although the museum is full of exciting exhibits and interactive activities, it is also home to some of the Bay Area’s most interesting people. Located on the grounds of the museum is the original Hiller base, where service members of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps trained during World War II in exchange for three weeks of work and a week of pay. Every summer the museum hosts a special event known as “Warbird Weekend,” an event in honor of Hiller’s veterans and those who served in service. Learn more about The Story of San Mateo County History Museum: A Cultural Window Into San Carlos.