News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

City of Hampton Gets $707,008 Grant for Air Power Park -Site Operated by the Hampton History Museum

Date Posted: 2020-10-05
Source: Staff Report

Hampton, VA - Hampton has received a $707,008 grant from the federal government that will be used by the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Services to complete improvements needed at Air Power Park on Mercury Boulevard.

“The grant application process was extremely competitive and on a very tight timeline to submit. Our team did an outstanding job in submitting for the grant and it paid off!  There were 130 communities that applied for the grant and Hampton was one of only 16 communities awarded the grant.  Ultimately this project will benefit active duty service members, retirees and veterans, who enjoy visiting amenities such as Air Power Park for many years to come!” says Bruce Sturk, Director Federal Facilities Support, Hampton City Manager’s Office.

According to the application for the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program: "The project will resolve a long-standing and worsening drainage and shoreline erosion problem that impedes usage and improvements at Hampton’s Air Power Park. Time and changing sea levels have made community utilization of the Park challenging. Tidal flooding and freshwater pooling threatens the artifacts and make the grounds wet, soft, and muddy much of the year.”

The proposal describes the park and its displays as a "historic military asset, one of the most prominent connections for military families and their community in the region.” The site is operated by the Hampton History Museum.

Project director, Hampton History Museum curator, Allen Hoilman states “Air Power Park was established in October, 1963 (as Aerospace Park)  to be a tribute to Hampton’s Air and Space heritage and honoring the men and women of Langley Air Force Base and NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) who crafted this heritage. In the decades since, the park has continued to offer a unique opportunity to show case numerous aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles that represent past and present accomplishments of Langley AFB and NASA Langley Research Center.  Today, thousands of visitors enjoy and learn from the exhibits each year.  The work accomplished with this grant’s funding will ensure its future and the continuation of the revitalization begun two years ago.”

The free, 15-acre park features several vintage aircraft and experimental space launch vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s, including jets, missiles, and rockets. Many of the displays have connections with nearby Langley Air Force Base and NASA Langley Research Center. The 1960s geodesic dome at the center of the park includes themed rooms with more than 325 models of aircraft, spacecraft, and nautical vessels representing all the U.S. branches of service and some other nations.


Air Power Park is located at 413 W Mercury Blvd., Hampton. Outdoor displays of restored aircraft and spacecraft open daily sunrise to sunset. Indoor display hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 am-3 pm. For more information call 757-726-0650 or visit 
www.hamptonhistorymuseum.org

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