Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum sits on 441-acre Ford Island, a short bus ride from the Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor National Memorial). Now a National Historic Landmark, the museum hangars are quiet today, but still show the scars of war.
It’s important to budget an entire day for your Pearl Harbor experience.
“What makes the museum even more of a ‘must-see’ attraction is the ‘must do’ of our new state-of-the-art 360-degree flight simulators,” says Executive Director Elissa Lines. “You can take to the sky in the Fighter Ace 360 that can roll, somersault, spin and loop with you at the controls.”
Newly minted fighter pilots go to battle in a heart-thumping dogfight in a P-38 over tropical waters in “Thunder in the Pacific.”
Fighter Ace 360 Flight Simulators seat two. Did you travel with your copilot? They’ll make sure you fly together! Each seat has control of the aircraft’s weapon system, but the flight control is shared between the two seats. Guests are able to purchase a premium ticket to Fighter Ace 360 to ensure total control over the simulator’s movement.
Tickets are $10.50 for the “Divide and Conquer” flight, where you share the cockpit with one other person or $21 for the “Own the Skies” flight so you can go to battle solo.
While you’re skirmishing with your make-believe enemies, consider the 14 American pilots who were able to take off on December 7 from Bellows, Wheeler and Hale‘iwa Air Fields, all on O‘ahu. Six of the pilots were wounded or killed in action. However, Lieutenants Kenneth Taylor and George Welch took off from Hale‘iwa during the first wave, landed at Wheeler Air Force base, and took off again when the second wave began. They had a total of six confirmed kills between them.
To make sure you reserve your dogfight at the museum, visit pearlharboraviationmuseum.org.
[A version of this article appears in print in the pages of This Week Oahu]