An often overlooked museum in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, The Aerospacial
Museum on Campo dos Afonsos near Avenida Brasil, was opened in 1971
by the Aeronautics Minister at the time, Ten.-Brig-do-Ar Joelmir
Campos de Aripe Macedo. The transfer of the Air Force Academy from
this location to Pirassununga left the hangars at the Campos dos
Afonsos vacant and provided the opportunity to open the museum.
A favorite museum among children, and also known as the MUSAL,
the Aerospacial Museum contains a collection of over fifty actual
airplanes as well as a library with over four thousand volumes of
important documents relating to the history of aviation in the country
of Brazil. The museum is open for tours, however, they are by appointment
only. You can arrange for a tour by calling the museum at least
72 hours in advance. Tours are available on all days except Monday.
The Aerospacial Museum is open from 9 am – 3 pm Tuesday thru
Friday and from 9:30 – 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission
to the museum is free.
Popular attractions in the Aerospacial Museum include historic
weapons and replicas of the ”14 Bis” and ”Demoiselle”
constructed by Alberta Santos-Dumont. One look at the Demoiselle,
an early venture into aviation by one of Brazil’s aviation
pioneers is enough to convince you of the great strides we’ve
made in the airplane industry. The Demoiselle is a plane constructed
with bicycle wheels, silk wings and a bamboo frame.
Other displays include photographs and documents relating to the
history of the national air mail service as well as Brazil’s
involvement in the war in Italy. The mission of the Aerospace Museum
is to preserve the history of Brazilian Aviation, it is currently
the largest aviation museum in Brazil.
The Air Force Base on which the Aerospacial Museum is situated
is also the place where the Brazilian Air Force puts on it’s
aerobatic shows. If you’re lucky, you may just be able to
catch one. Be sure to inquire when you call to arrange your tour.
Other places to visit in the general area of the Aerospacial Museum
include: The Natural History Museum, The Museu do Primeiro Reinado
or the First Reign Museum, The Museu Museu de Astronomia e Ciencias
Afins or Astronomy Museum and The Museu do Trem – a train
museum. This district is also the home of the Maracan Stadium which
was at one time the largest football venue in the world with seating
for nearly 200,000 fans. Today the stadium is in the midst of a
renovation. When finished it will have a capacity of only 80,000.