The Aviation Cadet Museum is singular in the world, being the only such facility to honor and celebrate Aviation Cadets. The original Flying Aviation Cadet Pilot Training Program was originally created in 1907 by the US Army Signal Corps to train pilots. To get in, students had to be between the ages of 19 and 25, athletic, and have completed at least two years of college-level training in a technical or scientific field. In 1947, the program became part of the US Air Force, and was only discontinued in 1965. Similar programs continue today.
The museum is still growing, with just half a dozen of its buildings already open. Eventually, the complex will include more buildings and a gift shop. The brainchild of one of those aviation cadets, Errol Severe, the complex is designed to capture the essence of this unique piece of aviation history.
A collection of planes at the front gate will ignite anyone’s curiosity. The collection includes the supersonic Northrop F-5, an F-100 Super Sabre, a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, a Navy T-34 Mentor and “Thud,” the Republic F-105 Thunderchief, a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force.
The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical Museum showcases the golden age of rail travel and what it meant to the tiny Ozark town. The first wave of tourists to arrive was brought by rail line from Seligman, MO on a special line off the Frisco Railroad. They came to take in the springs in the remote village and to “get away from it all.” The thousands that came by train took back word of the town’s charm, and more came.
The museum showcases items from the railroad, including a selection of pristine tickets, items from the rail line and the train, model trains of all sorts and memorabilia from the era.
And then there’s the AeroBall SimCab, the only such item in the world. Created by John Barnes of Barnes & Noble Bookstores fame, this is a special immersive flight simulator that was offered for use to NASA and the Space Camp program. It has been retired to the Aviation Cadet Museum so future generations can see what one of the first touch-screen simulators was like.
For those wishing to spend more time at the Aviation Cadet Museum, there is an associated bed and breakfast facility called Brigadoon. This three story structure close to Silver Wings Field is secluded, and Errol Severe and his wife Beth are the hosts.
Aviation Cadet Museum
542 County Road
2073 Eureka Springs, AR 72632