Located at the foot of Datang Mountain in Changping County of Beijing City, the China Aviation Museum is China's first large-scale aviation museum that is opened to the public, and the largest gallery of aviation treasures in Asia. Preparation for its construction began in October 1986, and it took three years to collect exhibits and decorate the museum. The museum was officially opened to the public on November 11, 1989. Currently, it boasts a collection of 163 aircraft of 91 kinds and more than 600 types of armament such as missiles, radars and so on.
The museum aims to establish aviation archives, disseminate knowledge of science and technology among the public, inspire the national spirit, strengthen Sino-foreign exchanges, and boost the scientific and technological development.
The first phase project of the museum covers an area of about 200,000 square meters, and is comprised of the Tunnel Exhibition Hall, the Treasure Hall and the Open-air Exhibition Area.
The tunnel, occupying 20,000 square meters, displays items of ancient aviation inventions and modern aircraft, from introduced foreign aircraft to those made in China, which lines orderly on both sides of the tunnel, including a MIG-15 used by Air Force Commander Wang Hai in the War against the US and Aid the Korea. On the right side of the tunnel are famous self-made planes in China's aviation history, including FengruⅡand Lenin, together with some other aircraft made in Soviet, US, France, Japan, Canada and Czech, etc. Among them, Soviet-made Bo-2, La-9, La-11 and Tu-2, US-made P-51 and L-5, etc, are world aviation treasures. On the left side of the Tunnel Exhibition Hall are aircraft made in China, from the first self-made plane, the first fighter to the unique light fighter, which records the development of Chinese aviation industry and the history of China Air Force.
The second part is the Treasure Hall with an area of 600 square meters, which is divided into three rooms to display models of remote-control aircraft made by the museum, aircraft presented to government leaders by foreign governments, and aircraft presented to the People's Liberation Army Air Force by foreign friends.
The third is the Open-air Exhibition Area with 40,000 square meters, displaying aircraft flown by the Air Force heroes, administrative planes of Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai and aircraft representing achievements in Chinese aviation history. Also on display is the same type of plane used by deputy chairman Lin Biao which crashed en route to Mongolia.
The museum also conducts popular activities such as Summer Campus, Winter Campus, parachuting performance and competition of remote-control aircraft models. It is a nice classroom of popular science, national defense education and patriotism.