|The Cradle of Aviation Museum is an aerospace museum located in Garden City, New York on Long Island to commemorate Long Island's part in the history of aviation. It is located on land once part of Mitchel Air Force Base which, together with nearby Roosevelt Field and other airfields on the Hempstead Plains, was the site of many historic early flights. So much early flight activity occurred in the area, that in the mid-1920s the cluster of airfields was already dubbed the "Cradle of Aviation",, the origin of the museum's name.|
The museum contains over 60 aircraft and scale models of airplanes from various time periods, including Charles Lindbergh's original trainer aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt II and Grumman F-14 Tomcat, and an actual unused Apollo Lunar Module, LM-13. LM-13 was scheduled to land on the moon with the Apollo 18 mission, but with the mission's cancellation it remained on earth, and close to its birthplace in the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation facility in nearby Bethpage, New York. Many of the tour guides and restoration workers formerly worked at Grumman, which contributed much to the museum.
The museum is one of the more popular Air and Space museums in the United States and is well known for its innovative installations, including unique audio-visual, hands-on and interactive exhibits. The museum's longtime curator, Joshua Stoff, is a well-respected author in aviation circles.
In addition to the museum itself, the complex houses an IMAX theater and the Red Planet Cafe, decorated to look like a space station on Mars.