The Museum features two rotating galleries, one on the Hangar Deck and the other located on the 2nd Deck. We encourage you to return often to see our new, highlighted topics!

The first take-off from an underway ship, aboard the HMS Hibernia, 1912.

Evolution of the Aircraft Carrier

This exhibition explores the origins of the aircraft carrier and how it has evolved. Aircraft carriers can be described as seagoing airbases or floating airports. Before airplanes, “aircraft carriers” were wooden vessels used to deploy observation balloons. Today, they are nuclear-powered, largely steel ships equipped with nearly five acres of flight deck space and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft of many types. Also described as “floating cities,” these ships are home to as many as 5,500 people.

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Smithsonian's Mail Call

From the National Postal Museum, come aboard to see a Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition, Mail Call! Hear about the importance of mail to those in the military service with artifacts and photographs spanning from the Civil War to present day! This exhibit is aboard USS Hornet for a limited time only, so visit it today! Opening August 4, 2018!

For more information on the exhibition, please CLICK HERE to visit Smithsonian’s official page.


Sailors' Arts & Crafts

Learn how sailors spent what little free time on arts and crafts. From sailing ship days to modern carriers, sailors carry on traditions like elaborate knot-tying, painting, and singing shanties. Some crafts, like knot-tying were as much practical as artistic but others, such as creating artwork, were purely creative outlets for the sailors at sea!

Additional Displays

Exhibits range from the ship’s Sickbay to Boiler Room, her Brig to Combat Information Center.  Many spaces are available for self and guided tours so that you can learn about how the crew worked and lived while aboard!

cobbler shop

Restored Spaces

The USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum strives to make the aircraft carrier as original as possible to its time in service. We have a team of dedicated and talented volunteers that strive to restore each area to the finest of detail. Currently the ships second deck has a majority of the spaces (rooms) restored. There are also several major areas of the third deck that also restored and available for Docent led tours.


Permanent Exhibits

The Museum has permanent exhibitions throughout the ship for you and your family to enjoy. They pertain to a certain parts of the United States Navy history and tell great stories of honor and bravery.



Visit our Hangar and Flight Decks and explore our growing collection of over 15 historic aircraft. The majority of these aircraft would have flown off of USS Hornet during her career, but all were important to the history and evolution of naval aviation!

Enjoy Everything the Hornet Has to Offer