The Cuatro Vientos Aviation Museum is located in Madrid, Spain. It is dedicated to the history of aviation in Spain and features an extensive collection of aircraft, engines, and other aviation-related exhibits.
The museum is located on the site of the Cuatro Vientos Airport, which was the first airport in Spain and one of the first in Europe. The airport was founded in 1911 and played an important role in the development of aviation in Spain. Nowadays it forms part of the Spanish Air Force base but there are no restrictions for seeing the museum. You may even see some military personnel and their families playing golf on the course that runs right alongside the museum fence!
The outside collection of aircraft is very impressive and worth the visit alone. There are planes from all over the world and their individual histories stretch back the best part of a century.
Step inside the hangers though, and there is so much more to see. Hanger 1 is especially impressive as it takes you through the history of aviation in Spain from its inception through to the modern day. One of the most interesting exhibits is a replica of the Wright Flyer, the first powered aircraft that was flown by the Wright brothers in 1903. Early trans-Atlantic flights are also featured, and there are great dioramas of medical field hospitals from various conflicts.
In the other hangers there is also a collection of aircraft from the Spanish Civil War with tail liveries from both sides. In addition to the aircraft collection, the museum features an extensive collection of engines, instruments, and other aeronautical artefacts. These include a collection of model airplanes, a collection of radios and communication equipment, and a collection of uniforms and other aviation-related clothing.
The museum is open daily, except for Mondays, and admission is free. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more, and there is a cafeteria and gift shop on site.
Getting there is easy on public transport. You can take Line 10 (dark blue) of the Madrid Metro to Cuatro Vientos station. From there, the museum is about a 10-minute walk, but we found it far easier to get the bus. You can take bus lines 500, 501, 504, or 528 from the bus station at Príncipe Pío (on the metro) to the Escuela de Transmisiones bus stop, then cross the motorway using the pedestrian bridge and walk past the entrance to the military base to find the museum. Getting back into Madrid is even easier as you don’t need to cross the road!