Founded in 1997, The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit located inside a hangar in the city of Hampton, Georgia.
Educating the Public on Military Aviation
The mission of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation (AAHF) is to educate the public about U.S. army aviation. This is fulfilled through the restoration of Vietnam-era aircraft, helicopter rides, and participation in air shows throughout the country among other events and opportunities. Veterans volunteer their time leading free tours of the hangar. Some also work alongside the operations team and mechanics to help staff events, pilot planes, and restore aircraft to flyable conditions.
Paid Helicopter Rides in Hampton, Georgia
On select dates, the AAHF welcomes visitors wanting to take flight in one of the helicopters piloted by veterans who volunteer their time to the organization. The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation is the only place in the nation where you can ride in an AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter. A ride in this aircraft is priced at $595 and is considered a bucket list experience, while a ride in a UH-1 Huey helicopter is priced at $100. Both of these experiences are sure to inspire lasting memories in any aviation enthusiast. The act of flying in these helicopters affects people in a variety of ways. From serving as a solemn connection to the past to being viewed as an exhilarating moment in time, everyone can draw something different from of the experience.
The AAHF sees individuals visit Hampton, GA from a variety of states because they recognize the rare opportunity that the organization offers through its paid ride program. Interested parties can purchase a ride certificate online to be redeemed during a scheduled flight event. The events calendar at armyav.org contains dates of upcoming flight events around the country and at the Hampton, GA hangar. Ride certificates are redeemable for up to 18 months from the date of purchase. This makes the certificate an ideal gift for someone who enjoys aviation or one-of-a-kind experiences.
Inside the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation Hangar
The hangar where the helicopters are housed is also the place where visitors are welcome to take a free tour of the space to see the Vietnam-era aircraft up close. Visitors can walk around the space to get a real feel for the size and impressive craftmanship required to maintain such powerful machines. Curious individuals can even climb inside the cockpit to see from a pilot’s point of view. The free hangar tour is not only a fun, affordable way to learn about the history of military aviation, it is also an alternative to taking to the air in a helicopter as some people would prefer their feet to remain firmly planted on the ground.
The AAHF Continues to Grow
Two other chapters of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation were established including the Arizona chapter in 2015 and the Missouri chapter in 2016 with the Hampton location designated as the legacy chapter. Awareness of the organization and its offerings continues to grow. Those with an interest in military history or enthusiasm for aircraft are invited to visit the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation to see the helicopters, learn about the history and take a high-flying ride. Learn more about the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation here.