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June 02, 2017

Fans of military jets and memorabilia will want to catch the next flight out to these ace exhibits and displays.

While World War I marks the start of battles in the skies, World War II saw a massive focus of innovation and investment in better flying technology that helped advance aeronautics and made today's commercial flights possible.

From Rosie the Riveter to the Flying Aces, the hard work and sacrifice of many men and women contributed to winning the war.

Make a pilgrimage to the RAF Cosford Air Show this June 11 in the U.K. and you won't be disappointed. But be sure to buy your tickets in advance, or you'll be turned away at the gate. If your schedule won't get you to Cosford in time for the Air Show, there's still plenty to see at the Museum. You'll find a large collection of aircraft from both world wars, and the world's oldest Spitfire. You can also enjoy a large variety of educational and fun activities.

Closer to home, the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio, will blow you away. It is home to one of the world's top collections of WWII planes and so much more. You'll also find early aircraft, a Korean War Gallery, a Southeast Asia War Gallery, and a Cold War Gallery, as well as missiles and spacecraft. You may want to plan a long weekend and make several trips. Stop by the William E. Boeing Presidential Gallery and see how U.S. Presidents Roosevelt and Truman flew during the war. Don't forget to take their simulators for a spin, to get your blood racing! (Schedule this before lunch.)

Head north to Canada and enjoy a tour of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM). They have a comprehensive selection of aircraft at the Main Exhibition Hall, dating from the earliest planes to the World Wars and Cold War, and beyond.

Their Wings of History experience offers 20-minute flights on vintage war birds. These special flights are operated by Vintage Wings of Canada, which also offers guided tours of its collection.

Or enjoy a ride in a vintage 1939 open-cockpit biplane for breathtaking views. The biplane offers convenient flights between the CASM and The Diefenbunker Cold War Museum.

We recommended The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for WWI planes, and it's also a top spot for WWII planes, passenger planes, and spacecraft. If you like things with wings, then a visit to the Smithsonian is a must.

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