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Western NM Aviation Heritage Museum

, 1116 N Dale Carnutte Rd, Milan, NM

East < GO > West

The Western NM Aviation Heritage Museum at the Grants-Milan Airport is a collection of structures and artifacts from early transcontinental flight service. It is well worth visiting if you have an interest in aviation. In the photo above a 1929 51 foot tall beacon stands between a generator shed on the left and a 1955 antenna tower on the right.

GPS: 35.166924, -107.898321

xYou can see the name GRANTS on the west side of the roof on the 1953 Flight Service Station building. This building houses a variety of artifacts from the early aviation period. This was part of the nation's Mid-Continental (Los Angeles-Amarillo) airway from 1953 - 1973.

xLocation data is painted on the roof of the Flight Service Station building. The flight service station building was constructed here in 1953. Other structures were moved to this site.

xThe beacon towers sits centered on a concrete directional arrow which typically pointed away from the generator sheds. There were three beacons atop the tower, the top and largest rotated. The beacons pointed were aimed slightly above the horizon in order to be visible to pilots approaching from the last beacon the flew over. The color of light from the two smaller beacon indicated which direction the plane was approaching from, east/west, north/south, etc. This tower came from and was donated by the city of Winslow, AZ.

xHere's a better look at the concrete directional arrow. Over the years of service arrows like this were painted different colors in different locations at different times. Eventually a uniform color of "International Orange" as the universal standard. The arrows often angled 10 - 20 degrees off the base of the tower to show pilots they needed to turn a bit.

xThe generator shed for LA-A Beacon 61 was restored to its 1930 appearance and moved to the museum. Originally there were two generators in these sheds in case one failed to start at dusk. A fuel tank for the generators stands behind the shed.

xCorrugated metal directional arrows came into use after the earlier concrete version.

xThe 1955 delta antenna tower was built here in 1955. The antennas that were mounted on top of these towers facilitated radio communication as it replaced visual navigation.

The museum was placed on National Register of Historic Places in 2015

Photo(s): 2017, 2019



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.