The National Museum of the USAF (NMUSAF) maintains three separate loan programs, each designed to serve a specific kind of borrower:
- Military Loan Program
- Community Static Display Program
- Civilian Museum Loan Program
All three seek to bring USAF history and heritage to a wider audience, foster a deeper appreciation of and interest in aerospace history and technology, and inspire future generations of aviation enthusiasts.
NMUSAF’s loan programs are governed by public law, Department of Defense (DoD) and USAF regulations, and NMUSAF’s own policies and procedures, all of which help to ensure that only qualified organizations are eligible to borrow artifacts. Loans are not made to individuals or to commercial, for-profit organizations and any aerospace vehicles placed on loan are strictly limited to non-flying, static display. As the world’s oldest and largest military aviation museum, and an AAM accredited institution, NMUSAF is committed to the care and accountability of all its collections, including those on loan. Potential borrowers are subject to a formal evaluation process to determine initial eligibility. Certified borrowers are then required to validate and certify their loans according to a regularly occurring loan renewal process.
NMUSAF’s Collection Management Division oversees all three loan programs. Please read the descriptions below to determine if your organization may be eligible for one. Please note schools, universities, community colleges and other educational institutions are not eligible for any of our loan programs.
Military Loan Program
If you are a military organization (active duty, Guard, or Reserve) please consult Air Force Instruction (AFI) 84-103, Department of the Air Force Heritage Program, Chapter 3 for information about how to establish a heritage activity and borrow items from NMUSAF.
Click here to view AFI 84-103
Community Static Display Program
The museum's Collection Management Division oversees the Air Force Community Static Display Program for static display aerospace vehicles on loan to municipal corporations, counties, political subdivision of a State, servicemen's monument associations, a post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States or of the American Legion or a unit of any other recognized war veterans’ association, a local or national unit of any war veterans’ association of a foreign nation which is recognized by the national government of that nation (or by the government of one of the principal political subdivisions of that nation), post of the Sons of Veterans Reserves. This program is governed by Title 10 USC, Section 2572. For more information on the application process, see the attached information sheet and then contact NMUSAF.MUC.StaticDisplay@us.af.mil.
Click here for additional information about the Community Static Display program
Civilian Museum Loan Program
The Civilian Museum Loan Program makes artifacts (primarily aerospace vehicles) available for loan to non-profit museums. Title 10, United States Code (USC), Section 2572 authorizes the Secretaries of the military services to engage in such loans by making available “excess combat materiel”. The Secretary of the USAF has delegated that responsibility to NMUSAF and since the 1970s the museum has been loaning items to qualified civilian museums. Today over 100 museums display aerospace vehicles and other artifacts in their own institutions.
To qualify for loans, museums must meet certain requirements and successfully complete a pre-loan certification process, including an on-site visit. The certification process is designed to ensure that artifacts are only loaned to museums truly able to manage and maintain them long term. Museums interested in loans should consider carefully the short and long term resources required. For instance, once certified, museums seeking the loan of aircraft may be obligated to pay for any preparatory work required to "safe" the aircraft for public display as well as disassembly, transport, reassembly, mounting/stabilization, and any initial restoration needed. There are also long term maintenance and preservation costs to consider. All of this can prove to be a costly undertaking.
Museums interested in learning more about NMUSAF’s civilian museum loan program and about the certification process should review the NMUSAF Civilian Museum Loan Program information sheet as well as the Frequently Asked Questions. Then contact the Civilian Museum Loan Program Administrator at NMUSAF.MUC.Certification@us.af.mil.
Click here for additional information about the Civilian Museum Loan program
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions