Israel Air Force Museum, Hatzerim
The Israeli Air Force Museum “Hatzerim” is located in the Negev desert at Hatzerim Air Force Base and close to town of Be’er Sheva. The museum was established in 1977 and has been open to the public since 1991. The museum displays a variety of Israeli Air Force and foreign aircraft, as well as anti aircraft arms.
Outside, the multitudes of planes are to be seen – over 150 of them, with some open for exploration and photo ops. First, there is the history of the IAF collection, planes that the IAF used throughout the years starting from the WWII-era Spitfires and ending off with the modern-day, still in use, F-15s and Kfirs. Along one edge of the lot are planes and helicopters that have been involved in historical missions and operations including the helicopter that brought Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the nearby Air Force base to sign the monumental peace treaty between the two warring countries. Also to be seen, in an open hangar, are very old bi-planes and the hang gliders used by Syrian-based terrorists a few decades back – presented exactly as they were “obtained”, a true glimpse into history. In the last section of the lot, the edge closest to the museum building, captured planes from neighbouring countries such as Syria, Egypt and Jordan are displayed as historic trophies.