Shortly after the Civil War, Spain’s Ministry of the Air planned to open a museum to commemorate the Air Force and Spanish aviation history. The delayed project opened in May 1981. Located in Spain’s first military airfield, the Cuatro Vientos Air Base near Madrid, this is one of Europe’s top aeronautical museums due to its large collection. Around 200 aircraft are on display, largely planes and helicopters used by the Spanish Air Force, such as the Aerotécnica AC-12 and the Hispano HA-200. However, the collection also features many earlier aircraft, including the Spanish Blériot XI built in 1911, the planes used by the Spanish Republican Air Force, and the famous Havilland Dragon Rapide, flown by Francisco Franco during the 1936 military rebellion that ignited the Spanish Civil War. Visitors make their way through seven hangars and an outdoor exhibition space that are dedicated to topics such as rotating wings, engines and miniature aircraft models. A café and gift shop are on site.