National Museum Of The U.S Air Force

A Basic Guide To The National Museum Of The U.S Air Force

National Museum Of The U.S Air Force

The National Museum of the U.S air force dates back to 1923 when the engineering division first started to collect technical artifacts for preservation. This museum has since expanded and now has a range of permanent exhibitions. The museum is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base which is 6 miles from Dayton, Ohio and worth a visit for anyone in the area.

The History Of The Museum

US Air Force Planes In Air

While the museum started in 1923, it was moved to the Wright Field in 1927. By 1932, the collection housed there was renamed the Army Aeronautical Museum and was placed in a different building until World War II. By 1948, the collection was still completely private and was renamed the Air Force Museum.

The museum Technical only became public in 1954 and was moved to its first permanent location. Building 89 of the former Patterson Field was renovated from an engine overhaul hanger to house the museum. At this time, many of the aircraft in the collection were parked outside the hanger and exposed to the elements until 1971 when the current museum opened.

Since 1971, the museum has tripled in size with an addition hanger added to it in 1988. A third hanger was added in 2003 and a fourth in 2016. A new name for the museum was also announced in 2004 which was the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The Exhibits And Collections

There are many rare aircraft housed in the museum which have technological or historical importance. The museum also has various memorabilia and artifacts from the history and development of aviation. Among the most impressive displays in the only remaining North American XB-70 Valkyrie and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress which is the aircraft that dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

One of the exhibits that you can visit is the one of presidential aircraft. The museum houses a number of presidential aircraft including the ones used by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The focal piece of this exhibition is the SAM 26000 which is a modified Boeing 707. This aircraft was used by various presidents and was the one that took President Kennedy to Dallas on the day he was assassinated.

Another exhibit that should be visited is the Pioneers of Flight. As the name suggests, this section of the museum has been dedicated to the pioneers of aviation with a particular emphasis on the Wright brothers. This is due to the fact that their experiments were conducted at the nearby Huffman Prairie. The exhibit has a replica of the Wrights’ 1909 Military Flyer as well as a range of other Wright brother artifacts.

For people who are more interested in the Air Force, there is an exhibit of uniforms and clothing. The museum holds many pieces of Army Air Force and Air Force uniforms and clothing. This exhibit always has at least 50 vintage World War II A-2 leather flying jackets on display which belonged to many of the famous figures of the Air Force. This display includes the jacket which belonged to Brigadier General James Stewart and an A-2 jacket that was worn by one of the USAAF pilots who left the ground during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Other Attractions In The Museum

The third hanger of the museum which was completed in 2004 offers a hall of missiles. There are also port-Cold War era planes on display in this section of the museum. This includes the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

The fourth hanger which was completed in 2016 houses a space collection and an enlarged educational outreach area. These collections and exhibits were located in an annex which had to be reached by bus before the completion of the hanger. The museum also has an IMAX theater which should aviation and space orientated films along with other documentaries.

It is also important to note that the museum also has a 360-degree Virtual Tour. This tour allows people to view most of the exhibits and aircraft online. Of course, if you want to get the full experience of the museum, you will need to visit it in person instead of via a virtual tour.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Dayton Dragons Baseball Team playing on the field.

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