National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton
Don't fail to take an outdoor walk to see historic aircraft displayed outside the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Leave the museum entry by the doors opposite the doors to the large parking lot to find the outdoor aircraft. Some of them that I photographed include a captured German Junkers JU 52 with three 830 horsepower BMW 132AR radial engines, a Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar and a rare Northrop YC-125B "Raider". Many really huge USAF aircraft, both piston powered and jet powered are outdoors. The outdoor aircraft displays are also free.
Some of the aircraft are quite weathered in the four-season climate of Ohio, and some data signs are badly corroded and not legible-but, do not let that deter you from examining the outdoor aircraft up close. Outdoors can be a better photo opportunity as some sections of the indoor museum, especially the Early Years Gallery are not well illuminated, and that shows on several of my indoor photos. Unfortunately, on the day I was there it was a cloudy overcast as shown.
This impressive museum is located just east of Dayton at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's days. Free admission & parking. Charge only for the IMAX Theater. Welcoming 1.2 million visitors each year, the museum's galleries present military aviation history, boasting over 300 aircraft & aerospace vehicles-many rare & one-of-a-kind, thousands of historical items, & powerful sensory exhibits that bring history to life and connect the Wright Brothers legacy with today's stealth & precision technology.
Galleries are: Early Years Gallery, Air Power Gallery, Modern Flight Gallery, Cold War Gallery, Missile & Space Gallery, and Presidential & Research & Development/Flight Test Galleries. The National Aviation Hall of Fame is onsite. There is a Memorial Park, IMAX Theater seating 500 & six stories high with several 3-D experiences to choose from-We watched "Fighter Pilot-Operation Red Flag" not to be missed! There is a Morphis MovieRide Theatre, a flight simulator that seats 14 people, to experience the thrill of flying in a jet fighter. A Souvenir Shop/Bookstore and an inexpensive second-floor cafeteria serving good hot or cold food and drinks are on-site within the museum.
Outdoor displays of large aircraft are also not to be missed. A free brochure guides you through the massive hangars. (You could get lost or disoriented without it, as well as missing some entire areas). Please devote several days, if possible to the outstanding displays of aviation history and historic aircraft that include the Boeing B-29 "Bockscar" that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, ending World War II, and the latest aircraft technology in an F-22 vectored-thrust Raptor jet fighter, one of five EMD models made, at cost of billions. Earlier the prior week we had seen the F-22 fly at Oshkosh. You may appreciate the rare Family restrooms, as well as Women's and Men's.
This was a dream of my hubby to finally see this fantastic museum. It is one of the best he has seen because the collection of aviation history is one of the largest he has ever seen. So if your ever in this area, make sure to make the time to see this place. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time because there is so much to see.
Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
This museum contains nearly every type of aircraft or missile ever employed by the US Air Force. The list goes on and on. It covers both World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Cold War, the Persian Gulf War, and even the newest aircraft. There are also some exhibits on the dramatic conflicts and crises in which the USAF played a key role--Sarajevo, the Berlin Airlift, Vietnam War POWs, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). To cap it all off, there is an impressive gallery dealing with space and missiles. See some of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that provide part of our nuclear deterrent, plus a mock-up of an ICBM control center. Before you leave, don't miss some of the memorials outside the building.
If you're an aviation buff, this is nearly an all-day visit. If not, at least go to the gift shop and buy a few postcards. This is a worthy tribute to the airmen who have defended our country. I used to be one.
One of the finest aircraft museums anywhere, and certainly the biggest tourist draw in Dayton is the Air Force Museum. Billed as the world's oldest and largest aircraft museum, the National Museum of the United States Air Force has some 400 aircraft on display. The museum was started in 1923 in Dayton and it has moved across town since its inception. Some of the most impressive aircraft on display are the world's only XB-70 Valkyrie, the B-29 which dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, the first Air Force One Presidential aircraft, and B-2 and F-117 stealth aircraft.
The museum is visited by about one million people each year, and is actually considered one of the biggest attractions in all of Ohio... which is not surprising.
Wright Patterson is the Air Force's premier location for technology development and flight engineering. The base is home to eight Air Force "wings," as well as the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Institute of Technology, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command. The airfield was established by the Wright Brothers in 1904, and was named after them and Lt. Frank Stuart Patterson, pilot and member of an influential local family that owned the National Cash Register company. More recently, the base was the location for negotiations of the so-called Dayton Accords or Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War in 1995.
Most importantly, the base was the storage and research area for the UFO that crashed at Roswell, New Mexico. Hanger 18 was the location for this UFO, and possibly the bodies of two or three aliens. The technology was reverse engineered and used in various US aircraft such as the stealth fighter and bomber, as well as other high-tech aircraft that are still top secret.
The U.S. Airforce Museum on Wright Field at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a must for any aviation fan!
They have all of the standard planes you'll see at the other museums but they also have the rarities such as:
B-2 Stealth Bomber
...and a host of past Presidential Airplanes.
Best of all... it's Free!
Register early for the Presidential planes as the bus fills up quickly.
The Museum also houses an IMAX Theater.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum. The museum welcomes more than one million visitors each year and boasts 17 acres of indoor exhibit space, more than 300 aircraft and missiles and thousands of artifacts.
If you're into planes this is the place to go. It is is beside Wright Patterson Airforce Base. Huge museum that has a cafeteria on the 2nd floor and the gift shop/museum on the first floor. There is a lot of history and old info. like letters, photos, war info. etc..I found it interesting. Letters from service men and specific history on each plane is what I thought were the most interesting. The walking gets old though if you get through half of it that's good. It's something to do on a rainy day.
USAF museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
There are over 300 displays of aircraft from the eariest history of flight to the stealth aircraft of today.Included are space capsules and astronaut space suits and food.
The United States Air Force museum located in Dayton is the oldest and largest aviation museum in the world. It is free an open to the public most days of the week from 9 to 5, except for Christmas, New Years day, and Thanksgiving. I recently toured it with my boys. They enjoyed it, but would probably have enjoyed it more if we had gone on one of the family weekends. They were eager to tour the gift shop and got tired of looking at all the planes. Nevertheless, they enjoyed sitting in some of the cockpits of planes set up for that purpose. Older children and adults would enjoy the museum.
The museum houses an extensive display of military planes starting with a reproduction Wright brothers plane through current era planes, such as a Stealth Fighter. Over three hundred aircraft are displayed along with photographs, and other displays. While we were visiting recently, the museum had special exhibits on the Korean War and military prisoners the Nazi’s housed in labor camps during World War II. The museum also has an Omnimax theater, a monument garden, and sponsors special concerts and other events. Nearby, at the Wright-Paterson Air Force base, a special collection of presidential planes including FDR’s plane, Truman’s plane, and the Airforce 1, used by Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon is housed along with experimental planes. President Johnson was sworn in as President following JFK’s assassination on the most recent of these “Air Force One” planes. A free pass is available to view the hanger at Wright Patterson at the Air Force museum. I enjoyed looking inside the Presidential planes, but could not get any photos because of the small space and the plexiglass around the seating compartments.
More than 1 million visitors a year gravitate to the United States Air Force Museum, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. This museum houses more than 300 aircraft and missiles, plus Wright Brothers' memorabilia, World War II artifacts, the Apollo 15 capsule and thousands of personal artifacts such as diaries and medals dating from the early 1900s to the present.
The museum's IMAX Theatre gives audiences an incredible emotional experience with its sophisticated motion picture system that carries viewers on an amazing journey from early flight to present-day high-speed aerobatics. New museum exhibits for 1999 include a display of World War II U.S. Army flight jackets; a P-36 Habitat Exhibit evoking the scene at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; and an Air Force One display that includes the plane that carried J.F.K.'s body back from Dallas.
My physician son based in northern Ohio, my wife and I visited the USAF National Museum last November 2008 and were simply awed. The first sight that greeted us was a solitary F-5 fighter mounted on a pylon in the middle of the vast grass lawn of the Wright-Patterson AFB. Then upon entering the main entrance of the museum, the statue of the mythical Icarus, founder of flight. The complex has an IMAX theater, a gift shop and 3 major galleries - the early years including WWI & WWII, the Cold War era and the Missile and Space. So the visitor is treated to the history of flight from the Wright Brothers, to the bi-planes of WWI, the monoplanes of WWII, the jets and finally the missiles and space machines. So we saw WW1 Spads all the way to the current inventory of F-22 Raptors, F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-117 stealth aircraft and B-1 bombers. I shot so many photos and video clips that both cameras simply ran out of batteries. Aside from aircraft static displays, there were were also human interest and oftentimes humorous displays like with the artistic nose art of the bombers. Of course there were also serious displays like the one dedicated to the downed USAF pilots who were imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton. A tip to future visitors, go there during off-season and you can have the whole place to yourself. My son and I spent some time sitting inside the F-4 Phantom and F-16 Fighting Falcon cockpit with no other visitors rushing us. And the best part? The museum entrance is for free!
The National Museum of the U.S. Airforce is a pretty amazing and pretty huge place. They hold a massive airshow in the summer. I am not normally one for planes, despite how much I seem to fly in them, but the museum seemed well put together. The exhibits are informative and involving, and plus the planes themselves are very impressive. They do also have other artifacts; but they all do have a real connection to the Airforce.
Oh and if you wondered how much the largest airforce museum costs to visit? It is FREE
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is a must-see if you are in Dayton. This museum is huge and has an extensive collection of airplanes from the early years of the Wright Brothers to the stealth age. There are several famous airplanes on display here as well, including the Bockscar B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb over Nagasaki, Japan during World War II. The gift shop is wonderful as well, selling lots of airplane models, toys, and books. The best thing about this museum... admission is free!