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!
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.
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.
I truly enjoyed it due to my interest in airplanes. My father worked for McDonnell Douglas Canada (now Boeing) for as long as I can remember. Airplanes were a part of many conversations. This museum will show you just about everything you'll ever want to see from history.
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 US Air Force Museum is a 'must see' for anyone who enjoys airplanes.
HUGE collection of aircraft, including the only XB-70 Valkyrie in existance. They are working on building a 3rd wing to this, so plan on a full day, possibly even more.
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.
Visit the United States Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
As is stated my introduction to Dayton, this museum is something that you do not want to miss. Whether you like military aviation or not you will doubtless love this place. It details the entire history of military aviation from WWI through present-day missions. The museum is also massive and will take more than one day to see it all. It also has sections on space flight and presidential aircraft. You can actually tour several different presidents' Air Force One planes. It has famous spy aircraft, pursuit jet fighters, WWI and WWII aircraft, and much, much more for you to enjoy. Another bonus to your visit here is that admission and parking are entirely free - or paid for with your tax dollars; however you choose to look at it.
This is a huge museum featuring military aircraft from a replica of the first Wright flyer to F-22s and F-117s. A must see for any Aviation fan. Best part it's free.
If your an aircraft aficianado then the Air Force Museum in Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton is the place for you
Simply the most comprehensive collection of United States Air Force airplanes and memorabilia. Rivals the Smithsonian and includes a voluminous research floor, IMAX theater and book store.