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National Museum Of The United States Air Force

Layout Of The Museum Grounds

KC-135R 60-0329 Lands at the National Museum of the USAF April, 30 2022

There are whole hangars that showcase the use of air power during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the Cold War. Americas leadership in space exploration, too, is on display . Historic presidential aircraft, a tribute to Bob Hope, and a concentration camp memorial are also found on the grounds.

An IMAX theater, café, and well-stocked souvenir shop round out the amenities. Obviously, a collection of this magnitude cannot adequately be seen and appreciated in a couple of hours or even a full day. It is recommended that visitors with more than a casual interest in aviation devote at least two days to fully grasp the scope of the collection.

National Museum Of The Us Air Force

The Free National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum and a Must-See in Dayton! Be amazed as you explore 19 acres of indoor exhibits featuring over 360 aerospace vehicles! Don’t miss the co-located National Aviation Hall of Fame honoring aviation and aerospace pioneers.

More To Explore In Dayton Ohio

While our visit to the US Air Force Museum in Dayton was just a few hours in length, I felt like we got a good feel for the museum in Ohio and the various aircraft exhibits.

I would have loved to have spent more time in certain parts of the museum actually taking the time to read the signage and perhaps even taking one of the free guided tours to learn more about the various aircraft on display.

Next time we head to the greater Dayton area, I have a few Dayton restaurants on my bucket list, as well as a visit to nearby Yellow Springs for some Youngs Dairy ice cream treats!

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Air Force Museum Invites Visitors To Go ‘above And Beyond’

“Above and Beyond,” an interactive exhibition exploring the mechanics of flight and innovations in aerospace, will launch Saturday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The 500-square-metre exhibition offers an interactive demonstration of advances in aviation and aerospace, from the first powered flights to the newest innovations on Earth and in space, the museum said.

Here, museum-goers can can experience flight simulation, immersive theater, touch-table displays and more.

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“Getting up off the ground, you know there are some forces we have to interact with lift, weight, thrust, drag,” said Mike Brimmer, chief of the museum’s education division. “With every flying object, including birds and drones or satellites, rockets, airplanes, all have to contend with the same forces of flight. And this exhibit illustrates that.”

Want to design a virtual plane? Here, you can do that.

After entering an immersive wraparound theater, visitors venture into five galleries comprising dozens of interactive displays.

A group flying experience with motion-sensing image capture helps visitors sense what it’s like to fly like a bird in a flock.

National Museum Of The United States Air Force

National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
National Museum of the United States Air Force

Former name
  • United States Air Force Museum
Vacant, Deputy Director/Senior Curator
Public transit access

Memphis Belle

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the official museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 6 miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio. The NMUSAF is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display. The museum draws about a million visitors each year, making it one of the most frequently visited tourist attractions in Ohio.

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Air Power In World War Ii

As is our habit in historic aircraft collections, we briskly power walk through the early days of flight until we reach World War II. That’s where the U.S. Air Force really starts to show off its global firepower.

Bits and pieces of the B-24 “Lady Be Good” are arranged near signs that tell of ghostly activities around the artifacts of this “cursed” plane. It disappeared in 1943 during a mission over Italy, and wasn’t found until sixteen years later in the very un-Italian desert of Libya. A large stained glass window, transported from a Wheelus Air Force Base chapel in Libya, honors the original crew. “In memory of nine who made the desert a highway for our God.”

What else? Planes, planes… and more planes, in front of you, behind you, above you. In lit display cabinets along the walls are the trombone of Glenn Miller , and the leather bomber jacket of Jackie Coogan . We make a mental note to check out the large exhibit about Bob Hope, which includes a video loop of his stand-up routines for the troops, and his 1966 Christmas Special Emmy. A small crowd gathered — after nearly 50 years, Hope’s jokes could still get a laugh.

Atomic bomb dropper: Bock’s Car.

VE Day, Germany.

Touring The Ultimate Aviation Museum: The National Museum Of The United States Air Force

A look inside one of the greatest aviation museums in the world.

Geoffrey Morrison

Geoffrey Morrison is a writer/photographer for CNET, Forbes, and The New York Times. He also the Editor-at-large for The Wirecutter. He has written for Sound& Vision magazine, Home Theater magazine, and was the Editor in Chief of Home Entertainment magazine. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in Television/Radio from Ithaca College. His bestselling novel, Undersea, and its sequel, Undersea Atrophia, are available in paperback and as an ebook on Amazon. He spends most of the year as a digital nomad, living and working while traveling around the world. You can follow his travels at

There are a ton of great air museums all over the world, from the Royal Air Force Museum in London to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona and the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington, DC. There’s a case to be made, however, that the best of them all is in Dayton, Ohio. There on the grounds of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the US Air Force has a massive collection of rare and important aircraft from the entire history of aviation.

It’s spread across five hangars, with hundreds of aircraft, and I spent an entire day exploring the museum during my 10,000-mile road trip. Honestly, I could have spent another day or three. Here’s a look in and around some of the highlights of the museum.

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Explore Aviation’s Past Present And Future

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Explore the numerous galleries: Early Years WWII Korean War SEA War Cold War, Missile R and D Global Reach, Space and Presidential Galleries. Experience the Air Park and Memorial Park. There is SO MUCH to see!
Exhibits are arranged chronologically so its easy to visit the areas that interest you most.
  • Examine a Wright Brothers plane
  • Sit in a jet cockpit
  • Walk through a NASA shuttle crew compartment trainer
  • Board and tour four of nine Presidential airplanes including the plane that flew Kennedy’s body back from Dallas and upon which Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President.
  • Stand in awe of the iconic Memphis Belle or the worlds only permanent public display of a B-2 stealth bomber.
Or, take in one of the multiple daily movies at the Air Force Museum Theatres new state-of-the-art D3D Cinema showing a wide range of films on a massive 80 foot by 60-foot screen.
Satisfy your hunger at the Museums cafeteria , or shop for one-of-a-kind aviation gifts in the Museums impressive gift shop.
The newer fourth hangar, a 224,000 square foot, climate-controlled building is a dedicated gallery space presenting the Air Force’s past, present and future in space and consolidates the presidential and research and development aircraft. The fourth hangar also houses aircraft such as the C-141C Hanoi Taxi and the C-130E.

Air Force Museum Attractions

National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, OH Tour & Review with Hyde

The artifacts and aircraft exhibits are the heart and soul of the National Museum of the US Air Force, but the museum offers other exciting attractions.

The 400-seat Giant Screen Theatre

A state-of-the-art 3D Cinema experience allows them to show a wide range of 3D films on a massive 80-foot wide screen, one of the largest in all of southwest Ohio! With daily movies showing between six and eight times a day, you will have no problem seeing a movie during your visit.

Three types of Simulators

Experience the Virtual Reality Simulator using state of the art 3D VR headsets to immerse you in a Space Walk. Perform 360° barrel rolls in the Interactive Flight Simulator featuring Air Combat giving the pilot control while the gunner takes down the enemy. Or take a journey inside a black hole, take a flight through aviation history, and much more on the MovieRide Simulator.

Air Force Museum Store

The Air Force Museum Store is known around the world for its one-of-a-kind collection of aviation-themed merchandise. Many items can only be found here! From books, beautiful hand-carved display models and toys for children of all ages to apparel, drinkware, jewelry, or something else entirely. Youre guaranteed to find the perfect gift or souvenir.

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The Fourth Building Opens At The Museum Of The United States Air Force

Drawing of the 4th building of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

On June 3, 2014, ground was broken on a new $35.4 million building that houses aircraft from the museum’s Presidential, Research and Development and Global Reach collection, as well as a new and expanded Space Gallery.

The fourth building was opened to the public on June 8, 2016.

Among the stories found in the fourth building are the VC-137C Air Force One , which was used by eight presidents – Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton the only remaining XB-70 Valkyrie the C-141C Hanoi Taxi, which airlifted the first American prisoners of war out of North Vietnam in February 1973 the Space Shuttle Exhibit featuring NASAâs first Crew Compartment Trainer and a massive Titan IVB space launch vehicle that weighs 96 tons.

The 224,000 square foot building was privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the facilities.

Exploring The Us Air Force Museum In Dayton Ohio With Kids

Experience history when you visit the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio one of the best things to do in southwest Ohio!

I was visiting Springfield Ohio for a wedding recently, and I wanted to spend a day exploring Greater Dayton before the weekend celebrations began. I had attended college nearby in Cedarville several years before, so I was familiar with the area, but I wanted to experience something new.

Having my oldest and youngest children in tow for the weekend, I needed something fun to do in Dayton Ohio that would appeal to all three of us. Plus, I didnt want to spend a ton of money, so free things to do in Dayton with kids were high on my list of possibilities.

Knowing how much all of my kids enjoyed the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the fact that Dayton Ohio is the birthplace of aviation, we decided to spend a few hours exploring the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton Ohio.

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Touring The Facility In Dayton Ohio

The facility includes a series of several, connected buildings. On our most recent visit, we spent about three hours inside, but one could spend days in this fine facility that covers a million square feet of exhibits. Shown below are a few photo highlights of our visit.

Various areas deal with different facets of Air Force history, including the following:

  • Early Years Gallery
  • and many others

Afrl Tech: National Museum Of The Us Air Force

National Museum of the United States Air Force

The Air Force Research Lab has helped lead, develop and deliver some of the biggest pieces of technology throughout the Air Force and Space Forces history.

Check out a snapshot of just how much our team has influenced from the beginning as we visit National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the worlds largest military aviation museum. AFRL Tech can be found throughout the museum, especially in the Research and Development Gallery.

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Exploring The Dayton Air Force Museum

I have to say that I really appreciated the museum guide who greeted us before we entered the first exhibit hangar. Seeing that I had a 3yo with me, he was quick to point out the really big planes as well as the hands-on exhibits that would help to draw my youngest in.

His knowledge of the museum and information about where specific displays were located throughout the four buildings also helped me to keep us moving at a steady pace in order to see everything we wanted to see before we hit meltdown mode, signaling the end of our visit to the Ohio airplane museum.

I loved that the museum was set up in chronological order from the earliest military flights to current research and development.

The National Museum Of The Us Air Force

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio is the largest aviation museum in the world.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Forcethe oldest and largest aviation museum in the world. The museum has grown in size and stature over the years, from its humble beginnings in a small corner of one hangar in 1923 to todays modern, handicapped-accessible facility covering 400 acres.

During the past 87 years, the museum has acquired over 69,000 artifacts, and more than 6,000 of them are on public display. With the exception of a few planes on view outdoors, almost everything is prominently displayed inside air-conditioned hangars, including 400 or more aircraft and missiles, personal memorabilia, and items of great historical significance.

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Other Exhibits And Attractions

The museum completed the construction of a third hangar and hall of missiles in 2004. It now houses post-Cold War era planes such as the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber , the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth ground attack aircraft and others. A fourth hangar was completed in 2016, to house the museum’s space collection, presidential planes, and an enlarged educational outreach area. Previously these collections were housed in an annex facility on Area B of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base . Because the annex was physically located on the base itself, museum guests were required to go through additional security checks before taking museum buses to the hangar.

For an additional fee, guests can view aviation- and space-oriented films in a large format theater interspersed primarily with other documentaries. In 2013, the Air Force Museum Theater was upgraded from IMAX to digital 3D. The renovation included a new stage, theater seats, and a new theater screen to support a broader range of programmingincluding educational presentations, live broadcasts and expanded documentary choices. It also included a 7.1 surround-sound system, audio devices for the hearing or visually impaired, and personal closed captioning systems.

The new building’s construction was entirely funded via private donations from several different sources.

Visiting The Us Air Force Museum In Dayton Ohio

A Walk Through the National Museum of the US Air Force – PART 1

I was a little bit surprised at my 15yo daughters reaction when I told her we were headed to the Air Force Museum in Dayton she was visibly excited about getting to see airplanes.

My 3yo was also excited, but I expected that he loves anything that can fly or has wheels .

As we approached the Dayton air museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, my daughter started getting giddy at the sight of planes staged around the museums four-hanger indoor exhibit space complex.

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National Museum Of The Us Air Force In Dayton Ohio

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio .

Main entrance, National Museum of the United States Air Force

It is the largest and oldest historical military aviation facility in the world, with over 360 aircraft and missiles in its collection.

We highly recommend a visit for aviation enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in, and appreciation for, the efforts and service of the fine men and women of the United States Air Force!

Tour 9 Presidential Aircrafts

The William E. Boeing Presidential Gallery gives visitors the opportunity to view an historic collection of presidential aircraft, and actually do a walk-through tour of four of them, including the Boeing VC-137C also known as SAM 26000 that flew J.F.K’s body back from Dallas and on which Eisenhower was sworn in as President. Experience history first-hand by stepping onto aircraft used by Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton.

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