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

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.

Consolidation And Previous Designations

  • Patterson Field, 1 July 1931 to consolidation with Wright Field, 13 January 1948
Wilbur Wright Field, 22 May 1917
Wilbur Wright Air Park , 10 January 1919
Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot, 10 June 1917
Aviation General Supply Depot, 3 November 1919
Air Service Supply and Repair Depot, 20 June 1920
Fairfield Air Intermediate Depot, 14 January 1921
Fairfield Air Depot , 22 June 1927
  • Wright Field, 12 October 1927 to consolidation with Patterson Field, 13 January 1948
  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 13 January 1948 to present

Dayton Museum Marks 75th Anniversary Of The Us Air Force This Weekend

The U.S. Air Force was born on Sept. 18, 1947, when the first Secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington, was sworn into office following the signing of the National Defense Act. A year-long commemoration wraps up this weekend with a host of events at and around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Doug Lantry is a curator and historian at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton. He says the anniversary is a good time to stop and reflect.

“This particular anniversary lets us look into our past and appreciate all the airmen and civilians that came before us, and it also lets us look into our future to continue the innovation and acceleration and thriving that the Air Force depends on and needs,” he says.

The Air Force has strong ties to Ohio and the Miami Valley because the state is the birthplace of aviation, thanks, of course, to the Wright brothers.

“When they invented the airplane and perfected it here in Dayton, there grew up around that activity a lot of invention and innovation infrastructure with the old McCook Field and then Wright Field and then Patterson Field, and eventually the gigantic complex that today is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Lantry explains. “That collection of infrastructure has been the site of Air Force innovation for a very long time.”

The U.S. Air Force Marathon runs on Saturday, starting and finishing at the museum.

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National Museum Of The United States Air Force

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.

National Museumof The Usaf

Inside the National Museum of the United States Air Force (PHOTOS ...

Located near Dayton Ohio, the National Museum of the United States Air Force presents military aviation history in a gallery format, with over 400 vehicles on display in this free to the public museum.

Visitors will be able to see up close many rare and one-of-a-kind aircraft, including a Wright Modified B Flyer used to train new pilots in 1916. Those interested in America’s manned-moon missions can see a Mercury, Gemini capsuls and the Apollo 15 command module that circled the moon plus a U2 spy plane.

The museum is divided up into 8 major galleries that include Early Years, World War II Air Power, Modern Flight, Cold War, and Missile & Space. The Presidential, Research and Development, and the Air Park are located in other areas. The Air Park is located outside on a nearby runway. The Presidential, Research & Development Galleries are only accessible by bus tours that must be reserved.

The museum is in 3 large buildings plus the IMAX theater near the front entrance and the Missile/Space Gallery tower. The museum is a large complex with lots of walking.

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Experience The National Museum Of The Us Air Force

Theres going to an airplane museum, and then theres going to the National Museum of the USAF. Here, youll find stunning tributes and amazing exhibitions that tell the story and preserve the history of the United States Air Force. Get ready to explore over 360 aircraft, restoration projects, a variety of educational opportunities, and so much more. A trip to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is a must for anyone visiting or living in Ohio.

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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.

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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.

Celebrating 75 Years Of The Us Air Force: Visiting The Nmusaf

North American XB-70 Valkyrie – Feature from the National Museum of the USAF

The NVMM hit the road once again this week as we traveled to the National Museum of the United States Air Force . Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just outside of Dayton and only about 60 miles west of Columbus, the NMUSAF is the largest military aviation museum in the world. With more than 350 aircraft and thousands of artifacts on display, the museum is an excellent place to celebrate 75 years of our nations Air Force.

After listening to the unique stories of USAF Veterans told at the NVMM and on our website, we wanted to experience what its like to sit in the cockpit of an Air Force aircraft. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to do that at the NMUSAF!

Check out this video of us hopping into the cockpits of some of the most recognizable military aircraft in our nations history & click on the aircrafts below to learn more:

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Air Force Museum History At 99 Years: From Mccook Field Hangar To Massive Dayton Attraction

The museum’s first location was at McCook Field, where it was primarily an engine museum in the corner of a hangar before growing to display World War I planes and equipment.

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The Dayton Daily News has a new weekly newsletter looking back into the colorful, twisting and hidden history of our city, including this story. We’ll dig deep into our archives to deliver a new theme each week to your inbox.

During the 1920s, Wright Field was established as a research center to replace the outgrown McCook Field. The museum moved to Wright Field from 1927 to 1935.

A new facility was built in 1935 at Wright Field, and the collection grew to more than 3,000 items.

In 1941, the museum closed after the start of World War II. The collections were moved into storage.

The Air Force reopened the Air Force Museum in 1947. The collection was open by appointment only until 1955, when it was opened to the public.

In 1956 the Air Force Technical Museum, as it was known at the time, was renamed the Air Force Central Museum, and in November 1957 the museum was renamed again, this time as the Air Force Museum. The museum was placed in a World War II-era structure, and many of the aircraft were put outside in a parking lot.

Having outgrown its World War II-era space, the Air Force Museum Foundation was founded in 1960 to raise funds for a new facility.

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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Nasa Space Shuttle Exhibit

Don’t miss the Space Shuttle Exhibit featuring NASA’s first Crew Compartment Trainer in the Space Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Board and tour the CCT!
The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which extended voting rights to women. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will honor women with a new exhibit highlighting their achievements in civilian and military aviation with emphasis on the U.S. Air Force and its predecessors. The exhibit covers historical issues, changes in laws and attitudes, and women’s contributions. Specific women and groups from all eras and various career fields are noted to emphasize the impact women have played in establishing women’s current position in the Air Force.

Ial List Of Collection

National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton ranks among the 20 best ...

The museum is divided into galleries, covering broad historic trends in military aviation. These are further broken down into exhibits detailing specific time periods and showing aircraft in their historical context.

All aircraft in this list were designed/built in the United States of America, unless otherwise indicated.

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Planning A Visit To The National Museum Of The Us Air Force

If you are going to head to the worlds largest military aviation museum, youre going to want to plan your visit beforehand. Theres plenty to do, and youre guaranteed to have a good time, but there are still some things youll want to be aware of before you make the trip. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind before starting your day at the greatest Air Force museum in the world:

  • The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is technically on an air base, and the rules that apply to such military institutions should be remembered. No weapons are allowed, not even a pocket knife.
  • The air museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  • There are over 19 acres of indoor space to explore, and that means lots of walking. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own wheelchairs and strollers if necessary, though a limited supply of both are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Parking is free, as is admission.
  • The National Aviation Hall of Fame has different operating hours than the museum itself. Visitors can enjoy the HOF on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Its also open on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The National Aviation Hall of Fame is closed on Tuesday, Thursday, Federal Holidays, and Easter.

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.

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National Museum Of The Usaf Virtual Tour

Not able to make it? Dont worry theres an online tour available. If you want to get a better feel for what to expect or if you arent able to make it in real life just yet, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force virtual tour is a great option that can let you explore stunning aircraft from the comfort of your own home. Of course, nothing can quite replace the real thing, which is why we encourage you to plan a trip. From one-of-a-kind aircraft technology to immersive experiences with experts offering a wealth of information, a trip to the National Museum of the USAF is an unforgettable experience.

Where Is The National Museum Of The Us Air Force

Reopening the National Museum of the USAF July 1, 2020

Youll find the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, OH. The address is 1100 Spaatz St., Dayton, Ohio 45433, and it is only around 5 miles from the heart of Wright-Patterson AFB. Tourists and residents alike will love the proximity of the air museum to downtown Dayton, as it is only about 5 miles away. The Air Force National Museum is placed right between the center of the city and one of the many military installations that it pays tribute to.

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