Ohio gave birth to Wibur and Orville Wright, the men who gave birth to modern aviation. Over a century later, they’re honored in the National Museum of the United States Air Force among three hundred and fifty other aircraft, missiles, and other artifacts related to flight’s history and development. With free admission and parking every day of the week, this is a great place to spend one or two days while in Dayton, Ohio!
Situated on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the museum is home to over eleven galleries that highlight aviation’s contributions to wartime conflicts and scientific developments in the field. Several craft are furbished to allow visitors to walk through the hulls and peek into the cockpits. Some even have models or simulations of the aircraft driver’s seat. My personal favorite was the Presidential gallery, a display of the aircraft that carried America’s leaders. Even some momentos like dishes, itineraries, and menus are shown.
A Centennial exhibit honoring the museum itself is planned to open May 20th.
Other attractions and amenities at the museum include: free guided tours; virtual and audio tours; touchscreen games and information panels; some hands-on STEM integration activities; handicap access and motor carts; an Aviation Hall of Fame; a gift shop; and concessions. Out on the grounds are the Air Park, with a playground and exhibits of Boeing aircraft, a control tower, and Nissan Hut from WWII; and the Memorial Park with statues and plaques for those who gave their lives in the Air Force. For a fee, visitors can get tickets to experience one of their 3-D or VR simulator rides or the museum’s own movie theater with specialty films.
This museum is very much “Toast Pop approved”! I can’t think of any other feature destination this budget-friendly and steeped in heritage! Just wear good walking shoes and don’t forget to look up as many displays are structured overhead!
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