The National Museum of the United States Air Force
10 03 2009
Rating: ***** <>
Quick Review: A must stop if in Dayton. Free to the public and worth the time to drive there.
UPDATE: The museum is planning on expanding
The Air Force Museum is one of the best museums in the nation. It has the world largest collection of American Air Force airplanes. Not just pictures and artifacts but also the full sized planes. When documentaries talk about the history of flight it is hard to put everything into scale. The museum helps a lot. The ability of to see everything from the 1911 Wright flyer to the modern B2 is amazing.
As has been said, museums can not just be houses of artifacts but must help to teach in someway. This one does. With videos, pictures, planes and memorabilia one feels as if they are walking through history itself. If you want an even more in-depth experience take a guided tour. The staff (many volunteer retired Air Force Airmen) is quite knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions one might have.
The best of the museum is only accessible on the Presidential Hangar tour. Here is where all of the former Air Force Ones and many of the experimental aircraft are housed. I recommend go just to see the aircraft Kennedy took to Dallas. The tours do fill up fast and it is recommended to sign up early to guarantee a spot.
The museum also has an Imax, showing mostly space and Air Force movies, a gift shop, with a large selection of Air Force books and posters, and a café, with good food at a reasonable price.
If in Dayton this is a must visit. If not for the sheer history of the place, then for the awe inspiring grandeur of the planes on display.
Quick Tip: It is known locally as Wright – Patt Air Force museum due to be located onthe Wright Patterson Air force Base. Also check out the license plates in the parking lot. Most states are represented on a Saturday.