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.
The museum is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Once there, you are free to walk among the three gallery exhibits on your own.
Guided toures are offered daily at 1:30 p.m. On Saturdays, guided tours are available at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tours begin at the entrance.
Every Friday you can take the Behind the Scenes Tour at 12:15. You MUST pre-register for this tour prior to Wednesday and be at least 12 years of age (12-18 participants must be accompanied by adult.) A government issued photo I.D. is also required for all participants.
Museum Exhibits are displayed in galleries located within multiple hanger facilities. There are 3 connected exhibit areas, each containing multiple galleries. There are 2 special galleries located in a controlled-access portion of the base and visitors can only access them through a shuttle bus service from the main museum (the shuttle bus is NOT handicapped equipped). Registration is required and a government issued I.D. is also required. Foreign visitors will be required to show a passport. There are a limited number of spaces available on the shuttle bus so if you want to see this particular collection, sign up before proceeding to the main galleries. Includes 9 Presidential aircraft and visitors can walk through 4 of the them including Roosevelts, Trumans, Eisenhowers, and Air Force One, the plane that flew President Kennedy's body back to Washington D.C. from Dallas.
The Early Years Gallery has a magnificent display of aircraft from the Wright brothers through World War I and aircraft prior to World War II.
World War II, the United States became an air power that led the world.
This is the latest gallery hangar added to the museum with over 200,000 sq. ft of display space.
Includes in an impressive display of Intercontinental Ballistic Missles standing side-by-side.
The Presidential Gallery includes the first aircraft made especially for the president and routinely called "Air Force One." The Boeing 707 on display in the Presidential Gallery entered service on October 10, 1962. This plane which was also known as SAM 26000 (Special Air Mission, tail No. 26000) served eight presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton. It was this aircraft that flew Kennedy to Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, the day he was assassinated and was the one that Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office as the new president which then flew him and Kennedy's body back to Washington, D.C. In 1972 another Boeing 707 (SAM 27000) became the primary presidential aircraft, and SAM 26000 was used as a backup plane. In addition to the first Air Force One, visitors can enter the presidential aircraft of presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
The Research & Development Gallery honors the pioneering spirit of air power visionaries who have sought through the decades to achieve greater possibilities. Gallery visitors can view unique and exotically designed aircraft, such as the only remaining aircraft of its kind, the XB-70 Valkyrie, which could fly three times the speed of sound.
The Museum has a very large gift shop/bookstore with all kinds of collectibles for all ages. Visitors can find books, apparel, models, music, videos, toys, and artworks that all feature aviation.