The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. The museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 28 acres of indoor exhibit space
Three HUGE hangers
plus Presidential and Experimental hangers offsite
Great family fun and come learn
Check out the new hanger for Presidential, Space and more galleries.
Museum Size is Huge over 28 acres!
28.1 acres = 1224000 ft²= 113713.3 m²
1,224,000 total square footage – 1 million original plus 224,000 square footage in the new fourth building
Early Years, World War II, Korean War, SE Asia, Cold War
Home – Fastest Top 3 Airplanes in the world!
1: North American X-15
2: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
3: Lockheed YF-12
6: XB-70 Valkyrie
8: McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
9: General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
Online Virtual and Audio Tours
360 Cockpit Tour
Aircraft Fact Sheet Lookup
On Sept. 13, 1918, the U.S. Army Air Service renamed the Airplane Engineering Department at McCook Field as the Airplane Engineering Division. The division was tasked with designing and testing new Air Service equipment, improving old equipment, and the collection, classification and dissemination of technical information of value to the Air Service.
The Technical Data Section of the Engineering Division decided to create and maintain an aeronautical museum as an aid in the dissemination of information about the latest aircraft technology to the aircraft industry and designers. So in the spring of 1923, the Technical Data Section opened a small museum, covering 24,600 square feet in four buildings at the north end of McCook Field.
In 1926 the Army Air Service became the Army Air Corps, and organizational changes came to the museum. The Technical Data Section became a “branch” of the administration section, Materiel Division, and the museum became a unit of the Technical Data Section. In 1927 a physical change took place as everything moved from McCook Field to Wright Field. Many of the museum’s aircraft were destroyed rather than moved.
From 1927 to 1934 the “museum” was in the Wright Field administration building
Finally, the Army Air Corps acted to formalize the museum. On Sept. 30, 1931, Army Regulation 95-40 established the Army Aeronautical Museum. This was the first official authorization of the museum. It was set up in the east end of Building 16, and it opened to the general public on July 1, 1932
In 1934 the Army convinced the Works Progress Administration to construct a new building, and the museum shared part of that building. In July 1935 the new Army Aeronautical Museum opened to the public. (U.S. Air Force photo)
World War II brought major change to the Army Aeronautical Museum. The museum was closed temporarily in 1939, and completely in 1940, to make room for office space. Although the museum function continued during and after the war, the artifacts went into storage and were scattered around the base. This photo shows Building 12 in 1942 after the Army Aeronautical Museum was closed to make room for office space.
On Jan. 2, 1948, HQ USAF issued Air Force Regulation 20-26 establishing the Air Force Technical Museum to create a repository for aeronautical equipment to be used for future study. The Technical Museum was housed in Building 89, a World War II engine shop, but tours were only by appointment.
In 1952 the Air Force designated the Air Force Technical Museum as the USAF’s central repository for Air Force historical properties, and in 1954 the Air Force Technical Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, became the USAF’s primary museum. On April 1-2, 1955, the museum conducted an open house in Building 89 at Patterson Field as part of the formal opening of the museum to the public after being closed for 15 years
In 1956 the Air Force Technical Museum was redesignated the Air Force Central Museum, and in November 1957 the museum was redesignated again, this time as the Air Force Museum.
In 1956 the Air Force Technical Museum was designated the Air Force Central Museum
In 1956 the Air Force Technical Museum was designated the Air Force Central Museum, and in November 1957 the museum was designated again, this time as the Air Force Museum. (U.S. Air Force photo 1958)
Photograph of the Air Force Museum in 1970 during construction of building one.
President Richard Nixon dedicated the new building in September 1971. Even though the facility gave the Air Force Museum more room, some aircraft remained outside, which meant thinking about a new building. (U.S. Air Force photo 1973)
In 1972 the Air Force Museum received its restoration hangars to care for its growing collection of aircraft
Aerial photograph of the Air Force Museum in 1976. The museum wasn’t designated as the National Museum of the United States Air Force until 2004 (U.S. Air Force photo)
In 1977 the museum got Hangars 1 and 9, which today house the Presidential and Research & Development Galleries.
In December 1981 the museum was redesignated as the United States Air Force Museum
The second building started construction in 1986 and opened in 1988
In 1990 work started on the new 500-seat IMAX Theatre and the Atrium and completed in 1991.
Aerial photograph of the Air Force Museum in 1995. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The museum was designated as the National Museum of the United States Air Force in 2004.
The Hall of Missiles was completed in January 2004, making it possible to display the museum’s missiles indoors.
Hanoi Taxi flying over the National Museum of the United States Air Force in December 2005.
Aerial view of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ben Strasser)
B-25 bombers fly over the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The museum’s collection is housed in three huge hangars. Reference
In this July 16, 2009 file photo, Patty Wagstaff, top, and Sean D. Tucker fly over the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the National Aviation Hall of Fame, in Dayton, Ohio
Aerial view of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force during construction of the museum’s fourth building. The 224,000 square foot building, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2016, is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum’s facilities. The fourth building will house the Space, Presidential Aircraft, Research & Development and Global Reach Galleries. (Photo courtesy of McKenrick Lee Photography)
Aerial view of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force during construction of the museum’s fourth building on September 2, 2015. The 224,000 square foot building, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2016, is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum’s facilities. (Photo courtesy of McKenrick Lee Photography)
Aerial view of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force with new gallery. Nov 15 2015.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force fourth building is now open!
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s new $40.8 million fourth building including aircraft such as SAM 26000 (Air Force One) and the only remaining XB-70 Valkyrie, opened to the public on June 8, 2016.
The 224,000 square foot building, which was privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, will house more than 70 aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles in four new galleries – Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach, along with three science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Learning Nodes.
Construction of the building first began in July 2014 and was completed in January 2016 by the Columbus office of Turner Construction Company and overseen by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District. Fourth building opened to the public in June 2016.
More photos here http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/Photos.aspx
2012 – 70th Doolittle Raid Anniversary Reunion
2013 – Final Doolittle Raid Memorial Tribute
Urbana 2013 B-25 Warbird Gathering
2014 WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous
Other Ohio Airshows
2007 Gathering of Mustangs and Legends
“What is the difference between a rocket and a missile?”