National Museum Of The U.S. Airforce

The National Museum Of The U.S. Airforce In Ohio

National Museum of the U.S. Airforce

Do you plan to visit the Dayton, Ohio area? If so, you might travel just a few miles out of the city to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There, you can stop at the official, national Airforce Museum. The National Museum of the U.S. Airforce, or NMUSAF, has one of the largest collections of air-related displays on the product and is one of Ohio’s most popular tourist attractions.

A Brief History Of The NMUSAF In Ohio

Besides offering over 360 aircraft and missile displays, this museum attracts over one million visits every year. It actually opened in the early 1920s because Dayton’s McCook Field engineers began to realize the historical significance of their efforts. They started to collect and preserve related artifacts. The museum moved closer to its current location at what was then called Wright Field. It was housed in a lab building.

In the early 1930s, the WPA built a building and the collection was renamed to the Army Aeronautical Museum. After WWII, this then-private collection was called the Air Force Technical Museum. In the early 1950s, they made the museum public and gave it its first stand-alone facility. The first part of the museum was housed in a building that used to be a repair hanger.

The problem was that the space was too small for the growing collection. Some valuable displays had to be parked outside where they were constantly exposed to weather and other hazards. However, the current facility did not open until 1971. Even since that time, the current facility has more than tripled in size. In 2004, the museum’s name was changed to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Highlights of the Air Force Museum's Collections

It would take a book to do justice to the hundreds of different artifacts on display in this museum. If you’re an aviation history buff, you will certainly want to set aside several hours to see everything that you want to see. However, to understand the value of this facility, you might be interested in reading about a few highlights of the museum.

Presidential Aircraft

You can visit the building known as the Presidential Gallery to view aircraft used by former U.S. President. This includes the official planes used by Kennedy, Johnson, Eisenhower, Nixon, and even FDR. You can even see the plane that regularly carried several presidents and was used to swear Johnson in after JFK was assassinated in Dallas.

Pioneering Aircraft

Of course, the base that holds the museum was partially named after the Wright Brothers, who are credited with mostly inventing flight. You can find a large section of the museum that is dedicated to these brilliant and brave flight pioneers too. You will find replicas of these original planes, flight uniforms, and lots of educational exhibits to help you get a feeling for the experience of flying when planes were a new invention.

Military Planes And Other Artifacts

Of course, many people visit the museum because they are interested in the military aspect of airplane technology. You can find many different displays of military planes, missiles, and other kinds of Airforce tech.


The facility also has a high-tech theater that allows visitors to experience flight in another way. The museum shows documentaries, educational presentations, and even live presentations in this theater.

What Else To Know About The National Air Force Museum In Ohio

It’s lucky that people with foresight started to preserve military artifacts back in the early days of flight. They made it possible for us and future generations to be able to view this important slice of history. The museum contains flight artifacts from the military, but it also includes public displays too. If you travel near Dayton, be sure to put a visit to this museum on your calendar.

Even though this museum is associated with the Air Force and Wright-Patterson Field, it is actually privately funded. If you enjoy the museum, you may want to consider making a donation after your visit. It’s a good experience for history buffs, people with a military interest, or families. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and allocate plenty of time to take in all of the sights.

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