Alistair Maclean's Web Site
National Museum of the US Air Force. Dayton, OH
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F-104 Starfighter Gate Gaurdian

The Visits & Photo Essays

My September 11th 2001 Visit (Exterior Only)

My September 30th 2004 Visit (Interior Only!)

 

Introduction

National Aviation Museums are always a treat to visit, the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio, is just such a location. For me it's a long haul in the car, but the two days driving are worth it. The Museum contains probably the only complete collection of Air Force aircraft in the USA and is probably one of the Worlds largest collections of aircraft. Most aircraft are stored inside in (currently) four huge hangars. Two older hangars on the Wright-Patterson airbase house the Presidential and Research aircraft.

The scale of the place is impressive. I would hazard a quess at there being 50% more aircraft on show here than there are at both Smithsonian locations in Washington DC - and the Smithonian collection is legend!

Aircraft are being moved around all the time. The museum is currently (October 2004) opening a new missile hangar (ICBM's stand upright, which is a little formidable) and seems to have completed the creation of their Cold War hangar. This has meant a wholesale movement of aircraft. Expect to be confused if you have an old floor plan.

If you want to see the Presidential and Research Aircraft display you will need a picture Id. We in New Jersey with just paper drivers licenses might be caught out by this requirement. The reason is that these hangars are on the actual Air Force base, and you need the Id to prove you are who you say you are.

Links and other Info

Dayton, Ohio, is on the banks of the Great Miami River, a tributory of the Ohio River. It's a pretty town that has some interesting, non-aviation history. Dayton is on the far west side of Ohio and is best reached by travelling on I-70 or I-75. A much nicer approach is along US-35 but then again not everyone has my sort of travel time. US-40 and US-22 are close by too.

Wright-Patterson AFB is an active airbase. It is generally used for advanced research. It has been stated that the bits from the Roswell, NM incident are stored here. The museum sits on land to the north east of the main airfield, and to the east of Dayton.

The Museum has its own web site, one that seems quite comprehensive, and has recently been updated.


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