Four Tips for Visiting the National Museum of the US Air Force
It's a visual extravaganza of the history of the United States Air Force, as well as flight in general. The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located in Dayton, Ohio. Is the world's largest and oldest aviation museum, and an extremely powerful experience.
The United States Air Force Museum is enormous. It is comprised of three large hangars, two on the Wright-Patterson Air Force base next door, several restoration hangars, and an airfield. There are hangars devoted to each time period including, Early Flight, WWII, Korean War, Southeast Asia, Cold War, Aeronatics, and Space Exploration. A person could spend several days visiting the National Museum of the USAF as there is so much information to absorb.
Walking through, I felt a sense of pride in our Air Force. The commitment to an ideal, and the greater good for world safety, is extremely powerful. It is remarkable to see veterans of all ages talking with each other, laughing, and sometimes gazing at an aircraft with a faraway look in their eyes. The power and might of the Air Force has not come without a price, a human price, which is reflected in this museum with a sense of humanity, genius, technology, and the future.
Here are four tips for maximizing your visit to the National Museum of the US Air Force:
1. Be respectful. First and foremost, this is a place to honor those who have served and protected our country. There will be many veterans around, both volunteers and visitors. Respect them by asking intelligent questions, paying attention to the exhibits, and remembering that the sadness of war is always present, as is the sense of the greater goal of world peace and safety.
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2. Be early & plan ahead. Several of the extra things available at the USAF Museum require early registration. If you know when you’re going to visit, sign up as soon as possible for a Behind the Scenes Tour. These free tours take you to the museum’s restoration hangars. They are offered every Friday at 12:15pm, and are booked months in advance. Daily, there are tours of the Presidential and R&D Galleries, located next door at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The first thing you should do when you head into the USAF Museum is to go to station 2 (near the WWII hangar) and sign up for a tour of the Presidential and R&D Galleries. They book quickly, and only 8 tours go each day. For other things, such as electric wheelchair scooters, arriving early is also a good idea. There are a limited number of them, and when they run out, you’ll need to use a regular push wheelchair.