May 29, 2013

5/20/13 - National Museum of the US Air Force

When we were at the last place (Dayton Aviation Heritage NHP), I asked the ranger whether we should go to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  She said it would take two days to see it all.  We only had a few hours, but she was right!  There are 3 huge wings--not sure if that means 6 hangers or 3, split into 5 galleries.  We only went through the first two galleries:  Early Years and World War II. 
The world's largest and oldest military aviation museum (I read that in a brochure) is on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  Admission is free, but we paid the AF Museum Foundation for an Aircraft Locator Souvenir Map. (Construction of a 4th building is being funded entirely by the Foundation--I think it's pretty cool that my $2 will be used for that.)
There's a reproduction of the Wright Brothers 1909 Military Flyer.  The original is at the Smithsonian--they always get the good stuff.  There are a couple of wind tunnels they designed (1905 and 1916).  I thought they were a much more modern invention, like maybe in my lifetime.  (I really am learning a lot on this trip!)
The displays are very well done, some at ground level and some suspended from above.
This is my favorite plane in the Early Years Gallery--it was built by Boeing in the 1930s.  Sure doesn't look like a Dreamliner, does it? 
Then through a big hallway into the WWII Gallery. 
The fighter pilots were big into painting their planes. 
My cousin flew 35 missions in a B-17, like this one.
Outside on the asphalt is an Air Park, with newer, bigger planes.  (The Snoopy one is my favorite--you can see it if you to the link at the end of the post.)
What did we miss?  Galleries for Korean War, SE Asia War, Cold War and Missile & Space.  Next time we're in southwest Ohio, we'll be sure to stop by. 
There's a Presidential Gallery on another section of the AFB, but it and the R&D facility are closed because of the sequestration.   (I definitely have opinions on that, but this isn't a political blog--and it's gonna stay that way!  However, I will say, in my opinion, that "sequestration" is not just a stupid word.)

I took a lot more pictures.  You can see them if you go to this link.  Pics of Natl Museum of USAF

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