National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio (see map below).


Main entrance, National Museum of the United States Air Force (staff photo)

It is the largest and oldest historical military aviation facility in the world, with over 360 aircraft and missiles in its collection.

We highly recommend a visit for aviation enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in, and appreciation for, the efforts and service of the fine men and women of the United States Air Force!

Touring the Facility in Dayton, Ohio

The facility includes a series of several, connected buildings. On our most recent visit, we spent about three hours inside, but one could spend days in this fine facility that covers a million square feet of exhibits. Shown below are a few photo highlights of our visit.

Various areas deal with different facets of Air Force history, including the following:

Aircraft on Display

The list of vintage planes on display is extensive, and the following is a small list of highlights:

  • B-29-36-MO Superfortress 44-27297, Bockscar
    B-29-36-MO Superfortress 44-27297, Bockscar
    (staff photo)
    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Consolidated B-24 Liberator
  • North American B-25 Mitchell
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Bockscar"
  • Convair B-36 Peacemaker
  • Boeing B-47 Stratojet
  • Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
  • Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
  • Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
  • North American F-86 Sabre
  • Northrup F-89 Scorpion
  • North American F-100 Super Sabre
  • McDonnell F-101 Voodoo
  • Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
  • Republic F-105 Thunderchief
  • McDonnell F-4 Phantom II
  • A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog"
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
  • C-47 Skytrain
  • Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
  • B-2 Spirit Bomber
  • C-124 Globemaster
  • KC-97
  • Convair B-58 Hustler
  • Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker
  • B-50 Superfortress
  • and many others

Visiting, Admission, Parking and Hours

It is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Parking and admission is free. For more information, phone 937.255.3286, or visit their excellent website. See map below for location and driving directions.

The Fourth Building Opens at the Museum of the United States Air Force

Drawing of future expansionDrawing of the 4th building of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

 

On June 3, 2014, ground was broken on a new $35.4 million building that houses aircraft from the museum's Presidential, Research and Development (R&D) and Global Reach collection, as well as a new and expanded Space Gallery.

The fourth building was opened to the public on June 8, 2016.

Among the stories found in the fourth building are the VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000), which was used by eight presidents - Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton; the only remaining XB-70 Valkyrie; the C-141C Hanoi Taxi, which airlifted the first American prisoners of war out of North Vietnam in February 1973; the Space Shuttle Exhibit featuring NASA’s first Crew Compartment Trainer; and a massive Titan IVB space launch vehicle that weighs 96 tons.

The 224,000 square foot building was privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the facilities.

List of U.S. Air Force Museums

In addition to its facility in Dayton, the United States Air Force operates a number of excellent field units and heritage centers. We offer detailed reviews of several, as indicated below.

Photo Highlights

Exterior view of the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
Exterior view of the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
View of the four hangars at the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
View of the four hangars at the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
Entrance to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
Entrance to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
Inside view of one of hangars at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Seen here, the Cold War Gallery
Inside view of one of hangars at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Seen here, the Cold War Gallery

B-29-36-MO 44-27297, Bockscar, assembled in Bellvue, Nebraska, delivered on March 19, 1945, assigned to Capt. Frederick C. Bock, and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. It dropped the "Fat Man" bomb on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945.

Bockscar returned to the United States in November 1945 and served with the 509th at Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico. In August 1946 it was assigned to the 4105th Army Air Force Unit at Davis-Monthan Army Air Field, Arizona, for storage.

In September 1946 title was passed to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft was flown to Dayton, Ohio, on September 26, 1961.

B-29-36-MO 44-27297, Bockscar

The nose art on Bockscar features four black fat man silhouettes, symbolizing the four "pumpkin" bombs the plane dropped on Japan during training missions.

The red man represents the "Fat Man" atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945; this was actually the alternate to the prime target of Kokura.

Nose art on B-29-36-MO 44-27297, Bockscar
Nose view of Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Bockscar"
Nose view of B-29 Bockscar
Boeing B-50 Stratofortress
Boeing B-50 Stratofortress
Convair B-36J Peacemaker of the United States Air Force
Convair B-36
Northrup Grumman B-2 Spirit Bomber
Northrup Grumman B-2 Spirit Bomber
North American F-100F Super Sabre
North American F-100 Super Sabre
Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker S/N 52-2630 at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker S/N 52-2630
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby"
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby"
Consolidated B-24 Liberator "Strawberry Bitch" at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Consolidated B-24 Liberator "Strawberry Bitch" at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force Convair B-58 Hustler
Convair B-58 Hustler
Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000, former "Air Force One" at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force Presidential Gallery
Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000, former "Air Force One" at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force Presidential Gallery
National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinees at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinees at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The Bob Hope "50 Years of Hope" exhibit at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
The Bob Hope "50 Years of Hope" exhibit at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
8th Air Force Control Tower replica at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
8th Air Force Control Tower replica at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Historic Images

Historic postcard of the United States Air Force Museum

Historic postcard of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, showing rockets in the foreground

Historic postcard of the United States Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH

Historic postcard of the United States Air Force Museum with B-2 Lancer

Area Map of Dayton, Ohio

The map below shows the location in Dayton. It is physically located at 1100 Spaatz Street, Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433. Phone 937.255.3286 for detailed information, or visit the Official website of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Other U.S. Air Force Museums

List of all U.S. Air Force Museums


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