National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
|Celebrating 100 Years!
1923 - 2023
Since 1923 the museum has grown from a small engineering study collection to the world's largest military aviation museum, and is a world-renowned center for air and space power technology and culture preservation.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio (see map below).
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.
Main entrance, National Museum of the United States Air Force (staff photo)
Various areas deal with different facets of Air Force history, including the following:
- Early Years Gallery
- World War II Gallery
- Korean War Gallery
- Southeast Asia War Gallery
- Cold War Gallery
- Missile and Space Gallery
- Presidential Aircraft Gallery
- Research and Development Gallery
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 (staff photo)
- 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
- 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 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.
- Hill Aerospace Museum - Hill AFB, Utah
- Museum of Aviation - Robins AFB, Ga.
- Air Force Armament Museum - Eglin AFB, Fla.
- Global Power Museum - Barksdale AFB, La
- Air Force Flight Test Center Museum - Edwards AFB, Calif.
- Air Force Space and Missile Museum - Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.
- Air Mobility Command Museum - Dover AFB, Del.
- Peterson Air and Space Museum - Peterson AFB, Colo.
- South Dakota Air and Space Museum - Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
- USAF Security Forces Museum - Lackland AFB, Texas
- Warren ICBM and Heritage Museum - F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
- Malmstrom Museum - Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
- Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum - Travis AFB, Calif
- Enlisted Heritage Hall - Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- Heritage Center - Sheppard AFB, Texas
- Heritage Center - Keesler AFB, Mississippi
- Heritage Center - Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
- McChord Heritage Center - McChord AFB, Wash.
- USAF Airman Heritage Museum - Lackland AFB, Texas
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
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
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.
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 view of Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Bockscar"
Boeing B-50 Stratofortress
Convair B-36J Peacemaker of the United States Air Force
Northrup Grumman B-2 Spirit Bomber
North American F-100F Super Sabre
Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker S/N 52-2630 at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby"
Consolidated B-24 Liberator "Strawberry Bitch" at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force Convair B-58 Hustler
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
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
Aircraft Loan Program Operated by the Museum
The National Museum of the USAF is responsible for the loan of aircraft to other museums, memorials and static displays. The Museum maintains three separate loan programs, each designed to serve a specific kind of borrower:
- Military Loan Program
- Community Static Display Program
- Civilian Museum Loan Program
All three seek to bring USAF history and heritage to a wider audience, foster a deeper appreciation of and interest in aerospace history and technology, and inspire future generations of aviation enthusiasts.
For more information, visit U.S. Air Force Museum Loan Program
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.