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269 votes

National Museum of the US Air Force

1100 Spaatz St, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Thu 9a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
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“Largest & oldest military aviation museum”

The National Museum of the United States Air Force collects, researches, conserves, interprets and presents the Air Force's history, heritage and traditions, as well as today's mission to fly, fight and win ... in Air, Space and Cyberspace to a global audience through engaging exhibits, educational outreach, special programs, and the stewardship of the national historic collection. These statutory duties delegated by the Secretary of the Air Force are accomplished on behalf of the American people. We are the keepers of their stories.

This exhibit also houses The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect to provide lift and thrust from a single "turborotor" blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer.

A Boeing VC-137C known as SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000, the aircraft that served as Air Force One on the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, stands as the centerpiece of the Presidential Gallery. In addition to Air Force One, the public can enter the presidential aircraft of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Five smaller presidential planes and four other aircraft are also on display.

The museum's Early Years Gallery conveys the magic and wonder of the formative days of military air power. The gallery's aircraft collection, exhibits and artifacts combine to capture the spirit of imagination of that transformational era, chronicling the time from the Wright brothers and their contemporaries, through World War I and to the lead up to World War II.

Opened to the public in 2004, the Missile and Space Gallery is contained in a silo-like structure that stands 140 feet high. Visitors can view missiles such as the Titan I and II and Jupiter from ground level or can take in an aerial view from an elevated platform that hugs the inside circumference of the gallery. As part of the museum's ongoing expansion efforts, the gallery also features a portion of the museum's space collection, including the Apollo 15 Command Module, Mercury and Gemini capsules, rocket engines, satellites and balloon gondolas.

Located adjacent to the Presidential Gallery, the Research & Development Gallery honors the pioneering spirit of air power visionaries who have sought through the decades to achieve greater possibilities. Gallery visitors can view unique and exotically designed aircraft, such as the only remaining aircraft of its kind, the imposing XB-70 Valkyrie, which could fly three times the speed of sound.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
July 11, 2014

This museum is an absolute must visit for anyone with even a passing interest in military aviation. The entire gamut of the history of the USAF is covered, from the earliest WWI biplanes to the F-22 to a display of tactical nuclear missiles to an Apollo and Gemini space capsule.

You absolutely must visit this museum if you have the chance.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
July 02, 2014

Fantastic museum for anyone who loves military history, flight history, and even fairly current amazing aircraft! On par with Smithsonian Air & Space Museum! My husband was in heaven & I found plenty to keep me interested! Even children will have intetest in all the actual planes/rockets/bombers, etc. right in front of them!!!!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
David Stacy

  • 133 Reviews
  • 81 Helpful
September 26, 2014
Rated 5.0

By far the best museum in the Dayton area. The museum part is great, and gets 4/5 but the hangar is by far the better part for me.

The presidential planes are here. Of course military jets of all sizes and types, including some hard to find.

Be warned though that the female persuasion, I've found, are less than enthused.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Mitch Oliver

  • 221 Reviews
  • 94 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 5.0

My favorite plane in the entire museum is the F-117A. I've always been a fan of the Nighthawk, as it is a technological wonder. The entire museum experience is terrific if you're at all into air planes. I can't wait to take my boys and watch their heads explode with excitement.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 23, 2014
Rated 5.0

I have gone there several times. As a history buff and fan of aviation this is a must for any like minded travelers. The sheer volume of planes and artifacts is astounding.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Austin Coop

  • 487 Reviews
  • 413 Helpful
July 22, 2014
Rated 5.0

One of the absolute best museums in not only the midwest but the entire country. A close 2nd, maybe an equal, to even the Smithsonian. Make time to visit the Presidential Hangar and you can even see some old Air Force 1s. The best part? IT'S FREE!!!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
June 07, 2017
Rated 5.0

The most impressive collection of military aircraft I've ever seen. We live in Virginia and have been to the Smithsonian in DC and the Udvar-Hazy and I personally think this museum is way better. Take the guided tours if you can. The guide are super knowledgeable. 4 hangers packed with aircraft from all eras. The new hanger 4 had the retired presidential Air Force 1 that you can walk through. You need to make sure you have time. I would guess an hour per hanger if doing self-guided. We will definitely return because we ran out of time. Best of all is that it's free.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
May 01, 2016
Rated 5.0

This museum was absolutely fantastic! A must see...and be sure to allow yourself plenty of time.

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Reviewed by

  • 10 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
April 01, 2016
Rated 5.0

We are not military buffs or aviation hobbyists, but we would highly recommend a visit here. Unfortunately, we only had 2 hours to spend and only saw one of the three hangers. If we are ever near by again, we would spend more time.

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Reviewed by

  • 19 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
October 14, 2015
Rated 5.0

Definitely one of the best museums I have ever been to. I spent 4 hours though and didn't even get to see it all, so be prepared to spend a while if you want to see everything. . . it'll definitely be worth it!

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National Museum of the US Air Force

1100 Spaatz St
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
45433 USA


Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Private Parking

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