From a replica of the Wright brothers’ original plane to high-tech stealth bombers, there are hundreds of unique aircraft to explore at this museum in Dayton, Ohio.
At the National Museum of the United States Air Force, see hundreds of rare and one-of-a-kind aircraft and missiles. Learn about the history of flight, along with people and machines that protect the United States from threats in the skies. The museum is located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, one of the United States’ largest working bases.
Visit the Presidential Gallery to walk among planes that transported presidents including Franklin Roosevelt, Truman and Nixon. The centerpiece of the collection is SAM 26000, which served as Air Force One for Lyndon Johnson’s s swearing in after President Kennedy’s assassination. This hangar is accessible only via the complimentary shuttle bus.
Learn about aviation military history in a series of chronological galleries. See a “Little Boy” bomb similar to that dropped by the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay during World War II. Marvel at the only surviving XB-70 Valkyrie, a strategic 1960s bomber. See where air travel began, with a replica of the Wright brothers’ 1909 Military Flyer. Aircraft are interspersed with period uniforms, flight artifacts and weaponry.
Enjoy the challenge of a flight simulator ride. Pursue your mission as you battle enemy aircraft. Afterward, sit back and watch a riveting documentary in the 3-D IMAX theater.
Complete your visit with a free guided tour. Walk through aviation history on a Heritage Tour or see restoration processes in a Behind the Scenes Tour. In the second-floor Museum Shop, get a replica uniform or a flight souvenir. The adjacent Valkyrie Café offers refreshments.
The museum is open daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the museum is free but you’ll need to buy a ticket for the flight simulator and IMAX theater. Free parking is available on site. Be prepared for special security procedures for entrance.
Downtown Dayton is a short drive away from the museum. As one of Ohio’s largest cities, Dayton has a lively cultural scene and offers many options for dining and accommodations.
Befitting an institution dedicated to flight, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is just a few minutes’ drive from Huffman Prairie, where the Wright brothers famously tested the world’s first airplanes.