Dayton National Museum of the Air Force
Aviation has always held a special place in my heart. My dad was an Aeronautical Engineer and worked on projects to send astronauts into space and fighter jets to our defense. My fascination with air flight finally led me and my family to visit the Dayton National Museum of the Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Here, the history of aviation and the Air Force unfolds. The exhibits are amazing – this is one of the most complete collections dedicated to our fascination with flight and our desire to conquer the skies. The first gallery gives a wonderful overview with man’s initial attempts to soar like birds. The Aeronautical Engineering feats displayed, past to present, are inspiring. Examples of early flight experiments, wind tunnels and the timeline of events on display remind you just how quickly some amazing people took imagination and made it a reality.
From there, the military story unfolds from World War I to the Cold War and into present day where drones can be flown remotely. The military history is not without a somber note, recognizing the men and women who served and sacrificed. This February, the museum pays special homage to Black History Month and the story of the courageous Tuskegee Airmen who fought to be part of the US Air Force in order to defend this nation (http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123333981).
A trip to Dayton to view this museum is well worth it. However, if an actual visit is not possible, the museum’s website has a great virtual tour. It can be found at http://www.nmusafvirtualtour.com/full/tour-std.html. The website walks you through each gallery and gives you the ability to look all around. It is almost as good as being there.
Dayton National Museum of the Air Force – http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/index.asp