The National Museum of the United States Air Force

1100 Spaatz St
Dayton OH 45433
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 9am-5pm
  • Tue: 9am-5pm
  • Wed: 9am-5pm
  • Thu: 9am-5pm
  • Fri: 9am-5pm
  • Sat: 9am-5pm
  • Sun: 9am-5pm

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Located on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, OH, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. The National Museum of the United States Air Force has over 360 aircraft and missiles on display and also houses thousands of other items that pertain to aviation history. This museum is perfect for aviation history enthusiasts or for history enthusiasts in general, since it features aircraft from the era of the Wright Brothers up to modern spacecraft. As a result, the museum illustrates just how far aviation has come since the Wright Brothers started the creation of their legacy.

Best and Worst Times to Visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force
The best time to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force is from March-October because the weather is less likely to produce hazardous road conditions during those months.

For that reason, the worst time to visit the museum is from November-February because that is typically when weather and road conditions are more dangerous.

For those who want to see as many exhibits as possible, another bad time to visit the museum is from January-March because the 8th Air Force Control Tower and Nissen Hut are only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during that time.

Must See/Do at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
If it is not under renovation or closed for security reasons, visitors to the National Museum of the United States Air Force should visit the Presidential Gallery, which features various presidential planes, including the Boeing VC-137C that flew President John F. Kennedy's body from Dallas to Washington D.C. after his assassination on November 22, 1963.

In order to gain an understanding aviation's origins, visitors should walk through the Early Years exhibition, which features early military aircraft, including a reconstruction of the Wright 1909 Military Flyer.

Another must-see is the Missile and Space Gallery, which shows visitors just how much aviation has advanced in such a short period of time, and is home to various missiles as well as the Mercury and Gemini capsules.

Admission to the National Museum of the United States Air Force
Admission to the National Museum of the United States Air Force is free. The museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, but specific exhibits have special hours.

Visitors do have to pay to view a movie in the 3D theatre or to use the flight simulators. Those who wish to participate in these activities at the museum can visit the Air Force Museum Foundation website or call 937-253-4629 for prices.

Parking and Public Transportation to the National Museum of the United States Air Force 
There is free parking available on-site at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Taxi and bus service is also available to and from the museum. Visitors can check the Dayton RTA website to learn more information about specific bus routes and park-and-ride locations.

Food at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force has its own restaurant on-site called The Valkyrie Café. Located on the second floor of the museum, The Valkyrie Café is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every day the museum is open and serves a range of food items which cost as little as $1.15 for a bag of chips to $6.00 for a chicken tender or chef salad.

For visitors who find themselves needing something to eat or drink in between meals, the museum's Refueling Café in the Cold War Gallery sells an assortment of snacks and drinks. The Refueling Café is open Wednesday-Sunday from noon-4 p.m. during the summer and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon-4 p.m. the rest of the year.

Insider Tip for Visitors to the National Museum of the United States Air Force
For security reasons, all bags are subject to search before entering the museum. Visitors should also note that backpacks, packages, and large cameras cannot be brought inside the museum, though smaller bags and cameras are permitted.

Author's bio: Miranda Roehler grew up in Northwest Ohio. She studied Creative Writing and History at The University of Findlay and has been published in multiple international journals.