Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2811 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 2287 times:
Check out member Broke's posts in this forum. He spends an awful lot of time there, and offers tremendous insight into the exhibits, as well as the ongoing renovations. Much better than any list can provide.
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8 Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 2266 times:
As T.J. pointed out Broke has a great deal of knowledge about the museum, working as a docent there if I am not mistaken. Do a search on his topics and frequent updates about the museum.
I last visited the museum in 1974 and even from that long ago it made an impression on me as one of the great a/c collections in the world. Since then I have visited many museums in the US and Europe and that almost 30 year old memory still holds true. Wright-Pat, Smithsonian, Duxford are absolute must sees for anyone who loves airplanes. (Yes, many others, but those are the most outstanding that I have visted.)
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 2256 times:
The current layout of the museum includes three buildings at the main location, an outdoor exhibit area that only has about 8-10 aircraft in it now, the 8th Air Force control tower and Nissen huts at the outdoor area, 2 hangars across the field, the storage areas, and the restoration shops. It is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
The galleries at the main location include; in the first building, the Early Years (from man's earliest dreams of flying through the Battle of Britain), the War Power Gallery (dedicated to WW II); in the second building, the Modern Flight Gallery, Korea and Viet Nam; in the third building, the Cold War Gallery, the Cold War and Desert Storm. Beyond that is the missile silo building which will open in 2004.
Across the field are the Presidential Hangar (included are Roosevelt's, Truman's, Eisenhower's, and Kennedy's personal aircraft) and the Research and Development Hangar (X-1B, X-3, X-4, X-5, X-15, X-29, XB-70, etc.). You have to take a shuttle bus to visit these. The buses, for now, run continuously between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. It's schedule is dependent on the level of security because these buildings are on the active side of the base.
There is a behind the scenes tour that operates on the second Friday of every month (June, July, and August, every Friday) to the restoration shops and the storage areas in the afternoon. You can preregister or register on Friday morning. It is a 3 hour tour in buildings that are warm to hot in the summer and chilly to cool in the winter.
If you plan to visit for only one day, you will not see everything; pick what you want to see most and go there first, then do what you can with the remaining time.
The museum has an I-Max theater, a Morphus simulator, and a large gift shop area. Becoming a friend of the museum (you can do this when you arrive) gives you a 20% discount in the shops and free entry to the I-Max and Morphus.
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2445 posts, RR: 9 Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2096 times:
It is indeed AWESOME, the Mecca for all aviation fanatics! I went out there this summer and it was beyond every high expectation I had. I doubt there's a better museum anywhere, including the new Steven Udvar-Hazy Center at the Smithsonian. Nowhere, I believe is there a larger collection of aircraft from all eras or more sheer square footage, than exists in the AF Museum just outside of Dayton, Ohio. I don't believe it gets ANY better than this, anywhere!
F4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 13 Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2052 times:
I was fortunate to be a volunteer when I lived in Dayton in the late 1980's. My best memories are getting to talk to the people that used the equipment on display as they visited the museum. One elderly gentleman was an engineer for Grimes Aircraft Lighting who related the story of trying to come up with windscreens and lighting for the YF-12/SR-71. There were compatibility problems between the metal skin and clear lenses when heated by triple sonic flight.
The second best memory is seeing how various engineering problems were solved, such as landing gear retraction mechanisms, on many different airframes.
The museum has expanded the use of dioramas to tell the story. The Naval Museum in Pensacola does an excellent job of this.
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work