Saturday, September 21, 2013

Launch Into Space At The Air Force Museum

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. I hold our nation's servicemen and women in high regard, have a huge interest in history, and like any young boy growing up, always have had a fascination with airplanes. This museum was calling out to me!

It's always FREE Admission to the museum, which is incredible, given that it is one of the best in Ohio! It consists of three large hangars. The first hangar is dedicated to the beginnings of aviation, the second is about World War II and the third contains memorabilia from the Korean War & the Cold War. You can sign up to take a tour to the nearby base to see more planes, but tours are limited. 

In addition to the sections of the museum dedicated to the pioneers of aircraft (from Ohio and elsewhere), there are 360 aircraft and missiles on display, including many rare aircrafts such as Bockscar the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki during the final days of World War II.

Recently (in July), the museum added two new interactive space shuttle simulators. Visitors can virtually fly the shuttle to a safe landing using a joystick and video screens. The simulators are built to resemble the interior of the shuttle commander and pilot's stations.

These simulators are among the first items the museum has received in support of the Crew Compartment Trainer exhibit (CCT) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Learning Node, which are expected to be completed by late fall.

The simulators are free of charge and offer an incredibly unique experience. It's not often that you can say you sat in a space shuttle and "landed" it! With Ohio also having strong ties to space exploration (being home to many famous astronauts such as John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and 24 others), it's only fitting to have this addition to the museum.

We are truly lucky to have such a renowned museum with such important historical artifacts located here in Ohio. Visit the NMUSAF soon and see for yourself!

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