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The National Museum of the Air Force restores and displays historic aircraft, weapons, and engines from the earliest years of American military aviation to the present. The museum features hundreds of static displays and exhibits, each following a chronological order from the early years to World War II and The Cold War to the Vietnam Era and beyond. The museum also offers a wide variety of hands-on exhibits that include artifacts and photographs and highlight the contributions of individual Air Force personnel.


  • The "Grasshopper" is one of many aircraft on display.
  • Aerial View of the museum
The National Museum of the Air Force was started in 1923 when the engineering division at Dayton's McCook Field began collecting artifacts for preservation. In 1954, the Air Force Museum gained its first permanent home at the former Patterson Field in Fairborn in building 89. In 1971, it was moved to its current location. 

The museum houses over 360 aircraft from various eras of aviation history. Galleries at the museum are: Early Years, WWII, Korean War, Southeast Asia War, Cold War, Missile & Space, Presidential, and R&D.  Each gallery houses exhibits of that period of aircraft, weapons, and engines. The Missile & Space exhibit houses 3 spacecraft, 8 missiles, 8 satellites, and 7 engines. The museum also houses other exhibits. One of which is "Prejudice & Memory: A Holocaust Exhibit".

The Early Years Gallery displays the formative years of aviation. It takes visitors through the Wright brother’s inventions to the planes of World War I and the lead up to World War II. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force holds one of the world’s best collections of World War II aircraft and missiles. The museum provides the depiction of pivotal moments of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ air power against both the Pacific and European powers. Just as with the previous galleries as a visitor you can travel back in time to see the major aircraft's that played an important role in our country.  

The Presidential Gallery is home to the Boeing VC- 137C known as SAM 26000. This aircraft is the Air Force One carrier that served on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The Special Air Mission 26000 stands as the centerpiece of the Presidential Gallery, though guests can enter the presidential aircraft of President FDR, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.  
"About the Museum." National Museum of the Air Force. Accessed July 21, 2015.  https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Home/About-Us.