Photo of Air Force Museum visitors looking at the B-17 Memphis Belle
B-17 Memphis Belle (Photo: USAF)

National Museum of U.S. Air Force re-opens galleries

In NAHA News, National Museum of the United States Air Force /

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has resumed tours of its Presidential and Research and Development galleries and is on track to reopen its Missile and Space Gallery on July 3, according to museum announcements.

Eight Presidential and R&D Gallery buses are available daily on a first-come, first-served basis through Sept. 30 to visit the galleries, which are on a separate part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from the main museum. Read more about the resumption of tours here.

The museum also will resume its “Behind the Scenes” tours of the museum’s restoration area on most Fridays from June 26 through Sept. 4. The restoration area is also located away from the main museum. Go here to register for the tours online.

The museum closed the Missile and Space gallery for nearly seven months because of construction linking the gallery to the museum’s new fourth building. Read more about the re-opening here.

The new building will enclose 224,000 square feet and house four new galleries—Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach, along with three science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Learning Nodes. It will consolidate major collections that are now remote from the main facility.

More changes are coming as the new building nears completion and the museum prepares to move aircraft into it. The Space Shuttle Exhibit and current STEM Learning Node will close beginning Aug. 3 in preparation for their move to the fourth building. The Presidential and R&D galleries will close again on Oct. 1 to prepare for their move to the new building.

In addition, the C-141 “Hanoi Taxi”, now on outdoor display in the Air Park, and the Long-EZ, X-5 and X-15 aircraft in the R&D Gallery are scheduled to be moved to the museum’s restoration area in late June for refurbishment prior to their move to the fourth building.

The National Museum is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. It’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.