USAF photo of The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force with the new building at lower right.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force with the new building at lower right. Photo: USAF

National Museum of USAF to open new building June 8

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

DAYTON, Ohio – The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s new $40.8 million fourth building will open to the public on Wednesday, June 8, according to a museum announcement.

The 224,000 square foot building, which was privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, will house more than 70 aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles in four new galleries – Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach, along with three science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Learning Nodes.

The museum’s restoration division is currently moving aircraft into the building and assembling other artifacts for display, such as the massive, 96-ton Titan IVB space rocket. Iconic aircraft occupying the new building will include SAM 26000, better known as “Air Force One” to several presidents, and the only remaining XB-70 Valkyrie.

Releasing the opening date allows visitors to begin making their summer travel plans to visit the Dayton area when the museum’s new fourth building is open, Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson said in the announcement.

The new building will be open in time for visitors to combine a trip to the museum with other major summer events, including the Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger on June 18-19 and the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, which runs from June 18-25 and includes a side trip to the museum on June 24.

“We’re extremely excited to open the fourth building with some of our most popular aircraft at the beginning of the summer vacation season,” Hudson said. “The museum is within a day’s drive of more than 60 percent of the U.S. population so we’re not too far from many of the places folks will be traveling to, and with free admission and parking it is well worth a stop to see the new additions at the Air Force’s national museum.”

Although the building will open to the public on June 8, special weekend activities and demonstrations are being planned to continue celebrating the building opening, June 11-12.

About the National Museum
Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. The museum draws approximately one million visitors from around the world each year.

About the Air Force Museum Foundation
The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. was established in 1960 as a philanthropic, non-profit organization to assist the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and to undertake and advance programs and activities supporting the museum. The Foundation raises funds through its membership program, the Air Force Museum Theatre, Museum Store, flight simulators and Valkyrie Café, as well as from direct donations.