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

Trailblazer Award to honor USAF museum, foundation

In Aviation Trail, Inc., NAHA Events, NAHA News /

DAYTON, Ohio—Aviation Trail, Inc. (ATI) will present its 2016 Trailblazer Award to the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force and the Air Force Museum Foundation, the aviation heritage group announced this week.

ATI will present the award at its annual Trailblazer luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 15, at the Hope Hotel and Richard C. Holbrook Conference Center on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The conference center is accessible to the public.

Reservations must be made by Tuesday, April 12. Tickets are $30 per person. You may buy them through Pay Pal at or by mailing a check to Aviation Trail, Inc. P.O. Box 633, Wright Brothers Branch, Dayton, Ohio 45409. Indicate your meal choice: chicken, pork or vegetarian.

Museum Director Lt. Gen. Jack Hudson (USAF Ret.) and Frances Duntz , chair of the foundation’s board of trustees, are to accept the awards.

ATI’s board of trustees chose the Museum, a unit of the United States Air Force, and the nonprofit Museum Foundation for their team efforts in completing the fourth museum building and for their sustained excellence over the years in telling the Air Force story of aviation and aerospace achievements. The building is scheduled to open to the public on June 8, with a Grand Opening Weekend scheduled for June 11-12.

Graphic of Aviation Trail Inc.'s logoATI President Marvin Christian said, “It is Aviation Trail’s honor and privilege to recognize these organizations with our 2016 Trailblazer Award. Dayton and the Miami Valley are justifiably proud of the museum’s many years of displaying our nation’s aviation and aerospace achievements to visitors from literally around the world.”

It was through the fundraising efforts of the Museum Foundation that the museum’s $40.8 million fourth addition became a reality. Since 1960, the Foundation has remained a philanthropic, nationally recognized, non-profit organization which assists the Museum with public fund raising and overseas various day-to-day operations of the Museum which attracts one million visitors annually.

In the new, fourth building, visitors will explore more than 70 aircraft in four galleries: Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach. The new, 224,000 square-foot area also will have a walk-through space shuttle exhibit and three learning nodes for student instruction in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The new facility brings the museum’s total exhibit space to 19 acres with 360 aerospace vehicles and missile and thousands of artifacts. In addition to exhibits, there are within the museum the giant-screen Air Force Museum Theatre, Museum Store, the Valkyrie and Refueling cafes and flight simulators.

ATI hosts the Trailblazer event annually to mark the birthday of Wilbur Wright, April 16, 1867. This is the 33rd presentation of the Trailblazer Award during ATI’s 35-year history of promoting and supporting the area’s aviation heritage, especially sites linked to Wilbur and Orville Wright. Aviation Trail, the museum and the foundation are partners of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance.

Trailblazer Award to honor USAF museum, foundation
Building 823 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433