UPDATE: View photos from the tour on NAHA’s Facebook Page.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio—Thirteen writers and editors for travel and family magazines got a sneak preview of the National Museum of the United States Air Force’s newest building on Friday, Feb. 19.
Air Force museum curators and other staff led the group around the 224,000 square foot fourth building, showing them how the new building’s iconic air and space vehicles will be grouped in four galleries to tell the Air Force’s story.
The tour included a drive to the Presidential Gallery, now in a separate hangar, to see the airplanes that will soon be moved into the fourth building.
The media tour was held in advance of the new building’s grand opening on June 8 and its grand opening weekend June 11-12.
“Today is a tour for magazine writers and editors who need the lead time (to prepare articles) for the June opening,” Museum Spokesman Rob Bardua said.
The tour emphasized not just the iconic aircraft that will be on display in the new building, but how they are being arranged into a coherent presentation about different aspects of the Air Force mission.
“I really am impressed with how the galleries are arranged and how one era connects to the next. It’s not just looking at airplanes,” said Jim Vickers, editor of Cleveland-based Ohio Magazine.
“It’s so well done. It’s so well put together,” said Peggy Jordan, associate editor of Family Motor Coaching, a Cincinnati-magazine for the Family Motor Coaching Association.
The new building’s collection will be organized into four galleries: Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach. Each will include iconic aircraft such as the XB-70 Valkyrie bomber, a complete Titan IVB space rocket and the presidential airplane SAM 26000, “Air Force One” to eight presidents including John F. Kennedy .
NAHA supported the tour along with other regional partners that have formed the Grand Opening Regional Working Group to help the museum and the non-profit Air Force Museum Foundation promote the new building. The museum and the foundation are NAHA partners.
NAHA and Dayton History hosted a reception the evening before the tour in the Carillon Brewing Co. at Dayton History’s Carillon Historical Park, also a NAHA partner. The reception included a tour of the John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center, which includes the original 1905 Wright Flyer III and is a part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.