A crowd of 12,000 gathered across Wright Field on September 3, 1971. The reason: President Nixon had arrived to dedicate the new National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. It was a crowning achievement for the Air Force Museum Foundation, which continues to support the museum in its mission to inform the public on the Air Force's history and heritage. The museum's collection charts military aviation history—from the Wright Brothers to World War II to present day.
Museum admission and parking are always free. Current exhibits include more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles, and cover a time span from the beginnings of military fight to today's war on terrorism.
Size: more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space houses more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles, along with thousands of historical items
Eye Catcher: the 3-D aviation films shown on the 80'x60' theater screen
Permanent Mainstay: the museum’s space shuttle exhibit, which allows visitors to experience a full-size replica of a shuttle payload bay and look into the flight deck and mid-deck levels of the crew compartment trainer.
Don't Miss: aviation-related gifts at the museum's store, which also boasts one of the largest aviation bookstores in the country
Historical Turning Point: Bockscar, the B-29 bomber that dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945
Hands-On Flying: An interactive simulator lets visitors fly nine different planes, including an F-15 Eagle
Pro Tip: Download one of the museum's podcasts to listen to while exploring the galleries