First in Flight. Birthplace of Aviation.
These are the slogans that can be found on license plates of North Carolina and Ohio, respectively.
And if you follow history, you would know that both are accurate; Ohio for its part in the Wright Brothers designing, building, and developing of the test planes, and North Carolina for its part in the first test flights of the Wright Brothers.
Both states set the stage for the aviation revolution, due in part to the Wright Brothers’ willingness to never give up. So, it’s no wonder that Dayton, Ohio houses the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which coincidentally was the city in which the Orville and Wilbur Wright did the majority of their aviation design.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force collects, researches, conserves, interprets and presents the Air Force’s history, heritage and traditions, as well as today’s mission to fly, fight and win … in Air, Space and Cyberspace to a global audience through engaging exhibits, educational outreach, special programs, and the stewardship of the national historic collection. These statutory duties delegated by the Secretary of the Air Force are accomplished on behalf of the American people.
There are 4 hangars full of history: from the beginning of flight to modern-day aircraft, including historical aircraft such as the official Air Force One plane that carried the body of President John F. Kennedy.
The cost is free, and the tours are self-guided, although they do have guided tours available at no charge. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours here, as there’s so much history packed in these buildings.
We usually go at least once a year to the museum, and the kids love the different types of planes that are on display. It’s incredible to see just the history of the aircraft and how much they’ve changed in just short amount of time from the first Wright Flyer to today’s planes.