National Museum of the US Air Force

National Museum of the US Air Force
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is close to Dayton, Ohio. Welcome to the official website of the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The mission of the National Museum of the United States Air Force is to collect, research, conserve, interpret, and present the Air Force's history, heritage, and traditions, as well as today's mission to fly, fight, and win airpower anytime. To a global audience through interactive exhibits, educational outreach, special programs, and the stewardship of the national historic collection. This is accomplished through various means, including special programs and the stewardship of the national landmark collection. The Secretary of the Air Force's specific statutory responsibilities is carried out. Browse around this site.

Explore the Museum

The galleries present the history of military aviation. The museum has more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display, many extremely rare and one-of-a-kind. Additionally, the museum has thousands of historical items and powerful sensory exhibits that bring history to life and connect the legacy of the Wright brothers with today's stealth and precision technology. They encourage you to take a virtual tour of their galleries by clicking on the names of the galleries to see the exhibits, which include aircraft, engines, equipment, and weapons that the United States Air Force used.

Early Years Gallery

The Early Years Gallery of the museum captures the mystique and awe that pervaded the early days of the development of military air power. The aircraft collection, exhibits, and artifacts on display at the gallery come together to chronicle the period from the Wright brothers and their contemporaries, all the way through World War I and into the lead-up to World War II. Together, these elements capture the spirit of imagination that permeated that transformative era.


For freedom, Memorial Park inside the museum pays tribute to the valiant service and selfless sacrifice made by individuals and units linked with the Air Force. The first monument to recognize Americans who were detained as prisoners of war by the North Vietnamese and those who were reported missing in action during the Southeast Asia War was dedicated by the museum in October 1972. The memorial consisted of a commemorative tree and a plaque. Since then, many new monuments have been added to Memorial Park, bringing the total number to over 500. These unique memorials include sculptural memorials, plaques, trees, and benches.


The Missile Gallery was first shown to the general public in 2004, and it is housed in a building that resembles a silo and is 140 feet in height. Visitors can see missiles such as the Titan I and II and Jupiter from the gallery's ground level, or they may take in an aerial perspective from an elevated platform that wraps around the inside of the exhibit.

Avro 504K

In July 1913, the British A.V. Roe (Avro) Company conducted flight tests on its first model 504 aircraft. Subsequently, many variations were produced, each of which differed in the kind of engine that was installed. The Avro 504 was used in battle for a short time between 1914 and 1915, but it was rapidly deemed outdated and consigned to the role of instructional aircraft. The Avro 504 was one of the spectacular and extensively manufactured instructional aircraft of World War I. It acquired popularity as a trainer due to its straightforward design, solid construction, and superb handling. As a result of these attributes, the Avro 504 was built in large numbers.

After the United States joined World War I, it required significant time to construct the necessary training facilities for the United States Army Air Service. Many student pilots from the United States moved their training to other countries during this time. Those sent to Great Britain received their activity on the Avro 504K trainer before moving on to more advanced aircraft. After some time, the Air Service decided to construct its primary training facility at Issoudun, located in France. In July 1918, the commanders of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) placed an order for 52 Avro 504K aircraft to be used in the instruction of aerobatics at Issoudun. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the Air Service relocated a small number of Avro 504K aircraft to the United States, where they were used for instruction for several years. The aircraft on display was constructed by the Aircraft Maintenance and Development Unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force between 1966 and 1967 using original components. It is powered by a 110-horsepower Le Rhone J rotary engine. It was donated to the museum in May of 2003, and its paint job depicts a 1918 Air Service Avro 504K trainer stationed at the Third Aviation Instruction Center in Issoudun, France.

World War I

August is marked by the beginning of World War I. Compared to the United States, which had a fleet of more than a dozen military aircraft at the time, Germany, France, and England each had 180, 136, and 48 aircraft, respectively. These countries quickly realized the great value aerial observation might provide to their armies, which sparked a race to build up their flying units and compete with one another. The two sides quickly realized that it was critical to prevent the other from conducting an aerial survey, which led to the development of aerial warfare. During the early years of the conflict, significant advancements were achieved in the areas of aircraft design and performance, the creation of gunnery and bombing equipment, and the development of aerial warfare tactics and procedures. The aircraft evolved into a bona fide instrument of devastation throughout the conflict in Europe.


The museum's collection is managed by several sections, including the Research and Restoration Division and the Collection Management Division. The Research Division is in charge of managing the museum's ever-expanding document and imagery collection. At the same time, the Collection Management Division is responsible for providing stewardship for the museum system's large aircraft and artifact collection. This ensures that all historic property owned by the United States Air Force is correctly accounted for. The Restoration Division restores aerospace vehicles to historically accurate and visually striking levels by utilizing various skills, ranging from expertise in machine and woodworking to precision craftsmanship in sheet metal and painting. These skills are used to bring the vehicles back to their original state.

For More information, visit their website or call them at (937) 255-3286
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