National Museum of the U.S.A.F.

Discussion in 'Upcoming Events and Trip Reports' started by BJC, May 20, 2018.

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  1. May 20, 2018 #1

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

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    I’m beginning to plan a trip to the National Museum of the U.S.A.F. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/ probably for late this summer. It has been on my to do list for too long. For those of you who have been there:

    Is two days there about right?

    Is the restoration shop worth a visit?

    Any recommendations for lodging near the museum?

    Restaurant recommendations?

    Any comments about transient hangar space at I19?

    Thanks,


    BJC
     
  2. May 20, 2018 #2

    pilot103

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    I live about a 4 hour drive from there. I've been there about 6 times. Its about time to go again. 2 days will give you time to read a lot of the smaller exhibits too. It is an outstanding place. Sorry I cant comment on local lodging or restaurants, we usually just grabbed a burger before driving home.
     
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  3. May 20, 2018 #3

    plncraze

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    If you want to do the restoration shop tour register way in advance. It is only done on Fridays and requires prior registration. Two days are good. There is a lot of stuff packed in there. If you do a little research before going you will really appreciate some of the displays. One example is the P-26 Peashooter; its a homebuilt!
     
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  4. May 20, 2018 #4

    plncraze

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    If you are flying yourself you might want to check out the TriState Warbird Museum at the Clermont County airport (I69, aka "Sporty's Airport"). Its on the outskirts of Cincinnati.
    Another attraction is the Wright Model B. Its regular location is the Wright Brothers airport south of Dayton.
    Don't forget Huffman Prairie. Its about 15 min away from the USAF museum
     
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  5. May 20, 2018 #5

    Vigilant1

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    Re: Lodging and chow: The Museum is in Area B of WPAFB. The community outside Area B (Riverside,OH) is not especially picturesque, it's a bit depressed economically. So, if you are just looking for a place to stay (rather than an upscale destination resort), you'd probably be fine with any of the chain hotels in nearby Beavercreek, OH (Residence Inn, etc). There are the usual chain restaurants nearby.
    This part of Ohio is pretty, and every town and berg has a festival or fair of some kind during this time of year.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  6. May 20, 2018 #6

    Kyle Boatright

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    The restoration hangar is neat. Yes, it is worth your time.

    A cheat for you would be to attend the National Aeronca convention in a couple of weeks. (Middletown Ohio, btw). They have a bus scheduled for Friday which will transport attendees to and from the museum.

    My opinion - it is about a day or a day and a half visit unless you have to read every plaque and read all of the legends in the shadowboxes where they have old uniforms and personal accessories.
     
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  7. May 20, 2018 #7

    TFF

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    I have not had the pleasure to go there, but the Memphis Belle is now on display. I miss her being in town, and the city lost her because of politics that still angers me to no end. I grew up seeing her almost every day. My parents played inside it when it just sat on the ground after WW2 as it was a gate guard. Grrr. I bet she is beautiful.
     
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  8. May 21, 2018 #8

    Pops

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    Been 8 or 10 years since I've been at WPAFB Museum, but its always been good. If you want to spent time at each display, plan on 2 days. Also the 8th AF Museum in Savannah, GA is good.
    First time at WPAFB was in the mid 1960's when a lot of the airplanes were outside. I'm about 2 hrs east just across the Ohio river. Use to fly into South Columbus airport as a student pilot ( been closed for a long time). At that time everyone that was flying south towards Chillicothe flew on the west side of RT-23 over the open fields down on the deck to past Rickenbacker AFB. Rickenbacker was an old SAC base before 1980. At the time there was a very good aircraft flea market at South Columbus and a old friend of mine that grew up in this area always had a booth selling parts ( Ed Lowe), then I would stop down at the grass field on the north side of Chillicothe and visit the airport owner that flew a T-6. Him and his wife also had a P-51, yes she also flew everything. I think she was a WW-2 ferry pilot. There is shopping center at the location of the airport now.
     
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  9. May 21, 2018 #9

    BJC

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    I agree. It is relatively small, but everything there is very well done. We were last there for the formal dedication of the B-17 that my neighbor and some friends moved into the building. Worth stopping to see the ball turrents and tail gunner’s station, if nothing else. When you see the B-47 beside I-95, you are there.


    BJC
     
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  10. May 21, 2018 #10

    bmcj

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    Two days should be enough to browse unless you plan to take in all of the IMAX movies. The movies aren’t long, but it breaks up the visit by constantly having to run back and forth from the displays to the theater. I believe that all displays are now back at the main complex, which makes things easier (for awhile, many if the displays were in a hangar across the airport and required a bus ride to go see them). If you want to study each display unrushed and in detail, you might need a full two days or maybe even a third. Now that things have moved around, I’m not sure how much time you need to allow for the restoration shop.

    Whatever you do, make sure you see the XB-70.

    BTW, like Pops, I some of my visits were in the 60’s when the larger planes were kept outside next to the main building. That was where you could really appreciate the size and beauty of the XB-70.
     
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  11. May 21, 2018 #11

    Vigilant1

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    Oh, almost forgot: The WACO museum is in Troy, Ohio, about 40 minutes from WPAFB. I haven't been inside, and it doesn't look very big, but it might be of interest.
    Speaking of museums, I went with some friends to the WWII museum in New Orleans a few weeks ago--it was very good. Lots of artifacts, but also extensive use of video, and interviews with folks who were there. This museum is not so much about the things, but about people and what they did. It was emotionally exhausting, the displays really brought out the highs and lows of the conflict from the perspective of the average Joe, and the folks at home. We saw a lot of school kids touring the place, which was good.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  12. May 21, 2018 #12

    Pops

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    One time my neighbor and I were there getting part #'s off the engine on a stand below the P-51 that is hanging up. He was restoring a Yak-3. I was laying on the floor under the engine calling off part numbers from different accessories when people were asking us directions liked we worked there.
    He beat me in the shooting of the bad guys with Me-109's in the Ball Turrent.
     
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  13. May 21, 2018 #13

    Lucrum

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    I've been there many times over the years, though not recently enough to help with accommodations and such.
    Two days should easily be ample time even if you take it slow and make sure not to miss anything.
     
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  14. May 21, 2018 #14

    wsimpso1

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    Been there for one-day visits three times. WAY too short. Two days may not be enough to just tour the main museum. It is HUGE and all of the displays are impressive.

    The restoration shops are a must see for an airplane builder. You will need most of a day just for that, must be registered for in advance, and only runs certain days.

    As to FBOs' and lodging, sorry...

    You go have fun!

    Billski
     
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  15. May 21, 2018 #15

    dcstrng

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    Glad they moved it indoors (mostly), but I recall the old days of the Air Force’s attic… I lived in Dayton in the mid-late 60s and used to swing by there coming home from work – you could wiggle through the chain-link fence and give yourself a guided tour crawling all over the birds, no one seemed to care. It is much better now and properly preserved for generations; still, how many folks have actually sat in the X-3 Stiletto (by flashlight). Two days is probably about right – there is a lot there to digest, but as others have noted; side-trips to other aviation areas around that part of Ohio help break up the time. Used to take lesson at Moraine Air Park, still open (now wot a paved runway -- was all grass in the 60s).
     
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  16. May 21, 2018 #16

    Vigilant1

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    Moraine is a fun little airport located in a bend of the Miami river. There's nothing unsafe about it, but for those who haven't been there: don't get low on final. The levees that hold back the river are not far from the runway, and can blend in with the surroundings under some lighting conditions. I was a little surprised to see one flash by underneath me a little closer than I'd like when I dragged in an approach one day. Another good reason not to do that . . .
     
  17. May 21, 2018 #17

    Pops

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    Always like their fly-ins. Went every year for a long time. I bought a Cherokee 140 that was based there one time. Trivia question. Who flew the Red Waco in a episode in the TV show about the WKRP radio show? The great frozen turkey drop.
     
  18. May 21, 2018 #18

    Aerowerx

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    When you go there, keep this thought in mind. It will make it even more impressiuve.....

    They parked the B-36, and then built the museum around it.
     
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  19. Jul 20, 2018 #19

    jumpinjan

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    Just a reminder for the 2018 WWI Dawn Patrol at the AF Museum. We have WWI homebuilt airplanes flying, reenactors, automobiles & RC scale models......jan
    DPR 2018 Poster.jpg
     
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  20. Sep 8, 2018 #20

    BJC

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    Check out the free app Cockpits 360.


    BJC
     

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