"National Museum of the United States Air Force" Dayton by Tugboatguy
Dayton Travel Guide: 274 reviews and 811 photos
We left EAA AirVenture 2008 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin on the last day of the event to fly to Dayton, Ohio for a too short visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The last time I visited the museum was in the 1970s, and my, what a change! You simply cannot take it all in on a one day visit. We had a 24 hour rental car, and got it back about 23 and a half hours later, so had less than a full day for the museum. Please take more time than we did-it is free and worth several days to fully appreciate all the exhibits, indoors and out.
The photo was taken from N2111Q, a Beech Bonanza that carried us faithfully on our 3,500 mile flying trip. A bit of the aircraft's (fuel) tip tank is shown in the lower left corner. We are arriving at James M. Cox International Airport at Dayton, which is actually nine miles north of Dayton in Vandalia, Ohio. Who is James M. Cox? I don't have a clue. Any help appreciated.
Please click on the small photos to enlarge them.
In Greek Mythology, Icarus, the son of Daedalus escaped from Crete by flying with wings made by Daedalus affixed to his son's body with wax. Icarus flew so high that the sun's heat melted the wax and he plunged to his death in the sea.
Well, that's mythology and the US Air Force is sticking to the story. Make up your own mind about the suitability of Icarus' statue here. Fallen hero, or dumb loser. Just what message are they trying to convey?lol
As a side note, the USAF annually awards one standout aircraft or weapons system the Daedalian Award, a large ornate sterling silver cup about three feet high. I managed the HARM missile project at Point Mugu for 12 years before retirement, and two years into the program, we had the Daedalian Cup Award to display on a rotating basis at the Pacific Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, California. The US Navy was the lead service for the HARM missile development and management, and the USAF used the missile also. So, perhaps I should not be so hard on Daedalus's son.
Here I am at the Wright Brothers Airport just south of Dayton. In their small museum is a replica of the world's first? successful? airplane built by the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, two bicycle mechanics, who demonstrated powered man-carrying flight in 1903 at Kill Devil Hills near Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Alas, in our short late afternoon in Dayton before visiting the USAF Museum the next day we found this museum was closed on our late arrival Sunday. This free museum is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Another replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer is to be found in the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton that we visited the next day. The original restored 1903 Wright Flyer is on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C. I saw the original there in 1979, so didn't mind missing one of the replicas here. The pose was suggested by Dr. John Edison, M.D., another pilot who took this photo with my camera.
- Pros:"Once called the "Air City"-lots of aviation history here".
- Cons:"Traffic congestion far worse than the 1970s".
- In a nutshell:"Don't let that deter you from an aviation-themed visit."
Don't fail to take an outdoor walk to see historic aircraft displayed outside the National Museum of the United States... more travel advice
Excellent hotel handy to the National Museum of the US Air Force, being south of downtown Dayton near the University and... more travel advice
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