With the cold and blustery weather that has finally made its way to Louisville, Jon and I were looking for an indoor adventure. We decided to go to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The museum is located on Wright-Patterson base in Dayton, Ohio. The base is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Louisville. I-71 N to I-75 N, its an easy drive.
From the outside, the museum is quite impressive. There are over 400 aircraft and missiles on display within the museum. Most of these aircraft are actually housed indoors within three huge hangars. The collection of aircraft and other air force memorabilia is organized into sections such as Early Years, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Cold War, etc. There are B-52s, Spitfires, monoplanes, and more. The museum also houses the B-29 Superfortress “Bockscar.” This is the plan that launched the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. It is interesting to see these planes that played such huge parts in this history of the world right in front of your face.
During our three hours spent in the museum, I kept thinking about one man: Chuck Yeager. Being that I am originally from West Virginia, I grew up watching, hearing, and seeing this man. Chuck was the first pilot to break through the sound barrier. He did this in his X-1 nicknamed Glamorous Glennis. Jon did some research online and found out that this plane is also at the museum in the Milestones of Flight gallery. The one part of the museum we did not have time to see. There is also at least one other plane that Yeager piloted at the museum. This would be the Mikoyan-Gurevic MiG-15, a Korean air plane. After the United States obtained one from a defector during the Korean War, Chuck and several other pilots took it out for a spin.
Admission to the National Museum of the United States Air Force is free, although donations are appreciated. If you are even remotely interested in air planes or world history, its definitely worth the drive from Louisville.