Biggest Aviation Museum Got Bigger

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The world’s largest military aviation museum just got bigger!
And it’s FREE to visit!

Make the most of summer vacation by planning a trip to see the newest building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force! Children and adults of all ages will enjoy the wide variety of free activities planned for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 11-12, 2016 to celebrate the grand opening of the museum’s new fourth building.

As visitors make their way through the museum, they’ll bump into costumed characters from all eras of aviation history and beyond. Learn about life in the trenches of World War I, shake hands with an astronaut and be on the lookout for Stormtroopers. Tiny Ewoks and a roaming R2-D2 also make for great selfies!

More than 25 participating organizations will offer displays and activities that are sure to educate and entertain, from watching the PowerStackers’ Lego robots to investigating the inner components of basic electronic items at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery booth. A kids’ area features indoor drones, flight simulators, and Air Force and space-themed hand stamps.

The new fourth building will be packed with things to do! Visitors can climb aboard the Space Shuttle Exhibit and walk through four presidential and three cargo aircraft. Other activities include interactive presentations and space trivia contests in the three STEM Learning Nodes, discussions with subject matter experts at various aircraft, a look at tiny satellites at the CubeSat booth, and the chance to land a shuttle orbiter at the Space Shuttle Landing Experience.

The Air Force Museum Foundation will thrill visitors of all ages with its newest simulator rides, including the Pulseworks Virtual Reality Transporter – the first of its kind in North America – and an Eight Seat Pod (ESP) motion ride. There is a small fee to ride these simulators.

The Museum Store will feature book signings on topics related to exhibits in the fourth building. These are scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 across from the Space Shuttle Exhibit.

Several dining options will be available to visitors during the weekend events. The Valkyrie Café, located on the second floor above the Museum Store, and the Refueling Café, located on the Cold War Gallery balcony, will be open from 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. In addition, there will be a food court in the Cold War Gallery and food trucks, including Kona Ice, Courtland’s Mobile Grill, Gringo Loco, will be located outside the museum lobby.

Before heading home, rest your feet by watching a movie for a discounted price of just $5 at the Air Force Museum Theatre, which features the largest screen in the region. Throughout the weekend, shows begin every 30 minutes and include Aircraft Carriers 3DFighter Pilot 3DJourney to Space 3D and Rescue 3D.

Door prizes will be given out throughout the event so mark your calendars for this special weekend of activities. Visit the museum’s website for up-to-date information. Most activities are free, although there is a cost for Air Force Museum Foundation simulator rides and movies.

The 224,000 square foot fourth building, which opens to the public on June 8, will house more than 70 aircraft, missiles and space vehicles in four galleries – Space, Research & Development, Global Reach and Presidential. Three dedicated, interactive educational spaces, known as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Learning Nodes, will accommodate student-centered, technology-enhanced learning through hands-on programs, demonstrations and lectures. When not in use for structured educational programming, there will be a variety of programs available to the visiting public, including science and engineering demonstrations, hands-on activities, special presentations, videos and more.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.