Where Dreams and Technology Meet

A visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, is the closest you’ll come to time travel (without a Back to the Future modified Delorean) as you move from the Wright brothers’ legacy to present day stealth technology.

Our visit took us from the Early Years Gallery, starting with the Wright brothers’ vision of flight through World War I aircraft, to the World War II Gallery and the Korean and Vietnam Galleries, landing us in the Cold War Gallery, which houses the world’s only permanent public display of a B-2 stealth bomber.

This blast from the past culminated in the Missile and Space Gallery, a silo-like, 140-foot high structure that serves as a final resting place for Titan missiles and Apollo, Mercury and Gemini command modules and capsules. No Buzz Lightyear here.

Back Down to Earth

Like the two theatrical masks of tragedy and comedy the exhibits entitled, Prejudice and Memory: A Holocaust Exhibit and Bob Hope: 50 Years of Hope, ground visitors with a reminder of the losses endured and the hope retained and at times, laughter shared during times of war.

As Bob Hope used to say – thanks for the memories.                                                   And preserving the memories as well as these massive historic vehicles is no small feat. The restoration division of the museum relies on the talents of volunteers, whose skills range from machine and woodworking expertise to craftsmanship in sheet metal and painting. Their knowledge of aircraft spans years of technology – from World War I fabric covered aircraft to the elite fighters of today’s Air Force.

The Memphis Belle is one of their more recent restoration projects. A B-17F Flying Fortress, the Memphis Belle is one of the museum’s most famous aircraft, with its bomber crews having flown 25 missions against Nazi Germany in WWII. Visit the link below for a slide show of the restoration in progress.

Memphis Belle Restoration

For Museum Hours and Info visit the National Museum of the USAF.

Post written by Pamela J. Willits.

11 responses to “Where Dreams and Technology Meet

  1. Wonderful images Larry ….the usual brilliantly high standard .
    Best wishes from your kiwi friends in New Zealand.

  2. I was in the Air Force many years ago and never had the chance to shot beautiful photographs as you have done. Great work.

  3. Lew Williams

    As an Air Force brat during the cold war (Lew, Sr. on the crews of B-29, B-47 and B-52) I love everything to do with military aviation. It never ceases to amaze me how you are able to make the wonderful look awesome. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Larry….I am going to this museum….you make it touchable.
    Thanks, Candace

  5. I’ve never been and these are the first pictures I ‘ve seen of the museum – looks fascinating!

  6. Brian Soppelsa

    What a fascinating place and right here in Ohio. Who would have thought!?! I’ve never heard of anyone coming away from a visit there with anything but good things to say. Thanks for the fresh perspective and wonderful shots!

  7. Yep … I’ve been there before … several years past. It is still an awesome place!! Thanks for bringing this memory back to me!

  8. Haven’t been in years but am now planning to get there later this year. The photos, as always, outstanding!!

  9. Nice work, as usual, Larry… thanks for the look!

  10. Mark Schuliger

    Great pics, Larry! We got to visit the Air and Space Museum in DC over spring break and it made me want to visit Dayton. This post has renewed that desire. I’ll have to get Dad to go with me — my girls weren’t that into the museum in DC. They were more interested in seeing the president’s dog!

  11. As always WOW! Fred would really have enjoyed these photos. Perhaps I could include you in my brainstorming session for the Doo Dah this year? Without my partner Fred I will need some other help. HA!

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