National Museum of the Air Force

My brother recently got stationed at Wright Patterson Airforce base near Dayton, Ohio.  While we were there visiting him last Fall, we made a trip to the museum located at the base.  We had so many of us going, that we had to take several vehicles.  To my daughters’ enthusiasm and delight, we got to replace all of the boys in our vehicle with girls:

When we arrived at the museum, it was very obvious that the place was huge and the girls would definitely be benefited by the strollers (again to their delight):

We set a time and place to meet and then the children quickly buddied up and dispersed. Colter, Emery, and Fletcher took off.  The girl cousins all fought over pushing Indigo and Jade, so I didn’t have to worry about them. That left Jim and I with Hewitt and Greyden and acres of airplane museum to explore:

 

The museum is massive, with aircraft from all over and from all periods of history.  If you have any children interested in airplanes, they’ll be in heaven.  The younger children were a bit bored, but they did have a children’s interactive area that they could have spent hours in if we had let them (but the adults eventually got bored).  In fact, we were in the children’s area so long, that we found Colter again:

The museum is free to visit and definitely worth a trip if you are in the area.  If you’re too far away to visit, there is a virtual tour that you can explore online.  My boys love learning about airplanes and what they were used for and how.  Every time we see an air show or a plane flies overhead they race to be the first one to identify it.

The one exhibit I remember the most was the one on the carrier pigeons they used during one of the wars.  They actually had a famous pigeon stuffed there.  He had flown over a battle with really important intelligence and gotten shot several times during his flight, but he never quit.  They did surgery on him and he lived for another decade or so (if I remember right).  So they have a lot of other interesting things besides the airplanes.

There are also videos playing throughout the museum with lots of actual footage.  They even had the actual plane that dropped the first atomic bomb.  That sparked off a huge conversation and debate about ethics and whether or not dropping the bomb was the right thing to do.

If you enjoy airplanes or history and especially if you’re a homeschooling family, I definitely recommend the museum.  I’m sure we’ll go back several more times because there is so much to see, you can’t really take it all in during one visit.

 

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