Each year, more than 1 million people from around the world come to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Its collection is among the largest of its kind and includes more than 360 aerospace vehicles and thousands of artifacts.
“As the Air Force’s window to the public, the museum is where the people come to learn about the history, mission and evolving capabilities of America’s Air Force and about the Airmen who are truly the foundation of everything we do,” noted Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James in a statement.
The museum’s collection occupies more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space, and its facilities are about get bigger. One June 3, .the museum broke ground on a 224,000-square-foot building that will house aircraft from the Presidential, Research and Development (R&D) and Global Reach collections, as well as a new and expanded Space Gallery. The new facility will also house three science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning centers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers selected Turner Construction Co. last December to serve as general contractor.
Estimated to cost $35.4 million, the expansion is being financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. Since its establishment in 1960, the foundation has raised more than $85.6 million for the museum. Its current capital campaign has raised funds from individuals, foundations and companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce North America, and Northrop Grumman. The capital campaign is seeking to raise $46 million to finance additional building and educational requirements.
Photo credits: National Museum of the United States Air Force