2014 WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous

Reenactors stand in front of a Fokker Dr. I during the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This year's event takes place Sept. 27-28. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Reenactors stand in front of a Fokker Dr. I during the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This year's event takes place Sept. 27-28. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Reenactors stand in front of a Fokker Dr. I during the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This year’s event takes place Sept. 27-28. (U.S. Air Force photo)

PRESS RELEASE – Each fall most of us remember to set our clocks back an hour as daylight savings time comes to an end. However, this fall there will be a special opportunity to turn the clock back a whole century to the opening salvos of World War One. The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio is hosting the WWI  Dawn Patrol Rendezvous over the weekend of September 27th/28th; a historical aviation event unlike any other. If vintage aircraft are what you enjoy, then this show is bound to impress. It will feature reproduction full-scale and 7/8-scale aircraft such as the Nieuport 28, SE-5 and Fokker Dr.I triplane, with pilots launching and landing their aircraft on the field behind the museum. Visitors will be able to speak to the pilots and get an up-close look at their steeds. Computer-based aircraft simulators will be available for those who want a more in-depth experience of flying a WWI aircraft.

When the full-scale aircraft take a break from flying, more than a hundred radio-controlled WWI-era model planes will take to the skies to entertain the crowds. Authentic miniature aircraft, some as large as 1/2 scale, will perform simulated dogfights, demonstrate formation flying, bomb dropping, and other missions typical of the Great War. But the WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous has much more to offer than just aircraft, with over sixty reenactors performing skits in a wartime encampment, more than twenty antique automobiles on display and participating in a parade, and a collector’s show for WWI items.

A pilot checks his bomb placement after dropping a "flour bomb" during a target competition at the WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Joshua Strang)
A pilot checks his bomb placement after dropping a “flour bomb” during a target competition at the WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Joshua Strang)

New to the event this year is an above-ground trench serving as the entry and exit point to the grounds. It will give visitors a glimpse at trench warfare in the early 20th century. In addition, an activities tent will feature “Wings of Glory”, a giant WWI board game from Buckeye Gamers in Flight. it is designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the war in Europe and the countries involved. Museum staff and volunteers will also present educational programs for all ages based upon America’s involvement in the war, and seven WWI authors will serve as guest speakers throughout the weekend. A complete listing of guest speakers and topics is available at http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/wwi.asp.

This replica Morane Saulnier was built by students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance's Kansas City campus. (U.S. Air Force photo)
This replica Morane Saulnier was built by students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Kansas City campus. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This event is unique according to Museum Special Events Coordinator David Thomas. “The WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous is the only large-scale WWI event of its kind in the country, and perhaps even the world,” said Thomas. “This one-of-a-kind event brings a number of different entities together – from the aircraft, to the reenactors, antique automobiles, activities and vendors – and for one weekend re-creates the days of WWI.”

Visitors may reach the event site by coming through the “Spinning Road Gate,” located at the intersection of Airway and Spinning Roads (Joe Greene Way), or driving through the main museum gate on Springfield Street and following the signs that lead to the event area.Gates will be open Sept. 27-28 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free, and food and merchandise will be available for sale.

A pilot pulls his Fokker Eindecker E.III closer to spectators during the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
A pilot pulls his Fokker Eindecker E.III closer to spectators during the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The 2014 WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will be the ninth event offered by the National Museum of the US Air Force and the Great War Aeroplanes Association. The last WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous took place in the fall of 2011. In addition to the flying event, the museum has launched a WWI anniversary page on its website. The website will feature a WWI-related artifact each week, every week through 2018, along with links to other online resources. Visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/research/ww100.asp to learn more.

The National Museum of the US 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 17 acres of indoor exhibition space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.

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