360 aircraft and missiles ,thousands of historical items and exhibits definitely need room. In fact the museum’s website today announced that The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force announced today that it is set to expand its legacy with a new 224,000 square foot building to be constructed by Turner Construction Co. of Washington, D.C. for the amount of $35.426 million, which is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum’s facilities.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force ) is the official museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of Dayton, It isis the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. The plan for the expansion is to break ground in late spring 2014 with the goal to have the new building ready in the summer of 2015, then begin populating the building that fall.
Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson said:””We send our heartfelt thanks to our generous donors for their stalwart support — from the foundation’s individual “Friends of the Museum” who have responded to our repeated calls for help and year-end appeals, to the major corporations, state and local businesses, foundations, and others who stepped up to build this. They’re the ones that made the fourth building possible. We are successful because of their belief in the critical importance of connecting people to their United States Air Force, and in the pressing need to inspire future generations to service and STEM careers.”
Accordingly to the press release distributed by the Museum’s Public Affair division the fundraising will not end with the beginning of construction slated for late spring 2014. The Air Force Museum Foundation will continue the Expanding the Legacy campaign to raise funds to meet the $46 million campaign goal and to finance additional building options as desired by the Air Force. Since its inception, the foundation has contributed more than $85.6 million for Museum construction, expansion, and facility upgrades. Contributions consist of business revenue from the Museum Gift Shop, Giant Screen 3D Theatre, Valkyrie and Refueling Cafés, membership program, Legacy Data Plate sales, simulator rides; direct donations from corporations, foundations, individual gifts, and planned giving; and investment income.
The press release states that The Presidential Aircraft Gallery will allow the museum to relocate and expand one of its most popular galleries, currently located on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and accessible by bus to a small percentage of museum visitors. The fourth building will provide all visitors the opportunity to view this historic collection of presidential aircraft, and walk through four of them, including aircraft used by Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower as well as the Boeing VC-137C used by President Kennedy, also known as SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000 which carried his body back to Washington, D.C. from Dallas after his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, and served as the location where President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new president.
The Research and Development Gallery will also to be relocated from the base and offer visitors the opportunity to view the world’s only remaining XB-70 and other aerospace vehicles. The exotic XB-70 could fly three times the speed of sound and was used as a research aircraft for the advanced study of aerodynamics, propulsion and other subjects. Research and development aerospace vehicles represent advances in technological problem solving and will increase the museum’s opportunities to teach STEM themes and principles.
The new Space Gallery will showcase the Space Shuttle exhibit featuring NASA’s first Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT-1), a high-fidelity representation of a space shuttle crew station used primarily for on-orbit crew training and engineering evaluations. As a major exhibit component of that gallery, visitors will be able to walk onto a full-size representation of a NASA space shuttle payload bay and look inside the CCT-1 cockpit and mid-deck areas. Conceptual plans call for the gallery to also include a Titan IV space launch vehicle, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft and many NASA artifacts such as a nose cap assembly, landing gear strut and a variety of astronaut equipment. A range of satellites and related items will showcase the Air Force’s vast reconnaissance, early warning, communications and other space-based capabilities.
Below you can see an aerial view of the museum’s grounds, the foirth building will be located north of the tall silo. In this historic picture A C-141 Starlifter aircraft, better known as the Hanoi Taxi, flies over its soon-to-be new home at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force adjacent to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Dec. 13. This particular aircraft gained fame when it was used to return American prisoners of war back home at the end of the Viet Nam War. As the last operational C-141 in Air Force Reserve Command’s 445 Airlift Wing, the historic aircraft is scheduled to retire and be dedicated at the museum May 5-6. The Reserve wing started replacing its C-141s with C-5 cargo aircraft in October and plan to have a total of 11 C-5s by April 2007. Source by John Rossino (photo), Lt. Col. Robert Thompson (text).