Big Moves at The National Museum of the US Air Force

The Lockheed YF-12A safely inside the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Restoration staff move the Lockheed YF-12A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Restoration staff move the Lockheed YF-12A 60-6935 into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. A close relative of the SR-71 Blackbird, the YF-12 was the largest and fastest manned interceptor ever flown. It never saw operational use, unlike its more famous sibling.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

With the building structurally complete, the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio began moving exhibits into its new, fourth hangar in October. With the opportunity to see some of these beautiful exhibits outside, WarbirdsNews thought our readers would enjoy seeing some of the images which museum photographers took during the move.

This is the proposed layout for the new fourth building at the Dayton, Ohio museum. The aircraft shown in red represent the experimental aircraft collection. It is mostly these airframes which were involved in the recent moves. (image via US Air Force Museum)
This is the proposed layout for the new fourth building at the Dayton, Ohio museum. The aircraft shown in red represent the experimental aircraft collection. It is mostly these airframes which were involved in the recent moves. (image via US Air Force Museum)

The layout above shows how the aircraft will be arranged following the move. It is a massive hangar and the move represents a huge undertaking, but it is bound to be a fabulous place to visit once everything is in place.

The Lockheed YF-12A safely inside the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
The Lockheed YF-12A safely inside the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Lockheed D-21B drone being moved into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. The D-21 was designed to mount on top of the M-21 mother ship, a close relative of the SR-71 Blackbird, and fly into hostile airspace to perform a similar mission to the SR-71, but with less inherent risks to a human pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Lockheed D-21B drone being moved into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. The D-21 was designed to mount on top of the M-21 mother ship, a close relative of the SR-71 Blackbird, and fly into hostile airspace to perform a similar mission to the SR-71, but with less inherent risks to a human pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Bell X-1B 48-1385 supersonic research aircraft on October 13th, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Bell X-1B 48-1385 supersonic research aircraft on October 13th, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Another gorgeous view of Bell X-1B 48-1385 supersonic research aircraft on October 13th, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Another gorgeous view of Bell X-1B 48-1385 supersonic research aircraft on October 13th, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Lockheed NT-33A Shooting Star 51-4120 trials aircraft on Oct. 13, 2015. Modified with the nose from a Lockheed F-94 Starfire, this airframe was at one time the oldest active aircraft in the US inventory when it finally retired in 1997. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Lockheed NT-33A Shooting Star 51-4120 trials aircraft on Oct. 13, 2015. Modified with the nose from a Lockheed F-94 Starfire, this airframe was at one time the oldest active aircraft in the US inventory when it finally retired in 1997. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)
Restoration staff move the Republic YRF-84F Thunderflash FICON prototype into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Restoration staff move the Republic YRF-84F Thunderflash FICON prototype into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Another view of the Republic YRF-84F FICON prototype at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft was designed as a parasitic reconnaissance fighter. The large hook on the nose was what connected the aircraft to its GRB-36D Peacemaker mothership. It was not a successful concept, and never went into full-scale production. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Another view of the Republic YRF-84F FICON prototype at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft was designed as a parasitic reconnaissance fighter. The large hook on the nose was what connected the aircraft to its GRB-36D Peacemaker mothership. It was not a successful concept, and never went into full-scale production. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Republic YRF-84F about to enter its new home at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft was a highly modified version of the RF-84F Thunderflash, itself a variant of the F-84 Thunderjet fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Republic YRF-84F about to enter its new home at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft was a highly modified version of the RF-84F Thunderflash, itself a variant of the F-84 Thunderjet fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Martin X-24A on its move into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. The airframe is actually a Martin SV-5J modified to represent the X-24A for exhibition purposes as the original X-24A airframe was converted to very different looking X-24B. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Martin X-24A on its move into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. The airframe is actually a Martin SV-5J modified to represent the X-24A for exhibition purposes as the original X-24A airframe was converted to very different looking X-24B. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Martin X-24B in front of  the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. The X-24B started life as the radically different X-24A as represented in the image above. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Martin X-24B in front of the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. The X-24B started life as the radically different X-24A as represented in the image above. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Another great view of the Martin X-24B. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Another great view of the Martin X-24B lifting body. The aircraft was instrumental in the design of the Space Shuttle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The sole surviving North American X-10 of five built on its journey to the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The sole surviving North American X-10 of five built on its journey to the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The North American X-10 posed in front of its new home at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The North American X-10 posed in front of its new home at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 14, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Restoration staff move the Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Restoration staff move the Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor was a heavily modified development of the F-84 Thunderjet program, but never went into production. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor was a heavily modified development of the F-84 Thunderjet program, but never went into production. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
A great view of the Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor in front of its new home. This image shows the inverse taper of its wings to great effect. The aircraft had  mixed propulsion system which included its normal jet engine, assisted by four rocket engines for boosting its climb rate for bomber interception. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
A great view of the Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor in front of its new home. This image shows the inverse taper of its wings to great effect. The aircraft had mixed propulsion system which included its normal jet engine, assisted by four rocket engines for boosting its climb rate for bomber interception. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. This aircraft was a predecessor to the world-beating AV-8 Harrier jump jet still in service with several military arms around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. This aircraft was a predecessor to the world-beating AV-8 Harrier jump jet still in service with several military arms around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel enters the new fourth building at the National Museum of the US Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
The Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel enters the new fourth building at the National Museum of the US Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

The next step in the buildup of the fourth building will begin with dismantling the Space Shuttle Exhibit and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Learning Node currently still inside the third hangar. According to a recent press release…

Turner Construction Company was recently awarded a $434,133 contract modification by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, to disassemble the Space Shuttle Exhibit and STEM Learning Node in the museum’s third building and transport them to the fourth building, where they will be re-assembled. The Space Shuttle Exhibit and STEM Learning Node will re-open when the fourth building opens in June 2016.

Aircraft and exhibits located near the current exhibit in the Cold War Gallery, including the AC-130, EF-111A, F-111F and F-117A, will be unavailable starting Oct. 19, and the work to begin disassembling the Space Shuttle Exhibit and STEM Learning Node will start later this year.

The Space Shuttle Exhibit featuring NASA’s first Crew Compartment Trainer and Teal Ruby satellite will be part of a new and expanded Space Gallery. The gallery will also include a massive Titan IVB space launch vehicle and satellite booster rocket that weighs 96 tons; Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft; and a range of other rockets, satellite launch vehicles, and space-related artifacts.

The current STEM Learning Node will be moved to the fourth building’s new Global Reach Gallery, which will include select cargo aircraft such as the C-21A, C-82A, C-130E and C-141C Hanoi Taxi. The Air Force’s airlift and aeromedical evacuation missions will also be explained in this gallery.

Future plans call for two new additional STEM Learning Nodes to be constructed in the fourth building with one located between the new Space and Research & Development Galleries and another in the new Presidential Gallery.

The $40.8 million fourth building is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum’s facilities.

The Space Shuttle trainer and STEM exhibit as they currently exist at the National Museum of the US Air Force. The entire display will be moving into the new fourth hangar in the coming months. (photo via NMUSAF)
The Space Shuttle trainer and STEM exhibit as they currently exist at the National Museum of the US Air Force. The entire display will be moving into the new fourth hangar in the coming months. (photo via NMUSAF)

1 Comment

  1. I am trying to contact someone in your archives division. My uncle Frank “Dude” L. Higgs from Columbus was a pilot in China and a character in the cartoon strip “Terry and the Pirates” by Milton Caniff. Dude flew supplies over the “Hump” from 1938-1945. He taught the Chinese pilot to fly. I understand that you have letters etc., in your archives. I also have much information that I shared with the San Fran. Airport Museum and could share with you–if it is available to the public. Please contact me at jeanneholder@comcast.net.
    Or 425-882-2345. Thank you. Jeanne Holder

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