PRESS RELEASE – DAYTON, Ohio – The interior of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Douglas VC-118 The Independence will be closed beginning Jan. 5 for approximately three months for conservational purposes. Museum staff will also reinforce the floors of the aircraft in preparation for increased visitor traffic following the plane’s eventual move to the new fourth building.During this time, visitors to the Presidential Gallery will still be able to view the exterior of The Independence, as well as walk through three other presidential aircraft: the VC-54C Sacred Cow, the VC-121E Columbine III and Air Force One, SAM 26000.
The Presidential Gallery, which is currently located on the controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is accessible by using the shuttle bus service from the main museum complex. This service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. A current government-issued photo ID (i.e. state ID or driver’s license) is required for citizens of the U.S. and U.S. territories over age 18. All foreign visitors must present an original passport (NEXUS cards and foreign enhanced driver’s licenses are not authorized at this time). Those under age 18 must be escorted by an adult (one adult per two children).Military and Department of Defense civilians with government ID may also use their private vehicle to visit the gallery. Additional information on visiting the Presidential Gallery is available at http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/questions/topic.asp?id=180.
Scheduled to open to the public in spring 2016, the 224,000 square foot fourth building will be located on the main museum complex and house the Presidential, Research and Development (R&D) and Global Reach collections, as well as a new and expanded Space Gallery.Access to other aircraft and exhibit areas may be limited as the museum staff prepares artifacts for the fourth building Please watch the museum’s website http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/ for updated information.