Beginning in April 2021, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will provide the opportunity for visitors to get an up-close look inside a different aircraft from the collection each month on select days from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
On April 17, visitors will be able to walk through the AC-130A Spectre, which is a C-130 converted to a gunship and primarily used for night attacks against ground targets. Learn about this aircraft from six U.S. Air Force veterans: Col. (Ret.) Frank Alfter, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Larry Flinn, Col. (Ret.) Tom Gardner, Col. (Ret.) Carl Peirolo, Col. (Ret.) Bob Pinizzotto and Master Sgt. Shane Sprague. Each having served as a crew member for this type of aircraft and have knowledge of several other aircraft.
Look inside the cockpit of the F-22A Raptor on May 8. The Raptor combines stealth, maneuverability and the ability to fly long distances at supersonic speeds in performance of air superiority and air-to-ground missions. The aircraft on display (S/N 91-4003) was one of nine F-22s built for Engineering, Manufacture and Development testing, and it rolled off the Lockheed Martin assembly line in Georgia in May 1999. Visitors will have the opportunity to speak with Maj. (Ret.) James Miklasevich, a museum volunteer and F-22 Systems Engineer.
Visitors can walk inside the C-7A Caribou on June 19. This twin-engine, short takeoff and landing utility transport aircraft was originally delivered to the U.S. Army in 1961, but in Jan. 1967, the responsibility for all fixed-wing tactical transports was transferred to the U.S. Air Force. Museum volunteer and former aircraft structural repairman, Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Jerry Mongelli, will share more information about this aircraft during the event.
According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director Mr. David Tillotson, museum officials anticipate Open Aircraft Days to be a popular event for visitors.
“We often receive requests from visitors to look inside some of our aircraft and we are happy to accommodate them with this unique opportunity,” said Tillotson. “We will open one aircraft per month for four hours during either a Friday or Saturday, and offer visitors the chance to have an up close look – and sometimes even walk inside the aircraft.”
The schedule of aircraft to be opened each month will be announced in advance on a quarterly basis. For a list of the open aircraft dates, visit https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/Events/.
The National Museum of the U.S. 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 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year thousands of visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil or call 937-255-3286.