Air Force Museum to open an aircraft one day each month

Lockheed AC-130A "Azrael" in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO
Lockheed AC-130A "Azrael" in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

Visitors can get up-close look inside different aircraft

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. to 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: retired Col. Frank Alfter, retired Lt. Col. Larry Flinn, retired Col. Tom Gardner, retired Col. Carl Peirolo, retired Col. 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 retired Maj. James Miklasevich, a museum volunteer and F-22 systems engineer.

Visitors can walk inside the C-7A Caribou on Saturday, June 19. This twin-engine, short takeoff and landing (STOL) 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, retired Senior Master Sgt. Jerry Mongelli, will share more information about this aircraft during the event.

De Havilland C-7A Caribou in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO
De Havilland C-7A Caribou in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director 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, 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.

The museum’s parking lot is undergoing construction and repaving through the end of April. There should be minimal disruption to visitors. In addition, Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

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