There is no better place to celebrate National Aviation Day than in Dayton, the Birthplace of Aviation! Dayton was home to the Wright brothers and it is here that they invented and built the first successful airplane and later opened the first flight school and the first airplane factory. Only in Dayton can you experience an amazing collection of authentic aviation assets -- items that can be seen nowhere else in the world. Dayton's aviation legacy continues into the present and the future with Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Research Labs at the base where developments of aerospace vehicles and advancements in aviation technology occur. So put on your flight caps and take off for some top-flight fun in Dayton by visiting the aviation sites listed below. Want to add some extra fun to your aviation adventures in Dayton? Check out the Wilbear Wright Aviator Teddy Bear Aviation Trail Passport Program. Collect stamps at just 8 of 17 locations and turn in your passport to earn your very own Wilbear Wright Aviator Teddy Bear (no time limit on completing your passport and everyone in your traveling group can win a bear!)
The FREE National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum. Be amazed as you explore 19 acres of indoor exhibits featuring over 360 aerospace vehicles! Don't miss the co-located FREE National Aviation Hall of Fame honoring aviation and aerospace pioneers. Board and tour four of nine presidential aircraft including the plane that flew JF Kennedy's body back from Dallas and that Eisenhower was sworn in as President of the U.S. on. Curious about space? Enjoy boarding and touring a NASA Space Shuttle exhibit. See the famous WWII Memphis Belle. Watch aviation-themed movies on the giant-screen Air Force Museum Theatre, find the perfect souvenir in the extensive Museum gift shop, test your pilot skills at various flight simulators, grab a bite to eat in the Museum's cafeteria. You'll find there are amazing things to uncover throughout this world-renowned museum that is arranged chronologically.
The FREE National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) is co-located at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Honor world-famous pilots and space travelers while delving into more than a century of flight history at the National Aviation Hall of Fame and enjoy interactive exhibits.
The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a multi-unit park located in and around Dayton, Ohio. The National Park includes:
• Hawthorn Hill, the Wright family mansion
The John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum has more Wright artifacts on display than any other place in the world, including the 1905 Wright Flyer III: the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the first practical flying machine, and what the Wright brothers considered their most important aircraft.
Purchase a ticket to visit Hawthorn Hill when you're at Carillon Historical Park visiting the Wright Brothers National Museum. Hawthorn Hill is the mansion the Wright brothers built after their aviation success. Unfortunately, Wilbur Wright passed away prior to moving into the home but Orville, sister Katherine, father Bishop Milton Wright, and other Wright family members spent many happy days here. See Orville's study as it was originally decorated including his unique chair outfitted to accommodate the recurring leg pain he experienced following an airplane crash.
Stand on the hallowed grounds of Huffman Prairie Flying Field where the Wright brothers truly learned to fly. When the Wright brothers returned to Dayton, after their historic first flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, they looked for a suitable flying field closer to home. Dayton banker, Torrence Huffman allowed the brothers to use his pasture, which was located eight miles northeast of Dayton, rent-free. Here in 1904 and 1905, through a series of unique experiments, the Wright brothers mastered the principles of controlled, powered flight and developed the world's first practical airplane.
In 1904, the brothers made 105 flights, totaling 49 minutes in the air with their 1904 Wright Flyer II. With this flying machine, they made the first turn and the first circle in the air. Exhibits here focus on the Wright brothers' development of the world's first practical airplane at Huffman Prairie in 1904 and 1905, their flying school starting in 1910, and the accomplishments of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Visit historic and beautiful Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum to see the final resting ground of Wilbur and Orville Wright and the Wright family. Paul Laurence Dunbar's gravesite is also located close to the Wright family.
We hope you enjoy celebrating National Aviation Day in Dayton, the Birthplace of Aviation & So Much More! Remember, in Dayton, you can celebrate aviation 365 days of the year!