National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to show XB-70 and other R&D aircraft in new building

. May 23, 2013

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s planned fourth building will now include aircraft from the Research and Development (R&D) Gallery, along with a new Presidential Gallery, an expanded Space Gallery and select global reach planes.

The addition of many of the R&D aircraft will allow visitors to see the popular XB-70, X-1B and the “flying saucer-like” Avrocar, among others.

Previously, museum visitors without military base access were required to ride a shuttle bus to the Presidential and R&D Galleries. The galleries, which are currently located on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, were closed May 1 until further notice as part of budget reduction requirements due to sequestration.

According to Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, the new gallery plans will provide the museum with more educational outreach opportunities and be a great convenience for the public.

“The fourth building will help us further tell the Air Force story with the addition of many rare, one-of-a-kind aircraft, including some from the R&D Gallery, which along with the presidential aircraft, are highly regarded by our visitors,” said Hudson. “All visitors will be able to see these aircraft and we will no longer have to bear the cost of shuttle buses to those galleries.”

In order to make room for the additional R&D aircraft, acquisition of some global reach aircraft that were originally planned for the fourth building, such as a still active C-5 and KC-135, will be deferred until they can be accommodated.

Current plans call for construction of the fourth building to begin in 2014 and initially open to the public in 2015. At that time, the museum will continue to populate the new building until all exhibits are completed.

The Air Force Museum Foundation continues to fundraise for the fourth building, with $38 million secured in cash and pledges to meet their $46 million goal.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Richard V. Reynolds, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Managers, said despite these challenging budgetary times, the foundation continues to make progress toward turning the plans for the building into a reality.

“The Air Force Museum Foundation proudly supports the growth and expansion of the museum, and is working hard to find and engage donors willing to get us across the finish line in our Expanding the Legacy Campaign,” said Reynolds. “It’s tremendously exciting to think about how the fourth building will not only do a fantastic job telling the Air Force story, but become an interactive, high tech classroom for programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil

Category: Science Technology

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