WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Celebrate National Aviation Day with free educational activities at Family Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the world’s largest aviation museum.
National Aviation Day is a celebration of all things related to aviation and is held on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday, 143 years ago on Aug. 19. During Family Day, museum visitors will learn about achievements in aviation and aerospace from the time of the Wright brothers’ first flight to modern Air Force technology.
These aviation and space demonstrations are appropriate for all ages and take place throughout the day. Activities will include “flying” an F-16 simulator, playing Bernoulli Skee Ball and learning how an airplane is controlled in flight. Visitors also will witness some modern-day technologies with a look at fuel cells and robotics.
In addition, visitors will be able to build and fly their own foam gliders from 1:30-3 p.m. while supplies last. This activity is free and open to all ages.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park will give a special presentation at 1:30 p.m. in the STEM Learning Node, located near the Space Shuttle Exhibit in the Cold War Gallery. “Anatomy of a Failure” will explore the Wright brothers’ many years of experiments in flight, the experience they gained and how their failures set the stage for their ultimate success.
Younger visitors will enjoy a storytime program at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1:15 p.m. in the Early Years Gallery. This activity will feature stories of flight as well as a hands-on craft project.
All activities are free! No advanced reservations are necessary. Call the Education Division at (937) 255-4646 for additional information.
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 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
Story by Sarah Swan, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.