For many people, the name of the city is associated with the so-called Dayton Peace Accords for Yugoslavia. Negotiations on Yugoslavia held at the US military airbase in Dayton (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) in November 1995. Agreements were reached on a cease-fire, on the separation of the warring parties and the separation of territories, they put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-1995. The signing of the Dayton Accords took place on December 14, 1995 in Paris.
Those who are fond of aviation history know that the city Dayton - the birthplace of the famous Wright brothers - Wilber (1867−1912) and Orville (1871−1948), although the eldest of the brothers, Wilber, was born in Indiana, and Orville is already in Dayton. Here they lived their whole lives, dedicating it to aviation. On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers made the first controlled flight on an airplane, an apparatus with an engine built by them according to their own design. Before that, they had been flying a glider for almost two years. They are the founders of American aviation and the pioneers of aeronautics.
For me, Dayton remembered his wonderful United States Air Force Museum - National Museum of the United States Air Forcelocated near the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This museum is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. You will never see such a giant museum of aviation equipment anywhere. Suffice it to say that the museum, including outdoor expositions and memorial parks, covers an area of 400 acres, or 160 hectares! It contains more than 400 aircraft of different times and countries, and more than 15 thousand exhibits telling about the history and current state of military aviation. And about 1.3 million people come to the museum annually. The museum is the most visited tourist site in Ohio!
To inspect all the museum exhibitions, at least briefly, a tourist is not enough one day, you have to go there several times. I was lucky, I visited this Museum twice, having spent there a whole day, but still I would like to go again! A very important point is that the museum in Dayton is open all year round, seven days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm, closed only 3 days a year - on Thanksgiving Day, at Christmas and on 1 January. AND Entry there for all is absolutely free! At the entrance to the museum, you can get a free "audio guide" - a player with headphones, then it is easier to navigate among the many exhibits. And allowed to take photographs and videos for free.
For comparison (again not in our favor) - the exposition of the Museum of the Air Force of Russia in Monino near Moscow is deployed in two hangars and six halls. The main building of the Museum of the Air Force is wooden, built in 1932-1934. The indoor area of the museum is 5500 square meters. m., and the open space - 20 hectares, and for the year it is visited by 150 thousand people. Even less is our Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics near VDNH. As they say, for the power is insulting!
The history of the Museum in Dayton is as follows. Back in 1923, at the military airfield of McCook Field, which served as an experimental base for testing military aircraft, located on the banks of the Miami River, just opposite downtown Dayton, began collecting a collection of various technical equipment related to aviation, both American and foreign. In 1927, the museum exhibition was moved to the Wright Field airfield. Part of the exhibits was located in the open air, in need of constant repair. It was decided to create a large museum of military aviation, because the number of exhibits grew, large closed areas were needed for accommodation. Creating a modern museum was not as fast as we would like. And so On September 3, 1971, in the presence of 12 thousand people, guests and enthusiasts who supported and helped to create the Museum, US President Richard Nixon solemnly opened the US Air Force Museum. The museum is constantly increasing the number of exhibitions and exhibits.
In five huge hangars thematic expositions are placed:
1. The early period of development of aviation, where you can see the first aircraft of the Wright brothers and other aircraft designers of the first half of the twentieth century.
2. Aviation technology during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
3. Gallery of the period of the Cold War.
4. Gallery of rocket and space technology.
5. Presidential Gallery, which presents several presidential aircraft - Nixon, Carter, Reagan.
6. Modern scientific research and development of military aviation. There you can see the stealth aircraft, which is almost impossible to detect by means of air defense.
The museum has a flight simulator, where anyone can test themselves as a pilot.
On the open field, on special platforms, planes of times are placed World War II and modern who participated in the operation "Desert Storm" (1991, conflict between Iraq and Kuwait). Here you can not only see, but also touch and touch German planes, for example "Junkers-88D" (Junkers Ju 88D), or Messerschmitt (Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet, Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalb), and American Douglas BoeingFor example, Boeing is a flying fortress (Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress), and many others. On the other side of the museum, also on the field, there are different types of missiles.
Another near the museum in 1972 was created Memorial Park of Glorywhere the heroes-pilots who died in the line of duty during various military conflicts found rest in peace. Now there are more than 500 monuments in the park, various trees, shrubs and flowers are planted. When on arrival you just get out of the car, you are greeted by the music of the carillon, which sounds constantly in the Memorial Park.
In May 1991, in the first of the pavilions of the Museum, a modern cinema systems imah for 500 places, which show films about aviation, and about outstanding pilots, about the nature of different regions of the Earth. The entrance to the cinema, of course, is paid, but the prices are much lower than in similar cinemas here in Russia. It is very convenient in the middle of the day, when the legs get tired of walking around the halls, go to a cinema session and relax in a comfortable chair, having received vivid impressions of the film. In the same pavilion, near the cinema, there are several shops with souvenirs, you can take different booklets about the museum for free, there is a cafe to have a snack.
It remains only to envy the Americans that they have such a wonderful museum complex to be proud of. And hope that sometime in Russia there will be something similar, large-scale!
Note. During a visit to the museum, we all filmed on video, so the pictures in the article are all from the museum website: www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.