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 Interactive touch-screens featured in Southeast Asia War Gallery
 Three touch-screens now available, more to come
 Public can watch videos, view photos, interact with historical maps, documents
Badge of Honor: 100 Missions Up North
DAYTON, Ohio - Larry LeMieux and grandson learn more about 100 missions using the interactive touchscreen in the Badge of Honor: 100 Missions Up North exhibit in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Museum incorporates technology into Southeast Asia War Gallery renovation

Posted 12/19/2012   Updated 12/19/2012 Email story   Print story


by Sarah Swan
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

12/19/2012 - DAYTON, Ohio -- The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has expanded its interactive exhibits as part of the ongoing renovation in its Southeast Asia War Gallery.

Audiovisual touch-screens allow the public to watch videos, view photos and interact with historical maps and documents. As the museum staff continuously looks at ways to improve exhibits, the touch-screens are providing another tool to share the Air Force story with more than 1.2 million visitors each year.

"We created our first touch screen exhibit in 2009," said exhibit designer John Luchin III. "Our goal has always been to deliver content in an easy to use manner that gives the visitor the opportunity to choose the information they want."

There are currently three touch-screens available in the Southeast Asia War Gallery. In the LS 85: In the Jaws of the Enemy exhibit, an interactive touch-screen describing the attack on LS 85 (or Site 85) gives visitors the opportunity to view a moving map of the site, scans of declassified LS 85 documents, videos and photographs.

A touch-screen in the Countering MiGs: Air to Air Combat in North Vietnam exhibit includes film footage of legendary fighter ace Brig. Gen. Robin Olds and the River Rats, as well as a map allowing visitors to zoom in for more detail.

In the Badge of Honor: 100 Missions Up North exhibit, visitors can watch video clips from "There is a Way," which highlights how achieving 100 missions in the deadly skies over North Vietnam grew into a rich tradition.

Plans call for more touch-screens to be added as the renovation continues, and Luchin and other staff members are particularly excited about what they'll be offering as part of the museum's B-52 exhibit in the coming months.

"The one thing that our B-52 exhibit was missing was the opportunity for visitors to explore the inside of the aircraft," Luchin said. "By adapting the technology used in our virtual tour, we will be able to give our visitors an interactive look into the interior of one of the museum's largest aircraft. The tour will highlight B-52 crew positions and feature a rotatable computer model of the aircraft, enabling users to navigate to and from crew positions."

Touch-screens have been used successfully in other museum galleries since the devices were first used in the Warrior Airmen exhibit in early 2009.

"According to recent surveys, a quarter of American adults now own tablet computers, and I believe that number is rising," Luchin said. "Visitors are becoming increasingly comfortable with this type of technology and it gives us the chance to create new and inventive ways to tell the Air Force story."

Museum staff began renovating the Southeast Asia War Gallery in the fall of 2010 in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Air Force campaign during the Southeast Asia War. Planned in four phases, the renovation's first phase was completed in the spring of 2011, and phase two was completed this fall. The next phase of the renovation is already in progress, and current plans call for the gallery renovation to be completed in 2015, although this date is subject to change based on manpower and other resources.

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

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.

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