DAYTON, Ohio --
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will offer evening hours on the first Thursday of the month in January, February and March of 2021.
During these select evenings from 5-8 p.m., the museum will offer the public an opportunity to get an up-close look at a different aircraft from the collection each month. In addition, the Museum Store will remain open as well.
On the evening of Jan. 7, visitors will be permitted to walk through the cargo area of the C-123K Provider. Visitors will be required to follow social distancing guidelines while inside the aircraft. In January 1962, the first of many Providers were sent to South Vietnam. The C-123K on display saw extensive service during the Southeast Asia War and personnel developed a strong symbolic attachment to the aircraft on display. It took almost 600 hits in combat and it was named “Patches” for the damage repairs that covered it. Moreover, seven of its crew received the Purple Heart for wounds received in battle. Former C-123 Crew Chief and museum volunteer Tech. Sgt. (Ret.) Ed Kienle will be available to talk to visitors.
Visitors can look inside the X-1B the evening of Feb. 4. On test missions, the X-1B was carried under a "mother" airplane and released between 25,000-35,000 feet. After release, the rocket engine fired under full throttle for less than five minutes. After all fuel and liquid oxygen had been consumed, the pilot glided the airplane to earth for a landing. The X-1B made its last flight in January 1958 and was transferred to the museum a year later. Visitors can learn more about this aircraft from museum volunteer Col. (Ret.) Frank Alfter.
On March 4 visitors will have the opportunity to look inside the A-7D Corsair II and learn more about this tactical close air support aircraft from museum volunteer, and former A-7 pilot, Col. (Ret.) Jack Wilson. Wilson flew A-7Ds at the Springfield Ohio Air National Guard Base. The A-7D on display was delivered to the museum on Jan. 31, 1992.
For a complete schedule of 2021 Thursday evening opening dates, visit https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/Events/.
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 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than 800,000 visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.