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Open Aircraft and 'Plane Talks' Return to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Honor of Veterans Day

  • Published
  • By Lisa M. Riley

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will provide another unique opportunity for visitors to honor veterans through our Open Aircraft Day and “Plane Talks” on Saturday, November 13.

There will be more than 30 aircraft and exhibits featured during Plane Talks, which are expected to include the C-141 “Hanoi Taxi,” Minuteman II & II Missiles, F-105G “Thunderchief” and the B1B “Lancer,” to name a few.  More than 40 volunteer subject matter experts will be stationed near the aircraft or exhibit related to their expertise throughout the day. Plane Talks occurs a few times a year, bringing to life the development and service history of the aircraft and exhibits on display at the museum. 

As part of the monthly Open Aircraft Days, visitors can also tour the inside of the KC-97L Stratofreighter from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This event offers a chance to view the interior of the aircraft including the cockpit, observe the upper and lower sections where fuel and cargo were stored, and see the refueling boom operator’s position at the back. The boom operator would “fly” the winged refueling boom to the receiving aircraft, connect and pass fuel in flight, and extend the reach of the mission.

The KC-97L on display was flown by the 160th Air Refueling Group of the Ohio Air National Guard in Operation Creek Party, supporting active duty USAF and NATO units in Europe. On June 7, 1973, the mayor of Zeppelinheim, a town near Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany, christened this aircraft in his town's honor. The Zeppelinheim was flown to the museum in August 1976. Retired Lt. Col. Kenneth Normand, a former KC-97L pilot and museum volunteer, will be with the aircraft to answer questions about the role of the Stratofreighter.

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 thousands of visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit      

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