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Ground broken on Air Force Museum Foundation-funded fourth building

  • Published
  • By Mona Vollmer
  • Air Force Museum Foundation
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force broke ground today on a fourth building to house its ever-expanding collection of historic aviation and aerospace artifacts. The 224,000 square foot building is privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum's facilities.

"The Foundation is thrilled with the success to date of our Expanding the Legacy capital campaign," said Fran Duntz, chairman of the Foundation's Board of Managers. "Foundation members and donors have a deep connection with the museum and the pressing need to inspire future generations to pursue STEM careers and service to their country. Their support made the fourth building possible, and we're extremely grateful."

Fundraising will not end today -- the Air Force Museum Foundation will continue the Expanding the Legacy campaign to raise funds to meet the $46 million campaign goal and to finance additional building options and educational requirements as desired by the Air Force. "Options yet unfunded," noted Duntz, "include theatrical lighting, an aircraft tow path, an additional café and the STEM learning centers."

In a deliberate effort to emphasize and expand STEM education within the museum, plans call for three STEM learning centers in the fourth building. These centers will provide dedicated, high-tech space for lectures, demonstrations and hands-on learning in the midst of large aircraft and space vehicles. "We need to support the growth of our nation's STEM workforce, and the STEM learning centers are a part of the solution," stated Duntz.

Since its inception the Foundation has contributed more than $85.6 million for museum expansion and programs. Contributions include revenues generated by the Foundation's Museum Store, Theatre, Cafés, membership program, Legacy Data Plate sales, simulator rides and investments, as well as donations from individuals, foundations and estates.

For the Expanding the Legacy campaign, the Foundation received large gifts from major national aerospace firms Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce North America, and Northrop Grumman. Other corporate donors include Ohio CAT, Fifth Third Bank, ATK, Stowers Machinery Corporation, and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio. Large private donations were also received from The Berry Family Foundation, The Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, and individuals such as Cy A. Pierquet and Craig Willan.

"We're extremely proud to be partners with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Museum visitors and our donors," remarked Duntz, "and very excited to see construction begin."

The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. was established in 1960 as a philanthropic, nonprofit organization to assist the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and to undertake and advance programs and activities supporting the Museum. For more information on the Air Force Museum Foundation, visit

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the service's national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story from the beginning of military flight to today's war on terrorism. It is free to the public and features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than one million visitors from around the world visit the museum. For more information visit