DAYTON — National Museum of the U.S. Air Force visitors will have a unique opportunity to meet military reenactors, Star Wars characters, and zoo animals; view or sit inside a cockpit; experience virtual reality; participate in kids activities; take a simulator ride; check out a movie, and much more during “Night at the Air Force Museum” on Friday, Nov. 1, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Organizations scheduled to participate include the Air Force Band of Flight; Air Force Research Laboratory; Air Force Recruiting Service; Boonshoft Museum of Discovery; Columbus Zoo; COSI; RAPTOR Inc; 501st Legion; and 4 Paws for Ability.
From 6 to 9 p.m., RAPTOR Inc. will be on-hand to cultivate respect for nature by teaching the public about the importance of raptors in the environment. Stop by RAPTOR Inc.’s table to get an up-close look at some local birds of prey; touch interesting biological artifacts; hear the sounds of their calls, and speak to the educators to learn why these birds are supreme hunters of the sky.
A special appearance by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is also scheduled to take place from 7 to 8 p.m. as they provide an up-close look at some of their animal ambassadors in the museum’s fourth building.
Throughout the evening, the Air Force Research Lab will conduct STEM demonstrations and offer virtual reality experiences, and visitors will be able to interact with military reenactors, Star Wars characters, or take a photo in an astronaut suit inside the National Aviation Hall of Fame (located between the first and second buildings).
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) will be on-hand with their “Science Spots” traveling science exhibitions, which provide guests with the opportunity to play, explore, and learn about science together. These “Science Spots” will cover a variety of topics such as “Air Cannon;” “Ball Launcher;” “Magnetic Levitation;” “Pyramids;” “Roller Coasters;” and more.
Representatives from the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will conduct interactive activities on astronomy and gravity, as well as a demonstration on “ferrofluid,” with attendees observing the effects of magnetism on iron and its practical applications in the scientific community.
Other activities for kids will include balloon animals; a Bernoulli ghost hunt; jack-o-lantern corn hole; face painting; and a coloring station. Children will also receive candy bags near the Space STEM Learning Node (while supplies last).
Aircraft open for viewing will include the C-7A; C-133A; CV-22B; F-104C; SR-71; F-117 and Tacit Blue. Cockpits available to sit-in will include the A-7D; F-4D; F-16; FB-111A; and T-38, and the Air Force Recruiting Service will bring two pilot training virtual reality simulators.
Artifact displays including rarely seen items related to working animals in the Air Force, from WWI through the space race and beyond will be on exhibit. Visitors can also learn about Air Force mascots through the years.
Visitors may also enjoy the Air Force Band of Flight’s Spirit of Freedom ensemble, which will provide a “strolling” performance throughout the galleries.
In addition, the Air Force Museum Theatre will feature a variety of films every 30 minutes from 5 to 9 p.m., at the discounted rate of $5 per ticket. Films being shown include Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag; Rescue 3D; Journey to Space 3D; and Aircraft Carrier 3D.
The Air Force Museum Store and the Valkyrie Café will be open from 5 to 10 p.m., and the Refueling Café will be open from 6 to 10 p.m.
Some activities are made possible through the generosity of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. (Federal endorsement is not implied.)
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 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.