Wow! Just wow!
Booked in for a 3pm Fighter Pilot 3D movie in the IMAX style theatre. Grabbed a map of the hangars and just in total bewilderment already.
What an amazing museum!
First into the Early Years exhibition with everything from first ballooning to the most famous Wright Brothers and their flying machines, paving the way for many aircraft to come in the years since.
Three hours later, we have only completed the first gallery and viewed the art exhibit, Holocaust Memorial display and tribute to Bob Hope and his years of entertaining troops.
Picked up our souvenir photo, had a coffee and then headed to the souvenir shop while waiting for the movie.
We will be back tomorrow because there are technically 9 more galleries to see and we aren't missing out on this!
So yesterday we went back and checked out the massive display of WWII. Finished in Hangar 1 we looked at the Hall of Fame and into Hangar 2 for the Southeast Asia and Korean War galleries.
There is a lot of photography and artefacts throughout with just a staggering amount of aircraft and equipment. In fact through all the exhibits this is the same. Many of which have been donated or, as in the case of the vehicles and aircraft, when they have been decommissioned from service.
Of course the museum IS the National Museum of The U.S. Air Force but throughout there is mention and records of service men and women from other Allied Nations including Australia, Britain, Canada to name but a very few.
Sunday I mentioned we were going to see the 3D movie – Fighter Pilot, Project Red Flag. An amazing view of the top pilots training at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada (just outside of Las Vegas, we saw the base when we were there last year). Yesterday we watched Aircraft Carriers, 3D, ALSO an exercise involving military from around the world. Both films were about 25mins long and if you find anything online about them they are definitely worth the watch.
The rain had cleared in the afternoon again so we took advantage to see the Memorial Park as well.
This morning we got there early – doors ready to open early – heading to the 3rd hangar with the Cold War Gallery and current Air Force Operations.
We passed through the Berlin Airlift Exhibit and the Missile hall and on to the final new fourth hangar that houses research and development, space, global reach and presidential displays.
We were told you needed at least a full day if not more and that certainly proved to be true. It has taken us essentially 2 full days. It was most definitely worth it. It's free, but food and drinks, souvenir's, photos, theatre and the simulators are basically your donation to the museum. Prices were more than reasonable and photography is allowed in every part of the museum. (She says, some 500 odd photos later)