4 ways to celebrate Dayton’s aviation heritage

We all know that no matter what some *other* states may claim, Dayton is the true birthplace of aviation. From the Wright Brother’s bicycle shop to Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, we are the cradle of flight and everything that follows.

Here are 4 ways you can celebrate Dayton’s aviation heritage.

1.) The Vectren Dayton Air Show

National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Patty Wagstaff will be flying in the 2009 Vectren Dayton Air Show on July 18 and 19. Wagstaff made photo flights on Thursday, July 16.
Photo: Ty Greenlees

The best and the brightest in aviation come out each summer to the Dayton International Airport to see everything from WWII planes, to the latest in combat air machines.

>> Insider’s Guide to the Dayton Air Show

With events, walk-throughs, and even a designated kids’ area, this is one weekend you don’t want to miss.

>> 3 things you didn’t know about the history of the Air Show

2.) The National Air Force Museum

An overhead interior view of the fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The fourth building includes more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries – Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ken LaRock)
Photo: National Museum of U.S. Air Force Public Affairs

Now with four hangars, the AF Museum is free of charge and a wonderful resource on the history of aviation, period.

>> 5 badass planes at the Air Force Museum

Several planes (including an Air Force One previously used for President Kennedy) allow self-guided walk-throughs and educational stations throughout each hangar help bring the majesty of modern flight to your fingertips.

>> 6 things you didn’t know about Dayton’s aviation history

3.) Carillon Park

Dayton History president and CEO Brady Kress with an original 1905 Wright Flyer III in a building at Carillon Park designed by Orville Wright. This airplane was flown at Huffman Prairie by the Wrights and is considered the first practical airplane as it was controlled in climb, descent, turn and bank in ever increasing duration. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Carillon Park helps tell the history of Dayton in an accessible and hyper-realistic way, from the Great Flood to modern technological advances.

>> 15 lesser-known Wright Brothers facts

The Wright Brothers Aviation Center includes the Wright Hall and the Wright Cycle Company building, telling the story of the Wright brothers and showcasing their original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane and a National Historical Landmark. The center is one of the sites of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

4.) Dayton National Aviation Heritage Park

The Showroom area of the Wright Cycle Company on Williams Street. President Barack Obama proposes cutting funding to the National Park Service’s Heritage Areas by $11 million. It’s not clear how that would impact the National Aviation Heritage Area in southwest Ohio, which includes the Wright Cycle shop. JIM WITMER / STAFF
Photo: Jim Witmer

The National Aviation Heritage Area is guided by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, a private, not for profit corporation designated by Congress as the management entity of the heritage area. It seeks to conserve, interpret, develop, and promote the historic resources of the National Aviation Heritage Area. The vision of the Alliance is to make the Dayton region the recognized global center of aviation heritage and premier destination for aviation heritage tourism, sustaining the legacy of the Wright brothers. 

>> 9 things you need to see at Dayton's aviation national park