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Air Force museum celebrating new building opening

DAYTON, Ohio (AFRNS) -- On June 11 and 12, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will come alive with special activities celebrating the grand opening of its fourth building.  The new building features 10 presidential aircraft and a collection of flight test aircraft, along with the space shuttle exhibit and huge cargo planes.

Visitors can climb aboard the space shuttle exhibit, walk through four presidential and three cargo aircraft, and try out the Air Force Museum Foundation's new suite of simulator rides, including the Pulseworks' Virtual Reality Transporter, the first of its kind in North America featuring an exclusive Space Voyage experience.

Entertaining and educational activities take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. The museum and a number of partner organizations will offer free hands-on activities for all ages, including educational demonstrations, special costumed characters, the Air Force's customized Vapor Special Ops Supercar, plus several displays from the Air Force and other groups. Most activities are free, although there is a cost for simulator rides and movies at the Air Force Museum Theatre.

The 224,000 square foot fourth building, which opens to the public June 8, will house more than 70 aircraft, missiles and space vehicles in four new galleries - Space, Research & Development, Global Reach and Presidential. Three dedicated, interactive educational spaces, known as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Learning Nodes, will accommodate student-centered, technology-enhanced learning through hands-on programs, demonstrations and lectures. When not in use for structured educational programming, there will be a variety of programs available for visitors, including science and engineering demonstrations, hands-on activities, special presentations, videos and more.

Visit the museum's website at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Expansion.aspx for up-to-date details.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. It is the world's largest military aviation museum, according to officials, and offers 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 nearly 1 million visitors from around the world visit the museum.  (Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force)