WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE —Celebrate National Aviation Day with free educational activities at Family Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
National Aviation Day is a celebration of all things related to aviation and is held on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday — 146 years ago on Aug. 19 in Dayton.
During Family Day, museum visitors will learn about achievements in aviation and aerospace from the Wright brothers’ first flight to modern Air Force technology. Activities include hands-on demonstrations, build and fly balsa gliders, presentations and storytime.
The hands-on aviation and space demonstrations are appropriate for all ages and take place throughout the day. A variety of activities showcasing Air Force technology past, present and future will take place in the STEM Learning Node located in the Space and Research & Development Gallery and include a wind tunnel, nanotechnology and more.
Visitors will additionally be able to build and fly their own balsa glider to help them learn about controlling an aircraft in flight. This activity will take place in the center of the second building from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., while supplies last.
The Air Force Research Lab, Sensors Directorate, will provide presentations on what it is like to be a scientist or engineer for the Air Force, and includes an opportunity to play a game called SensorCraft. The computer game allows players to change gravity, learn how to build structures or even launch a rocket. Presentations will begin at 10 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.
MacAir Aviation LLC. will also be providing presentations led by pilots and flight instructors. Topics include learning to fly, how the first pilots learned to fly and what it is like to fly as an aerobatic pilot in an airshow. In addition to the presentations, visitors will have the opportunity to try their hand at flying on desktop simulators.
Four other presentations will be held in the STEM Learning Node located in the Presidential Gallery. Topics include “spy” satellites, drones, X-planes and presidential aircraft. Presentations will begin at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:15 and 3:15 and will last about 45 minutes each. Doors will remain open throughout the presentation for those unable to stay for the duration.
Younger visitors will enjoy a storytime program at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1:15 p.m. in the STEM Learning Node located in the Presidential Gallery. This activity will feature stories of flight as well as a hands-on craft project.
All activities are free and open to the public. No advanced reservations are necessary. Visit the museum’s website or call the education division at 937-255-4646 for additional information.