WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I as one of the nation’s premier historical aviation events brings the excitement and adrenaline of early air power to Ohio, Sept. 22-23 at the National Museum of the US Air Force.
The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will feature vintage reproduction full-scale and 7/8-scale aircraft, such as the Nieuport, SE-5 and Fokker Drive I triplane. Pilots will perform precision flying in the skies above the museum and participate in a mock shoot down of an enemy aircraft, with aircraft launching from and landing on the field behind the museum.
The event will also include period re-enactors in a war encampment setting; era automobiles on display and participating in a parade, flying exhibitions by WWI radio-controlled aircraft; guest speakers and a collector’s show for WWI items.
Additional popular hands-on activities include Buckeye Gamers in Flight’s WWI giant board game, “Wings of Glory,” which provides participants with a better understanding of the war in Europe and the number of countries involved, and Aces Over Wright Field’s aircraft computer simulators for those who want the experience of flying a WWI aircraft.
The museum’s education division will invite those at the event to learn about trajectory by playing a game that challenges participants to hit a target while compensating for wind and gravity. There will also be a trivia game on the museum’s WWI exhibits located inside the museum towards the end of the WWI Gallery.
In addition, several food trucks will offer a variety of dining options and merchandise will be available for sale.
According to WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous public address announcer and the author of “THE STAND: The Final Flight of Lt. Frank Luke, Jr.,” Stephen Skinner, the event will provide the best chance in a lifetime to experience the sights, sounds and smells of WWI aviation.
“You can still see a bit of WWI aviation history by visiting the old battlefields and airfields in France, or at the National Museum of the United States Air Force with a few rare events like the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, but experiencing the sounds and smells are much more difficult because so few original WWI engines and firearms are still in use, and only a lucky few can catch the scent of burning castor oil in an original WWI airplane motor,” said Skinner. “However, this event is one of the few in the world where you can still experience all three.”
Gates will be open each day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Visitors may reach the event site by coming through the “Spinning Road Gate,” located at the intersection of Airway and Spinning Roads (Joe Greene Way), or through the main museum gate on Springfield Street and following the signs that lead to the event area.
The 2018 WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will be the eleventh event offered by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the Great War Aeroplanes Association. The last WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous took place in fall 2016.