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Museum to resume Thursday evening hours once a month

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will remain open until 8 p.m. the first Thursday of each month in 2020. (U.S. Air Force graphic)
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will remain open until 8 p.m. the first Thursday of each month in 2020. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Beginning in August, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will resume evening hours on the first Thursday of each month.

During these select evenings from 5 to 8 p.m., the museum will offer the public an opportunity to get an up-close look at a different aircraft from the collection each month.

On the evening of Aug. 6, visitors will be invited to look in the cargo hold of the C-119J Flying Boxcar. Sixty years ago, this aircraft made the world’s first mid-air recovery of an object returning from space. The C-119J caught the Discoverer XIV satellite using recovery gear lowered from the open rear door. This mechanism snagged the satellite’s parachute, and a winch slowly reeled the film capsule into the aircraft.

Learn more about the aircraft from museum volunteer retired Col. Jerry Millhouse. Millhouse retired from active duty after 21 years of service with command pilot rating. He has flown more than eight different aircraft to include the C-119.

Also on Aug. 6, the museum will open the cockpit of the MiG-29A for viewing, and visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the Soviet aircraft from museum volunteer retired Maj. James Miklasevich. While on active duty, Miklasevich served as T-37 instructor pilot, and F-111A/E aircraft commander and instruction pilot. As a systems engineer and pilot, Miklasevich can give a unique perspective of the capabilities of the MiG-29.

Visitors can look in the cockpit of the RF-4C Phantom II the evening of Sept. 3. This aircraft was delivered to the museum 55 years ago in September 1965. Visitors are invited to learn more about this aircraft from museum volunteer retired Tech. Sgt. Bob Grimm.

Grimm spent his 20-year military career as a jet engine technician. He has worked on more than 14 different airframes, including the RF-4C.

According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director David Tillotson, resuming the evening hours each month will provide another opportunity for visitors whose schedule does not allow them to come during regular business hours.

“During this unique time for families, it can be challenging to get out during the day,” said Tillotson. “These evening hours will provide visitors more time to grab their masks and see our new exhibits.”

For a complete schedule of 2020 Thursday evening opening dates, visit https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/Events/.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than 800,000 visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.