Former F-22 test pilot and Springfield native Paul Metz spoke at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in 2015. The Lockheed F-22A Raptor that Metz flew is on display in the museum. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
“The Raptor combines stealth, maneuverability and the ability to fly long distances at supersonic speeds in performance of air superiority and air-to-ground missions,” the museum said.
The aircraft on display at the museum (S/N 91-4003) rolled off the Lockheed Martin assembly line in Georgia in May 1999. Visitors will have the opportunity to speak with Maj. (ret.) James Miklasevich, a museum volunteer and F-22 systems engineer.
Visitors can walk inside the C-7A Caribou June 19. This twin-engine, short takeoff and landing utility transport aircraft was originally delivered to the U.S. Army in 1961, but in Jan. 1967, the responsibility for all fixed-wing tactical transports was transferred to the U.S. Air Force.
Museum volunteer and former aircraft structural repairman, Senior Master Sgt. (ret.) Jerry Mongelli, will share more information about this aircraft during the event.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director David Tillotson expects “open aircraft days” to be a popular event for visitors.
Thousands of people swarmed onto the airstrip at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in 2017 as World War II era B-25s landed to mark the 75th anniversary of the historic Doolittle Raiders attack against Japan. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF
“We often receive requests from visitors to look inside some of our aircraft and we are happy to accommodate them with this unique opportunity,” Tillotson said. “We will open one aircraft per month for four hours during either a Friday or Saturday, and offer visitors the chance to have an up close look — and sometimes even walk inside the aircraft.”
The schedule of aircraft to be opened each month will be announced in advance on a quarterly basis. For a list of the open aircraft 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.