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Air Force Museum opens new $40.8M building

The long-awaited new building has opened this morning.

The fourth hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, costing $40.8 million and sitting on 224,000 square feet, opened to the public with more than 70 aircraft and aerospace vehicles featured at 8:30 a.m. today.

Nine ribbon-cutters lined up at the “GRAND OPENING” ribbon as gathered visitors counted down from 10 at about 9:15 a.m. The crowd applauded from behind dividers as the ribbon was cut, then moved into the new hangar once the dividers were dropped.

“It’s a lot bigger than I expected it to be,” said Dayton resident Brandon Quigley, who was on hand for the opening. “They have a lot more of the bigger planes that I thought would still be outside. They brought them inside. I love the fact that you can actually go inside some of the carriers now that you couldn’t before, and the kids just absolutely love it.”

The new building allows the Greene County museum to collect pieces from its Global Reach, Presidential, Research and Development and Space galleries in one location.

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The notable aircraft in the new building include the Air Force One that served eight presidents and carried the body of assassinated President John F. Kennedy back from Dallas in 1963, the most powerful rocket ever built by the Air Force (Titan IVB) and the X-15, which tested the limits of pilots and aircraft while experimenting with the edges of space.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE INSIDE?

» SNEAK PEEK: Photos, layout, video and more

» PHOTOS: New building prepares for its ribbon-cutting

COMPLETE COVERAGE

» Expansion gives museum visitors chance to see iconic planes

» Air Force Museum to spread its wings with $40M expansion

» Museum’s new classrooms ‘sneak in all the science and math’

» Captured Vietnam War POW bit his tongue to keep tears from welling

» Witnesses to history: The crews of Air Force One

» Air Force’s top leaders mark opening of new museum hangar

READ ABOUT NOTABLE NEW BUILDING AIRCRAFT

» X-15: Testing the limits of pilots and machines

» SAM 26000: Decades of flying presidents

» Towering Titan IV: Looming over visitors

» XB-70: The massive supersonic bomber

» Hanoi Taxi: A POW savior

» Avrocar: The spaceship-looking test vehicle

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