Museum to extend hours first Thursdays in 2020

Beginning in January 2020, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will provide an option to visit during the evening on the first Thursday of each month.

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

On Jan. 2, visitors can climb aboard the CV-22 Osprey and learn more about it from museum volunteer Bob Recchiuti, who spent time working on it during his college years for Boeing Vertol (now Boeing Defense Systems). Recchiuti was assigned to the dynamics engineering group and performed sub-scale model studies of a tilt rotor in order to determine if any instabilities existed during its transition from helicopter mode to aircraft mode and vice-versa.

Explore ‘Robson’ sculpture tells poignant story of strong bond

The museum will open the cockpit of the B-1B Lancer on Feb. 6 and offer an opportunity to learn more about the bomber from museum volunteer Don Chislaghi, who has over 40 years of engineering experience in the research, development and acquisition of aeronautical systems. During his career, he served as director of Engineering for the B-1B and was responsible for the technical execution of the B-1B Conventional Mission Upgrade Program and all sustainment activities associated with support of the fielded system.

On the evening of March 5, the museum will open the cockpit of the F-100F and invite visitors to learn more about the aircraft from museum volunteer retired Col. Jack Wilson, a former pilot, flight instructor and aircraft commander, who has flown the F-100C and F-100D, as well as the F-4 and F-101. He also participated in 100 Missions North Vietnam and 45 Missions Laos.

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

“If you’re a working couple, sometimes the daytime or even on the weekends is a little tough to visit when you’ve got kids’ events and so forth,” said Tillotson. “Adding an option to visit in the evening addresses a challenge that certain age groups have and provides more opportunities for people to come by and see all that we have to offer.

Other aircraft that will be opened on the first Thursday of each month will be announced on a quarterly basis. For a complete schedule of 2020 Thursday evening opening dates, visit

In addition, on Jan. 2, the Air Force Museum Theatre will show “Fighter Pilot” (3D) at 5 p.m.; “Aircraft Carrier - Guardians of the Sea” (3D) at 5:30 p.m.; “D-Day Normandy 1944” (3D) at 6 p.m.; and “Apollo 11: First Steps” at 7 p.m.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. For more information, visit

About the Author