Towering Titan IV rocket will loom over visitors at new Air Force Museum hangar


What: Latest addition to the National Museum of the United States Air Force

Where: 1100 Spaatz St, Dayton (directions)

When: Opening Wednesday, June 8. The museum will hold a ribbon-cutting event at 9:15 a.m. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force will open its new 224,000-square-foot fourth building on Wednesday, June 8. In the days leading up to the opening, the Dayton Daily News will feature notable aircraft that will be on display in the new building.

When the United States needed to shoot things into space, it needed big rockets.

The Titan IVB was the biggest of them all in the Air Force, and it will be the biggest feature in the new fourth building at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

It was the product of a long line of powerful rockets and missiles and was the Air Force's largest expendable rocket. Its power boosted satellites into space before the parts fell away.

In eight years from 1997-2005, the rocket guided 17 successful launches, including the spacecraft that was sent to study Saturn and its moon Titan.

Massive at 204 feet long and 192,000 pounds, it will be displayed about 13 feet above visitors' heads in the new building. Workers had to reassemble the rocket inside the building after moving it in pieces.

"It's a very imposingly large vehicle," said Doug Lantry, a curator at the Air Force Museum. "Very impressive."

The museum's new building opens to the public on Wednesday.

» RELATED: Full sneak peek into the new building, with more than 70 aircraft

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