National Museum of the USAF: Part 3: Modern Military Airplanes (Winter 2013)

This post is the last part presenting some of the photos from the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. As stated in previous two posts (National Museum of USAF: Part 1 WWII Military Airplanes and National Museum of USAF: Part 2: The Cold War), this museum is the “number one museum” for the aviation enthusiast to see in the entire United States if not in the whole world. Without further delay, let’s look at some modern planes!

The first aircraft which I would like to present is the US heavy strategic bomber, Northrop B-2 Spirit. B-2 is a modern aircraft but the beginning of its development has its roots in the

Northrop B-2 Spirit and Boeing X-45A J-UCAS
Northrop B-2 Spirit and Boeing X-45A J-UCAS

time of the Cold War. The United States developed it with idea of attacking the Soviet Union and by use of the “stealth” technology – evade its air defenses.

Northrop B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2 Spirit

B-2 was used for the first time during the Kosovo War, and subsequently in Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns. By looking at this aircraft it is easy to see that the beauty of modern military planes is very different from looks of their predecessors from WW II or Cold War periods.

Another heavy strategic bomber on the display in the National Museum of USAF is the Boeing B-1B Lancer. This platform initially very short lived, because only 4 prototypes of

Boeing B-1B Lancer
Boeing B-1B Lancer

B-1A were build and the program was cancelled in the mid-1970s due to the budget cuts. It was resurrected in the mid-1980s and 100 B-1B were build. The bomber saw action as a conventional bomber during the first Gulf War and in almost every major conflict, including the campaign against ISIS.

Engines of Boeing B-1B Lancer - it looks like Star Wars stuff
Engines of Boeing B-1B Lancer – it looks like Star Wars stuff

This bomber is a true beauty and above photo of its jet exhaust looks like something taken from the “Star Wars.”

Another air platform which is worth mentioning is the Lockheed AC-130. It is based on trusty Lockheed C-130 transport plane. The platform consists of the airframe (C-130), sophisticated ground observation and aiming system and package of armament including 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannons, one Bofors 40mm autocannon, and one 105 mm M102 cannon.

Lockheed AC-130A
Lockheed AC-130A “Azrael”

This particular Lockheed AC-130A “Azrael” destroyed  a significant number of Iraqi military vehicles freeing Kuwait on Al Jahra highway.

The National Museum of the USAF is a fantastic place to visit if you in the Dayton area!

Here are links to my other aviation themed posts: Boeing 747-400, Airbus A380-800, SZD-50 Puchacz, Cold War Opponents: MiG-15 and F-86A Sabre (Winter 2013), B-29 “Bockscar”, Polish glider SZD-51 Junior   modern military airplane, Cold War and Vietnam Era Planes, WW II aircraft, Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”, Aichi M6A1,Vought F4-1D Corsair, Horten HO III F, Panoramas of Museum, Restoring the gloryWW II airplanes, Modern Military aircraft.

Please enjoy some of the photos:


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