Location

Dayton Aviation Heritage National 

Historical Park 

16 S. Williams St., Dayton, OH 45402

Visitor Center:

There are seasonal hours during the fall and winter months.  Please call  937-225-7705 

for the current park schedule.

CONTACT AVIATION TRAIL, INC.:

© 2014 by Aviation Trail, Inc. 

Website created by CS Design Studios, LLC

Maintained by Aviaion Trail, Inc.

 

Subscribe to "The Flight Log", the ATI electronic Newsletter, for updates and announcements

Aviation Trail, Inc. - In Partnership with the National Park Service

 

Trail Sites & Wilbear Wright

The Dayton Aviation Trail is a self-guided tour of selected, aviation-related sites open to the public.  The Trail was established in 1981 by Aviation Trail, Inc., an all-volunteer, not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to preserve and promote the Dayton's area's unique aviation heritage, starting with the invention of the airplane by Wilbur and Orville Wright.  That heritage continues on to today's aerospace projects of the future now under development at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  Tour a minimum of eight of the 17 amazing aviation sites listed below using our brochure and receive a FREE "Wilbear Wright" aviation teddy bear!

Download and print a passport brochure & map using the button above, or pick one up at one of the participating sites.

To receive your free “Wilbear Wright” aviator teddy 

bear, please mail your completed passport to:

 

“Wilbear Wright” 

c/o Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center 

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park 

16 S. Williams Street, Dayton, OH 45402

 

Or your bear may be picked up in person from a 

National Park Service Ranger at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive center.

A small Wilbear picture appears in the listings below with each location where you can get your passport stamped.

The Aviation Trail site listings have recently been re-numbered so that they match the traditional Wilbear sites.

*Starting points are indicated with an orange asterisk * on site listings.
• Start your tour at one of the four Wilbear Headquarters* where staff is available to get you      started with site information and travel directions.
• The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center (Site #1a) is required to qualify for a Wilbear.

Trail Site Descriptions 1 - 17

Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center
1a. Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and Aviation Trail Visitor Center

16 South Williams Street

Dayton, OH  45402

(937) 225-7705

view Visitor Center page

The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center is located in the Hoover Block building part of this complex. The Aviation Trail Visitor Center is in the Aviation Trail building. Wilbur and Orville Wright had a job printing business in a second floor corner suite of the building from 1890 - 1895. One of their printing clients was Paul Laurence Dunbar, a former classmate of Wilbur Wright, and later an internationally known black poet. The name of the interpretive center reflects this special relationship.  The exhibits tell about the lives of the three men and about the West Side neighborhood in which the building is located.  The Hoover Block/Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center is a unit of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

 

*

Required Wilbear Site

Aviation Trail Parachute Museum
1b. Aviation Trail Parachute Museum

16 South Williams Street

Dayton, OH  45402

(937) 443-0793

view Parachute Museum page

The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum is located on the second floor of the Aviation Trail Visitor Center. The Museum tells the story of the development of the free fall parachute from its invention at Dayton’s McCook Field after World War I, up to the vital role it plays in safely landing today’s spacecraft.

The time line around the soffit of the exhibit space highlights significant events in the history of the parachute. The Museum also includes interactive exhibits, artifacts, historic photographs and text. The museum maintains what is considered one of the most comprehensive private parachute collections in the world, with research materials permanently housed at Wright State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives.

 

Wright Brothers Bike Shop
1c. The Wright Cycle Company

16 South Williams Street

Dayton, OH  45402

(937) 225-7705

www.nps.gov/daav

This building is one of only two original Wright brothers' buildings still standing at their original locations in the West Side neighborhood where Wilbur and Orville lived, worked and invented the airplane.  The other is the nearby Hoover Block building (Site 1a).  The building was saved from demolition by Aviation Trail, Inc. before it was acquired by the National Park Service after the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park was created in 1992. The Wright brothers occupied the building from 1895 to 1897, manufacturing bicycles on the first floor and operating a job printing business on the second floor.  During this period, Wilbur and Orville also took their first steps on the road to inventing the airplane, their Flyer I, in 1903.

2. Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

219 North Paul Laurence St.

Dayton, Ohio 45402

(937) 225-7705

https://www.ohiohistory.org/visit/museum-and-site-locator/paul-laurence-dunbar-house

email: daav_info@nps.gov

Explore the life, times and creativity of an author and poet laureate at the vanguard of African American literature by visiting the restored home where Paul Laurence Dunbar lived his last years.

3a. Wright Brothers Memorial

2380 Memorial Road • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433

(937) 425-0008

www.nps.gov/daav

 

The memorial is located at the top of Wright Brothers Hill, overlooking the Huffman Prairie Flying Field where Wilbur and Orville conducted tests of their early flying machines in 1904 and 1905 and where the Wright School of Aviation operated a flying school from 1910 to 1916. A plaque on the  stone wall surrounding the plaza around the Memorial lists the names of the 119 pilots trained at Huffman Prairie. 

The Interpretive Center’s exhibits focus on the Wright brothers’ experimental flights at Huffman Prairie Flying Field in 1904 and 1905, and on The Wright Company’s flying school at Huffman Prairie from 1910 to 1916. The Interpretive Center also covers the history of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from its beginnings at McCook Field in Dayton during World War I, up to its contributions to the aerospace projects of the future.

3b. Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center

2380 Memorial Road • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433

(937) 425-0008

www.nps.gov/daav

*

OPERATIONS NOTICE: The Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center will be CLOSED from October 27 through November 9, 2019 due to construction projects surrounding the site. The Huffman Prairie Flying Field will remain open dawn to dusk every day. We apologize for the inconvenience.

3c. Huffman Prairie Flying Field

Gate 16A off Route 444

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433

(937) 425-0008

www.nps.gov/daav

 

After their historic first flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers continued the development of their invention at Huffman Prairie field in 1904 and 1905. Later, the Wright Company operated a flying school at Huffman Prairie from 1910 to 1916.  Today, the field remains much as it was when Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their experimental airplanes over Torrence Huffman’s pasture. 

4. Carillon Historical Park

1000 Carillon Historical Park

Dayton, OH  45409

(937) 293-2841

www.daytonhistory.org

*

$ Entrance Fee

Among the attractions at this unique, 65-acre outdoor museum is the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world's first practical airplane.  The Flyer III, housed in Wright Hall, was restored under the personal direction of Orville Wright.  Wright Hall is flanked by the Wilbur and Orville Wright Wings and is connected to a replica of the bicycle shop in which the Wright brothers built their 1903 airplane.  These buildings comprise the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum at Carillon Historical Park, a unit of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, managed by Dayton History. 

5. National Museum of the United States Air Force

1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, OH 45431

(937) 255-3286

www.nationalmuseum.af.mil

*

The world's largest military aviation museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles from the beginnings of military flight to today's stealth technology. Thousands of personal artifacts, photographs and documents further highlight the people and events that comprise the Air Force storyline. Tour the 19 acres of indoor exhibit space and see noteworthy aircraft such as the only permanent public exhibit of a B-2 stealth bomber, and the B-17F Memphis Belle™, one of the most recognizable symbols of World War II, and board the space shuttle exhibit and four of nine presidential aircraft. While at the museum you can ride a flight simulator, enjoy a 3D movie, eat in one of the two cafés, and shop in the museum store. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Free admission and free parking.

6. National Aviation Hall of Fame

P.O. Box 31096

Dayton, Ohio 45437

(937) 256-0944

1100 Spaatz St. • Dayton, Ohio 45433

www.nationalaviation.org

The Hall of Fame is co-mingled with the National Museum of the United States Air Force (Site 5).  The National Aviation Hall of Fame has been adding up to five inductees each year since 1962. The exhibits in the Learning and Research Center tell the story of the history of American aviation with the emphasis on the aviation pioneers who made major contributions to its development. The Harry B. Combs Research Center includes a wall with the portraits of each of the enshrinees, as well as interactive access to information about each of the individuals. Other attractions include interactive exhibits and displays organized around the theme of notable eras in the history of aviation in the United States.

7. Hawthorn Hill
(Tours provided by Carillon Historical Park)
1000 Carillon Blvd. 

Dayton, OH  45409

(937) 293-2841

www.daytonhistory.org

$ Entrance Fee

Wednesdays and Saturdays by advance, prepaid reservation

Experience the Oakwood mansion that Orville Wright called home for nearly 35 years. The home of the man who invented flight and changed the world is available for educational tours. Tours are by reservation.

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
8. Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum

118 Woodland Avenue

Dayton, OH  45409

(937) 228-3221

www.woodlandcemetery.org

Wilbur and Orville Wright, their parents Milton and Susan and their sister Katharine are buried in the Wright family plot in Woodland Cemetery.  Their friend poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and his mother Matilda are buried nearby in the same section. In 2003, the remains of infant twins Otis and Ida Wright were removed from Greencastle cemetery, where they were buried in 1870, to Woodland Cemetery, where they have now joined their parents and three siblings in the Wright family plot. A lookout on the top of a hill provides a panoramic view of downtown Dayton. CD’s for self-guided tours and maps showing the locations of the graves of prominent Daytonians are available in the office.

Wright B Flyer look-alike
9. Wright "B" Flyer

Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport

10550 Springboro Pike (Rt. 741)

Miamisburg, Ohio 45342

(937) 885-2327

www.wright-b-flyer.org

The Wright “B” Flyer is a flyable look-alike of the world’s first mass-produced airplane, manufactured in The Wright Company factory in Dayton from1910 to 1911. The look alike was built by a group of local aviation enthusiasts and the airplane is housed in a hangar that is similar to the Wright brothers’ 1910 hangar at Huffman Prairie Flying Field.

Wright State University Archives
10. Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, Ohio 45435
Special Collections and Archives
Paul Laurence Dunbar Library
(937) 775-2092

www.libraries.wright.edu/special/

Wright State University, named for Wilbur and Orville Wright, is home to the world's largest Wright brothers' manuscript collection. Housed in Special Collections and Archives, it includes the Wrights' own technical and personal library, family papers, letters, diaries, financial records, genealogical files, awards, certificates, medals, albums, recordings, and technical drawings, as well as over 4,000 photographs documenting the invention of the airplane and the lives of the Wright Family. The Archives also holds over 400 additional aviation history collections. A full scale replica of the Wrights' 1903 Flyer hangs in the library atrium and selected items from the collections are on exhibit in the Archives' Reading Room.

Champaign Aviation Museum
11. Historic WACO Field and Airplane Museum

1865 S. County Rd. 25A

Troy, Ohio 45373

(937) 335-9226

www.wacoairmuseum.org

$ Entrance Fee

The WACO airfield is a working airfield reminiscent of the grass airfields of the 1930s and 1940s, the approximate era (mid-1920s to World War II) during which the airplanes built at the WACO factory in Troy dominated the civilian airplane market. The WACO Airplane Museum includes aircraft, artifacts, historic photographs and other exhibits related to the WACO Aircraft Company and the aircraft it produced. In addition to the museum, the airfield buildings also house a Learning Center, vintage aircraft restoration area, reference library and gift shop. Also, one section of the airfield is available for radio-controlled model airplane flying throughout the year.

Armstrong Air and Space Museum
12. Armstrong Air & Space Museum

500 Apollo Dr.

Wapakoneta, Ohio  45895

(419) 738-8811

www.armstrongmuseum.org

 

 

$ Entrance Fee

On July 20, 1972, three years to the day after NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong, a native of Wapakoneta, walked on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the Armstrong Air & Space Museum opened with Armstrong present.  Not a static museum, it features seven interactive exhibits, 10 audio/visual elements and three simulators.  Visitors can practice landing the lunar module and space shuttle, or docking the Gemini capsule.  There are also the Gemini VIII spacecraft, Armstrong's Gemini and Apollo spacesuits, Apollo 11 moon rock and two aircraft flown by Armstrong - one a yellow Aeronca Champion.  In the Astro Theater, visitors can watch a 25-minute documentary about Apollo 11's lunar landing.

13. Champaign Aviation Museum

1636 N. Main St.

Urbana, Ohio 43078

 (937) 652-4710 • Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 4

www.champaignaviationmuseum.org 

Staff at this museum, located at Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio, restore and preserve World War II-era aircraft to flying condition.  Work is underway currently on a B-17G Flying Fortress Champaign Lady which was used by Curtiss-Wright Corp. as a test bed for experimental turbo-prop and turbojet engines and propeller research.  On the B-17G will be a section from another B-17 used in filming Twelve O'Clock High with Gregory Peck.  Other aircraft on display include a B-25N Mitchell, a C-47 Skytrain, an A-26 Invader, an S-10 and a 1939 Fairchild 24R.

 

Grimes Flying Lab
14. Grimes Flying Lab

1652 N. Main St.

Urbana, Ohio 43078

(877) 873-5764 and

(937) 652-4319 (weekends)

www.aviationheritagearea.org/location/historic-grimes-field/ or

www.facebook.com/GrimesFlyingLab

Located at Grimes Field in Urbana, the "lab" is a Beech 18 that served the U.S. Air Forces as a C-45 and was modified to a C-45H as a test bed for aircraft nighttime lighting systems.  The aircraft was a valuable tool for engineers who worked for Warren G. Grimes - the father of aircraft lighting - before and during World War II to advance developments for safer flight at night.  Grimes produced his first airplane lights in his garage in 1933 and by World War II his company had grown to produce lighting for military aviation.  Besides memorabilia from Grimes' life and Grimes Manufacturing Co., historical and modern aircraft lighting products are displayed.

 

15. Tri-State Warbird Museum
4021 Borman Drive
Batavia OH 45103
(513) 735-4500

www.tri-statewarbirdmuseum.org

A historic aviation museum dedicated to remembering those who fought for our freedom, and honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

The Tri-State Warbird Museum was formed in 2003 and opened to the public in 2004 with a commitment to preserve the aircraft of World War II, educate visitors on America’s role in WWII, and to honor the veterans who fought and whose who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Since Museum’s 24,000 sq. foot. hangar and 5,000 sq. foot. museum display space at the Clermont County Airport has opened over 1.5 million people have toured the facility and/or seen the restored aircraft gracing the skies at airshows around the country. 

 

Continuing to grow, the Tri-State Warbird Museum aircraft collection now consists of nine significant WWII aircraft with additional acquisitions planned for the future.  The Museum seeks to play a significant role in educating local youth about American history.

 

Butler County Warbirds, Inc.

16. Butler County Warbirds, Inc.
Headquartered at Middletown Regional Airport
1707 Run Way
Middletown, Ohio 45042
513-702-3062

www.bcwarbirds.com

Butler County Warbirds, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, was formed for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining historic aircraft and establishing a series of mobile and permanent historical displays for use in educating and entertaining the public.

 

The museum display is now open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm.  Admission is free.  The hangar is located at the corner of Wedekind and Germantown roads at the Middletown Regional Airport.

 

Rides can be reserved a Fairchild PT-19 trainer.  Experience flight in this historic World War II aircraft which trained many of the WWII aces and bomber pilots of the 1940s.

 

Reservations or additional information can be obtained via e-mail to tim@bcwarbirds.com or by telephone at (513) 702-3062.

 

17. Sinclair National UAS Training and Certification Center
Sinclair College • 444 West Third Street • Dayton, Ohio 45402
(927) 512-4900 •uascenter@sinclair.edu
http://uas.sinclair.edu/

Located on the Sinclair College Dayton Campus in Building 13, the Sinclair National UAS Training and Certification Center and Aviation Technology facilities lead the nation in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and traditional aviation training and education, applied research and development, consulting, and STEM outreach. The site’s Wilbear stamp and additional information about the facility and programs are available at a kiosk located in the first-floor lobby and free parking is available in Lot K off Perry Street. Visitors can complete a self-guided tour of the glass-walled facility during normal college hours, which are posted on the primary college website at www.sinclair.edu.
 

CLICK HERE to learn about bicycling on area bike trails to sites on the Aviation Trail.