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Aviation Trail, Inc. Events: 2023

Aviation Trail and the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum

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Aviation Trail, and the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum presented displays at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum Community Event on July 24, 2023 and at the Golden Anniversary Fly-In event at WACO Air Museum on September 16, 2023. See reports on these events, with photos, on the Parachute Museum page on this website (under "Parachute Museum News"). 

Aviation Trail, Inc. Events: 2022

Aviation Trail at WACO Fly-In

Aviation Trail, and the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum presented a display at the 29th Annual Vintage Aircraft Fly-In event at WACO Air Museum on September 17, 2022.

Visitors to the Parachute Museum display could try on a parachute, listen to presentations on parachute history, and learn about different types of parachutes, air resistance and freefall.


Aviation Trail brochures were handed out, and "Wilbear" was on hand to introduce families to the Aviation Trail program that allows kids to win a Wilbear Wright® teddy bear by visiting a required number of Aviation Trail sites (see HERE for info on the Wilbear program) . 


(CLICK HERE to read more about the WACO Fly-In event on the blog post of August 12 on this website. The post also includes a link to more photos from the event). 

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WPAFB Engineers Tour Parachute Museum

Thanks to our visitors from WPAFB, and to Dr. Jean Potvin from St. Louis University for participating in the program.

On Friday, August 12, 2022 a group of engineers and engineering students/interns from Air Force Research Laboratory and various other departments at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base visited the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum for a presentation and tour.


Above photo: Dr. Jean Potvin seated at right, Curator Randy Zuercher standing.

Parachute expert Dr. Jean Potvin, a physicist at St. Louis University, and Randy Zuercher, Curator of the Parachute Museum conducted an introductory session and discussion, and then led the group on a tour of the facilities. Dr. Potvin was in town earlier in the week to hold a class on parachute technology for engineers at the base which Curator Zuercher also attended. At that time the visit was arranged for the engineers to come to the museum. A friend and supporter of the museum, Dr. Potvin had previously visited the museum in July of 2021 (see story) and was pleased to help with the tour.


Above photo: Curator Zuercher on left; Dr. Potvin on right.


The guests were able to spend a couple of hours getting acquainted with the story of the Parachute Museum and its collection both in the main gallery and the storage/archive area for a behind the scenes look at select objects that are out of the public eye.

More photos in slide show below:
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For more on the Parachute Museum see:

Parachute Museum Hosts Army Golden Knights Parachute Team Members

SSG Jason Bauder and SGT Nick Corozco. two members of the Army Golden Knights, the elite Army parachute demonstration team visited the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum on Wednesday , July 27, 2022. They were in Dayton preparing for the team's performance at the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show on the subsequent weekend at the Dayton International Airport.

(SSG Bauder on left, SGT Corozco on right in photo) 

Photos from visit in slide show below:

Left to right:

SSG Jason Bauder

SGT Nick Corozco

Museum Curator Randy Zuercher

Parachute Museum curator Randy Zuercher led them on a tour of the museum facility and acquainted them with the museum collection. The tour included the storage area with many of the artifacts that do not appear in the public area of the museum due to space restrictions. The visitors had time to look at items of interest in detail, and discussed their experience in many areas of parachute technology besides their jumping duties. They were impressed with the museum and thankful for the chance to experience it first hand.    


Curator Zuercher announced that “This was an opportunity to show off our collection and talk shop with one of the very best skydiving teams anywhere. We are excited to have this opportunity to remind the community that Dayton Ohio is where it all started as the home of the first Freefall parachute jump happened here at McCook Field”.


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.


For more: Army Golden Knights


For more on the Parachute Museum see:

Parachute Museum Displays at Armstrong Air & Space Event

The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum was one of the featured displays at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in conjunction with the Wapakoneta Summer Moon Festival community event on Saturday July 16, 2022.


Visitors to the display could try on a parachute, listen to presentations on parachute history, see demonstrations of parachute aerodynamics, learn about different types of parachutes, learn about air resistance and freefall, and more. (To see more photos from the event see the blog post of July 19 on this website - CLICK HERE).


The Wapakoneta Summer Moon Festival community event was held from July 12 through 17 in the hometown of Neil Armstrong. For additional photos of the event activities CLICK HERE.


Learn more about the Parachute Museum at

Aviation Trail Sites Meeting

Kickoff of "Wilbear" Program for 2022-2023

Representatives from fourteen Aviation Trail sites were present on April 13, 2022 for a site meeting hosted by ATI at the Aviation Trail Visitor Center. ATI president Steve Brown welcomed the group and opened discussion so that representatives could share news and updates about their sites.


Pictured below: ATI president Steve Brown, seated at the far right. Standing next to him is Marvin Christian, discussing the "Wilbear" program.

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The meeting was used to introduce updates to the popular “Wilbear” program for 2022-2023. The program has been in place for several years to encourage visits to the trail sites. Visitors to the sites can receive a stamp in a passport brochure, and by accumulating stamps from at least eight different sites, can qualify for a FREE "Wilbear" aviation teddy bear. (See the “Trail Sites” page on the website for the full details and requirements). ATI’s Marvin Christian explained the changes and new policies for the program. One of the new features of the program is that there will now be seven sites where visitors who complete the eight stamps can pick up their bear.

These distribution/pick up sites are:

#4 Dayton History (Carillon Park)

# 9 Wright "B" Flyer

#11 WACO Air Museum

#12 Armstrong Air & Space Museum

#13 Champaign Aviation Museum

#15 Tri-State Warbird Museum

#16 Butler County Warbirds

A new update of the Aviation Trail brochure was also introduced, and cartons were provided to the site representatives. The brochure contains the “passport” page for receiving the stamps and includes the updated policies to the program. Visitors can pick up the new brochure at the sites and it can also be download from the ATI website. Supplies of the bears were also provided to the distribution sites.

After the meeting, the attendees all celebrated Wilbur Wright’s April 16 birthday (155th) with cake and refreshments.

Aviation Trail thanks the site representatives for attending and helping to kickoff the “new” Wilbear program.

Thanks to:

Sites 1a, 1c, 2, 3a, 3b, 3c Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park Supt. Kendell Thompson

Site 1b Aviation Trail Parachute Museum Randy Zuercher

Sites 4 & 7 Carillon Historical Park/Hawthorn Hill Alex Heckman, Emily Teters

Site 5 National Museum of USAF Lisa Riley

Site 9 Wright “B” Flyer Don Adams

Site 10 WSU Special Coll. & Archives Jane Wildermuth

Site 11 WACO Air Museum Patty Wagner, Rachel Currie, Dawn Currie

Site 12 Armstrong Air & Space Museum Deanna Kindell

Site 13 Champaign Aviation Museum Jessica Henry

Site 15 Tri-State Warbird Museum Noah Stegman Rechtin

Site 16 Butler County Warbirds Tim Epperhart, Michelle Smith

Site 17 Sinclair National UAS Training & Cert. Ctr. Dr. Andrew Shepherd


Attendees included 14 members of the Aviation Trail board of trustees.


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Aviation Trail, Inc. Events: 2021

Parachute Museum Displays at 2021 Festival of Flight

Aviation Trail, Inc. Parachute Museum, Dayton, Ohio, joined the Festival of Flight at Wright State University, Saturday, September 25, 2021, along with some of the Miami Valley's leading aviation and community organizations dedicated to flight.  The festival celebrated aviation and the importance in the home of aviation on the annual Wright Brothers Day, when Wilbur Wright flew 39 minutes on Huffman Prairie in 1905. 


Aviation Trail and the Parachute Museum was there to raise parachutes and celebrate the 102nd Anniversary of the first freefall. Visitors were able to try on a parachute and learn about parachute history.


Special Guest at the Parachute Museum

Research physicist and parachute expert, Dr. Jean Potvin, visited the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum on July 16, 2021.

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As a friend and supporter of the museum, Dr. Jean Potvin, a physicist at St. Louis University, has been a regular contributor to the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum twitter feed. For his first in-person visit to the museum, he drove in from St. Louis with several crates full of parachute related materials from his personal collection to share with the committee. His vast collection includes parachutes, ejection seats, and volumes of documentation on the items. With his impressive academic background, his experience as a test and sport parachutist with over 2600 jumps, plus an enthusiastic presentation, he captivated the committee with details on the materials, parachute history & technology, ejection systems, and many interesting parachuting stories.


The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of collaboration between Dr. Potvin and the Parachute Museum, allowing some of his parachutes and ejection seats to stored and displayed at the museum. One of his goals is to make his items more easily available for public view. This will be explored further in the coming months. After the meeting Parachute Museum Curator Randy Zuercher led a tour of the museum, so Dr. Potvin could get a first hand idea of the scope and layout of the museum and its storage areas.


After arriving back home the next day, Dr. Potvin texted back to Randy: “I very much enjoyed my time talking chutes and museum with you, Steve and Andrew. Looking forward to my next trip to Dayton.”


For more on Dr. Jean Potvin’s academic credentials, publications, and field of studies, see this link:

Aviation Trail, Inc. Events: 2020

Aviation Trail Trailblazer Award

Aviation Trail's 2020 and 2021 Trailblazer Awards have been postponed pending development of COVID 19 precautions. Watch for announcements of the recipient and the details of the next presentation.

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CLICK HERE to see the Trailblazer Award page for more on the award and a list of past recipients.

Aviation Trail, Inc. Events: 2019

December 17, 2019
116th Anniversary of Powered Flight Celebration

Aviation Trail Inc. held it's program for its annual celebration of the Anniversary of Powered Flight on the evening of Tuesday, December 17 at the Engineers Club of Dayton, 110 East Monument Ave. Dayton, OH 45402 .

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It featured Brigadier General Paul Cooper (retired) presenting the topic of “Aviation in the Roaring 20’s”.


CLICK HERE for the “Event Page” for more a report on the event with photos.

August 17, 2019
Aviation Trail Trailblazer Award

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Aviation Trail's 2019 Trailblazer Award was presented at a free ice cream social at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Saturday afternoon, Aug. 17.

The recipients were Neil Armstrong (posthumously) for his first man on the moon achievement 50 years ago, and the Armstrong Air & Space Museum for memorializing Armstrong, the moon landing, and Ohio Aviation. 

Click the button below to see the report and photos from the 2019 Trailblazer Award: 




CLICK HERE to see a list of the past yearly Trailblazer recipients.

Aviation Trail Parachute Museum Events

Appearances, Programs and Presentations

June, July, and August 2019

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Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger
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On Saturday, June22, 2019 The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum will be exhibiting at the 2019 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger. The air show takes place on June 22 & 23 at The Dayton International Airport. For information and schedules see

The Parachute Museum will also be presenting programs at various locations of the Dayton Metro Library in June, July  and August:
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• On Saturday June 29, 1 to 4 PM, the Parachute Museum will have a display at the Party in the Park at Cooper Park behind the Main Library  -  a celebration of summer learning by the Dayton Metro Library w/music, hands-on activities, storytimes, prizes, presentations, contests, and more.  See the information and map of Party in the Park at

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"Space Parachutes" at the Library
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• On Monday, July 29 the Parachute Museum will present “Space Parachutes” at the Main Library @ 7:00p to 8:00p, Community Room 2A. 2nd Floor:

In celebration of the anniversary of landing on the moon. Parachutes have been a critical part of most US space programs.  From bringing astronauts safely back to earth, to landing probes on Mars, parachutes have played a key role.  This presentation will discuss the ways parachutes have been used in space programs and the types of parachutes utilized for each application; including some local ties to the parachute technology development.  

• On Thursday, Aug. 1 the Parachute Museum will present “Space Parachutes” at the Miamisburg Library @ 6:30p to 7:30p, Community Room

• On Thursday, Aug. 8 the Parachute Museum will present “Space Parachutes” at the Vandalia Library @ 7:00p to 8:00p, Community Room

February 27, 2019:

Aviation Trail, Inc. Sites and the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau

Public Relations Conference


Aviation Trail Visitor Center

16 S. Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402

February 27, 2019      9:30 a.m.

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Conference of Aviation Trail Sites

Aviation Trail, Inc and the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted representatives of member sites on the "Trail" on February 27th at the Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center & Aviation Trail Visitor Center for a discussion of site promotional plans for the future. Representatives from most of the sites were present to discuss site updates and exchange information.

The Convention Bureau premiered Jim Bucher’s recent videos of historical aviation locations in our area. The video will be featured on the Bureau’s website, and flashdrives were distributed to the ATI sites for their own website and other promotional usage. Copies will also be made available to the news media throughout the Ohio area.

The video is also viewable on the Video page on this website: CLICK HERE


Aviation Trail provided information on our brochure and “Wilbear Wright” programs along with an update on our Fish Market and Pekin Theater building plans. Attending site spoke on their current activities and thoughts on how we all might work closer together in advancing our aviation heritage. Aviation Trail urged member sites to send information on their site activities and updates for inclusion in he ATI website.

Aviation Trail, Inc. is very proud of our nearly thirty-six year history as a non-profit all volunteer organization. We estimate well over one million brochures promoting aviation sites have been distributed in that time. There are more than 10,000+ “Wilbear”Wright” bears in homes around the world earned by experiencing the member sites.

Aviation Trail thanks all who attended for their valuable input.

Aviation Trail, Inc. Events: 2018

April 21, 2018 -
Trailblazer Award

The Champaign Aviation Museum was the recipient of Aviation Trail’s 2018 Trailblazer Award presented on Saturday, April 21, at 5:30 PM, in Urbana. The award was presented at the Champaign Aviation Museum's Annual Fundraising Gala. For more details use the button below to go to the 2018 Trailblazer Event Page. For a list of past year's awards: CLICK HERE.

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August 10, 2018 - Runway Fest

Friday, Aug. 10, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Photos © Aviation Trail 

The slideshow above has some photos from the Aviation Trail display area, as well assorted photos from around the event. 

Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport hosted its 7th Annual Runway Fest on August 10, 2018. A large crowd enjoyed the good weather and many exhibits and activities.

The FREE event offered fun for the whole family with a live band, inflatables for the kids, aircraft displays, dozens of exhibitors, top-notch fireworks, a variety of food trucks, and much more.

The John A. Bosch Memorial Hangar

The former Commander Aero Hangar at the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport was recently renamed in honor of the late John Bosch. Bosch was an aviation innovator and preservationist whose efforts led to the renovation of the facility. This plaque is mounted on the wall of the hangar to commemorate his contributions.


John Bosch was also the recipient of the Aviation Trail Trailblazer Award in 2014.


The hangar is used at the Runway Fest event as an exhibition area.

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10550 N Springboro Pike, Miamisburg, OH 45342

Photos © Aviation Trail 

August 19, 2018 - Celebration of Orville and Katharine Wright Birthdays

Sunday, April 19, 2018

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum

118 Woodland Ave., Dayton, OH 45409

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. - FREE

Attendees were given a tour of historic Woodland Cemetery with a visit to the Wright Brothers grave site, and along with other highlights of the historic cemetery and arboretum.

Click the button below to go to the August 19 Event Page for a report and photos.

Aviation Trail, Inc. 2018 Annual Meeting

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Aviation Trail Visitor Center, Conference Room

16 South Williams Street • Dayton, Ohio 45402

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The Aviation Trail, Inc. Annual Meeting is being held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the conference room of the Aviation Trail Visitor Center. Members and friends of aviation are invited to join the Aviation Trail, Inc. Board of Trustees as we review the year, discuss plans for the coming year, and enjoy some refreshments.

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And, for next month:
Save the date!

December 17th, 2018,
115th First Powered Flight Anniversary

Celebrate with Aviation Trail

Watch for Announcements

December 17, 2018 - 115th Anniversary of Powered Flight Celebration

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at 6:30 PM

WHERE: Flyboys Deli, 2729 Fairfield Commons Blvd., Beavercreek, Ohio


Look for the airplane on the roof!


A unique, casual evening

by Aviation Trail, Inc.

to mark the

115th anniversary of powered flight

by Daytonians

Wilbur and Orville Wright



• Entertainment by the clarinetists, the Licorice Stix, part of the University of

   Dayton's New Horizons Music Program and to commemorate the end of World War I

• the premier showing of a video on the Lafayette Escadrille by acclaimed                                   ...aviation photographer/author Dan Patterson


CLICK HERE for the EVENT INVITATION PAGE to see a report on this event which was held on December 17, 2018.

Watch this website for announcements of 2019 events.

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