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.

See the Visitor Center page for details on hours.


From W. Third St., turn south on Williams St and then turn left on Fourth St. Go 1/2 block and turn left into the Visitor Center parking area.

CLICK HERE for a parking map.

Travel Note - Third St. Bridge closure:

The Third Street Bridge will be CLOSED beginning Jan. 1, 2020 until approximately Oct. 2021. Visitors can use the Fifth St. Bridge or the Salem Ave. Bridge as detours from downtown Dayton. A file with more detailed instructions for visitors traveling from the north or south via I-75, or from the east and west via US35 can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.

Aviation Trail, Inc.

- In Partnership with the National Park Service


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Current News


Use the form at the bottom of this page (CLICK HERE) to subscribe to "The Flight Log", Aviation Trail's electronic newsletter for email news and updates.

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January 18, 2020 - Dayton, Ohio

The National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) Board met with Rep. Mike Turner and Sen. Rob Portman in the Aviation Trail Conference room. The discussion covered the U.S. Senate's passing of  extended funding of NAHA through September of 2022. The meeting included  TV interviews and a tour of the Aviation Trail and the Dayton Aviation Heritage Nationa Historical Park Visitor Center. NAHA’s new brochures and map were also distributed. See below for the Senate press release about the passing of the legislation.

United States Senate Press Release

Tuesday, December 19, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced the Senate passage of the final FY2020 funding bill, which includes their legislation to reauthorize funding for Dayton's National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) through September 30, 2022. NAHA spans eight counties throughout western Ohio, with a large presence in Dayton, the home of the Wright Brothers.  There are a variety of cultural sites within the NAHA, including the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park, Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, and Grimes Flying Field, as well as resources related to the Wright Brothers.

“The National Aviation Heritage Area in Dayton is home to our nation’s aviation history and I am proud the Senate-passed FY 2020 funding bill includes legislation to help ensure it is preserved and enjoyed by future generations," said Portman. “It tells the story of the Wright Brothers’ development of the first airplane, which has led to a strong aviation industry in the region today. This site is a public-private partnership that has also generated economic growth in the region".

"The pioneering spirit of Paul Laurence dunbar and the Wright Brothers is reflected today in Dayton's National Aiation Heritage Area. It's a privilege to represent a state that has and continues to play such an important role in the aviation sector. I'm proud to stand with Senator Portman in our effort to ensure that federal investment in the National Aviation Heritage Area will continue," said Brown.

As of April 2018, the National Aviation Heritage Area has more than two million visitors annually, generating $35 million in economic impact and supporting 1,500 jobs in the region.

Floyd Smith Announced as National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
Las Vegas, NV - Januaury 7, 2020

On January 7, twenty-two innovation pioneers were announced as the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) 2020 class of Inductees on stage at CES® (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. One of the historical inductees (awarded posthumously), Floyd Smith, developed his invention at historic McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. The awards will be presented during NIHF ceremonies on May 7 & 8, 2020. See https://www.invent.org/induction for event information.

Near the end of WWI the US Army put together a parachute research group that came under the Engineering Division at McCook Field in Dayton. Their job was to develop a practical parachute for in-flight escape from fixed wing aircraft. They drafted requirements and tested all the existing parachutes they could but none met their requirements. At the same time they also were working on their own design, based largely on Floyd Smith’s concept for a manually operated free-fall parachute. The pilot would wear the chute, climb out and jump away from the airplane, then manually operate the parachute once safely away from the plane.

Shown in the photo is Floyd Smith wearing the prototype Model A, which was the first practical system for inflight escape from fixed wing aircraft. The chute was initially live jumped by Leslie Irvin in April of 1919 and was soon standardized and eventually required for use by Army pilots.

Learn more about Floyd Smith:

A trapeze artist turned aviator, Smith's invention of the modern parachute led to the creation of the parachute industry and provided safe landings across the world, saving countless lives.

See the story on the National Inventors Hall of Fame website at https://www.invent.org/inductees/floyd-smith and be sure to click on the "10 Things You Need to Know about Floyd Smith" on that page for more details about this fascinating aviation innovator.

Learn more about Parachute History:

CLICK HERE to download a copy of a Speaker Series presentation on the history of the parachute that was produced by the Aviation Trail Parachute Museum team. And be sure to explore the Parachute Museum page on this ATI website.


Collins Aerospace and WACO Air Museum & Learning Center Partnership
Januaury 2, 2020

WACO is pleased to announce a gift of $32,600 by Collins Aerospace that will support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the community through a new flight simulation lab located inside the new 17,000 square-foot WACO Learning Center.  The Collins Aerospace Flight Simulator Lab will immediately house four desktop flight simulators complete with yoke and rudders as well as a certified Elite Flight Simulator that can be used to log hours towards both private and instrument ratings for pilots.  The lab will have the potential for additional simulators to be added at a later date.


At a ceremony Tuesday, December 17th, the donation was accepted by WACO Air Museum’s Directors, Gretchen Hawk and Nancy Royer, along with the WACO Board of Trustees. Cory May, Vice President of Aftermarket for Landing Systems at Collins Aerospace, made the presentation in front of perhaps the most famous WACO in the world-- the WACO Model ATO Taperwing.  This aircraft rolled out of the Troy-based WACO Aircraft Company in 1929 and won the 1936 International Air Games in Paris in 1936.  This airplane was donated to the museum in 1996 by the Goodrich Aircraft Wheels & Brakes Division, now part of Collins Aerospace, and is one of the museum’s most prized possessions.

Collins Aerospace now manufactures wheels and brakes in a building that was originally built as the WACO Aircraft Company. The WACO Aircraft Company was the number one manufacturer of civil aircraft in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. 

Sharing a historic building and a famous airplane are not the only thing the two entities have in common.  They share a vision to invest in the future of the Troy community.  WACO’s goal is to “Preserve the Past, and Inspire the Future.” Collins Aerospace recently announced its new corporate social responsibility program called Redefining Futures.  The company plans to increase its impact locally and globally by aligning volunteer activities, civic leadership and corporate giving around three pillars: 1) inspiring youth to pursue opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) 2) investing in the industry’s current and future workforce and 3) strengthening local communities.

“The combining factors of being in the same community, a shared history, and a shared vision for the future make this a perfect collaboration,” commented Learning Center Director Nancy Royer.  “WACO has STEM education programming for as young as pre-school and programming that continues all the way through adult education. I believe this donation is a declaration to both the local community and to the aviation industry of our shared vision to inspire the future.  Together, we will shape a better future!”


Nancy Royer                                                      Cory May                                             Stacey Kinnison
WACO Learning Center Director                      VP of Aftermarket                           Executive Assistant
937-335-9226                                                     937-440-2396                                     937-440-2492
lcdir@wacoairmuseum.org                          cory.may@collins.com                   Stacey.kinnison@collins.com



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