July 4, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Workers are nearing completion of a 224,000-square-foot hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in southwest Ohio.
A cold winter and heavy spring rains delayed the $35.4 million expansion several weeks, but the building is expected to be completed by mid-September, said Brian Moran, a project executive with Turner Construction Co.
The new hangar will allow access to thousands more visitors to the world’s largest military aviation museum each year.
Inside, the hangar spans 300 feet wide and nearly 800-feet-long, the Dayton Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1C2cqgS ). The ceiling rises 86 feet above the floor at its peak, according to Tim Walsh, a Turner Construction engineer and quality control manager.
“There’s tremendous new capabilities we gain with the new building,” said John “Jack” Hudson, museum executive director and retired Air Force lieutenant general. “That’s what it really gives us.”
Exotic experimental jets, as well as historic presidential planes, rockets, missiles and spacecraft are expected to make their way into the building in October. The hanger is set to open to the public in spring 2016.
The biggest artifact in the new building will be a 204-foot long, 190,000-pound Titan IVB rocket, said Doug Lantry, a museum curator. Pieces of the rocket will be pulled out of storage and displayed at the museum for the first time.
“It’s very large, very heavy, it will be up in the air and it comes in several pieces,” he said. “So all of that is a delicate and precise dance about when and how to move and put together.”
The Air Force Museum Foundation raised more than $40 million to pay for the privately financed building.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com