Ohio's Aviation Pioneers

It all began in 1903 in the Dayton, Ohio workshop of aviation pioneers Orville & Wilbur Wright. Ohio “Buckeyes” not only invented flight, but the state of Ohio has produced 25 astronauts. Ohio is known as the “Birthplace of Aviation” and the greater Dayton area is home to the National Aviation Heritage Area. This tour honors Ohio Pioneers of Aviation History.
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Day 1


Arrive at the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. Wapakoneta is the hometown of Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. This museum takes visitors on a journey through aviation and aerospace history, chronicling Ohio’s contributions to the history of space flight. Among the items on display are a F5D Sky Lancer, the Gemini VIII spacecraft, Apollo 11 artifacts and a moon rock. In the museum’s Astro-theater, multimedia presentations of the sights and sounds of space unfold against a starry background.

Reservations required. Contact 800-860-0142 for more information or to schedule a tour.



Stop for lunch in Piqua or Troy. Some restaurant recommendations can be found by contacting Meghan Rodriguez at 800-348-8993 or by visiting www.homegrowngreat.com.


Our next stop in aviation history is the WACO Aircraft Museum and Learning Center, and WACO Airfield.  A tribute to the WACO Aircraft Company’s place in American aviation, the museum features the company’s unique heritage and contributions to the industry. Exhibits depict the Troy Company’s commercial and military aircraft production from the 1920’s through WWII. In the 1920’s WACO was the largest producer of aircraft in the world.  The WACO Aircraft Company was founded by Buck Weaver, Sam Junkin and Clayton J. Brukner, who also founded Brukner Nature Center in Troy.  Your guided tour of the museum will include WACO Airfield. The tour guide may even be a pilot who has flown these fabulous WACO aircraft! And, depending on the weather, the possibility exists to see these beautiful planes in flight. 

$7/person for WACO tour.  Contact Gretchen Hawk at 937-335-9226 or via email at admin@wacoairmuseum.org.



Dinner – Arrangements for dinner can be made at a local restaurant. Contact Meghan Rodriguez, Group Sales Manager, for additional information on restaurants at 800-348-8993 or via email at mrodriguez@homegrowngreat.com.


Day 2


The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. The museum is comprised of 17 acres of indoor exhibits with more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles. The museum uses both chronological and subjective layouts to tell the exciting story of aviation development from the days of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk to current stealth technology. When you visit this magnificent museum, you will also enjoy a 140 foot tall missile silo with a viewing balcony, a research and development gallery including the world’s only XB-70 Valkyrie bomber and sensory rich dioramas with mannequins, theatrical lighting and sound effects. And, you won’t want to miss the presidential aircraft including Kennedy’s Air Force One.

At the Museum, for a small fee, you can also enjoy an IMAX film. The films are educational in nature and feature space and flight themes. Seeing an IMAX film is an amazing emotional experience. It puts you at the center of the action in a way no ordinary film can, drawing you in with images that are so real you want to touch them, so powerful you can feel them.

Don’t miss the National Aviation Hall of Fame which is inside the museum. This is a dynamic organization dedicated to celebrating the tremendous air and space advancements made possible by America’s innovators and visionaries. Their mission is to celebrate the men and women who took America skyward.
Their learning center is divided into different categories and honors men and women according to their impact on aviation history.


The National Museum of the United States Air Force offers free admission and parking (an additional fee is required for the Digital 3D theatre and flight simulators). The museum is open seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. Contact 937-255-3286 for more information or to schedule a tour.



Lunch at The Valkyrie Café inside the museum.


Depart for The Wright Cycle Company.


Arrive at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Dayton. During this visit, you will explore the Wright Cycle Company where the Wright brothers actually built their Wright flyers. Through the invention of powered flight, Wilbur and Orville Wright made significant contributions to human history. In their Dayton, Ohio bicycle shop, these two men self-trained in the science and art of aviation, researched and built the world’s first power-driven heavier-than-air machine capable of free, controlled, sustained flight.



Depart for the Carillon Historical Park


Carillon Historical Park, home to the Wright Brothers National Museum, celebrates the history of invention, transportation and pioneer life in Dayton and the Miami Valley. In Wright Hall, you will discover the 1905 Wright Flyer III, a National Historic Landmark. The plane is the third powered machine constructed by Wilbur and Orville Wright and is the one they considered to be the world’s first practical airplane. The national park unit at Carillon includes a replica of the last Dayton bicycle shop where the Wright brothers worked.

Contact 937-293-2841 for more information or to schedule a tour.  www.daytonhistory.org


Depart for your hotel. Relax before enjoying an exceptional dinner in downtown Troy.

For information on restaurants and possible evening entertainment, please contact Meghan Rodriguez, Group Sales Manager, at the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-348-8993 or mrodriguez@homegrowngreat.com. Or, visit our website at www.homegrowngreat.com.