Damage has been reported to two planes and several buildings in Area B

The trail of a tornado in the world's oldest military aircraft museum

The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was opened in 1923..

The F-86H Saber fighter of the US Air Force National Museum showing its entire interior
The Soviet MiG fighters that ended up in the United States Air Force Museum

This center is today the oldest military aircraft museum in the world and one of the largest military museums. The downside to this museum's location is that Ohio is a tornado zone: from 1950 to 2023, 1,416 tornadoes have hit that state, causing almost 200 deaths and damage worth $2.936 million.

This Wednesday morning, the 28th a tornado affected the Museum National USAF, causing damage to some of its facilities and some aircraft that were parked outside.

As for facilities, damage was recorded in Museum Restoration Hangar 4 (on these lines) and other buildings in Area B of the base, such as building 620 of the Research Laboratory the Air Force(as shown in the first photo of this post), the fire station and the privatized military housing community of The Prairies, according to the information published by the air base itself and by Air & Space Forces Magazine.

Regarding aircraft, considerable damage has been reported to a two-seat Lockheed F-104D Starfighter, 57-1322 (cn 483-5033), an aircraft that it was moved to the museum in January 2016 and whose wings were used for the restoration of an F- 104A, 56-0754.

Wright-Patt AFB has published a series of photos of the damage, which you can see in this entry. In them we see the F-104D without wings, with the fuselage quite neglected and with some significant damage.

One of the most visible damages on this F-104 is its port stabilizer, which has been bent upwards, as we can see above these lines.

According to Aerial Visuals, from 1995 until its submission to this museum, This plane had been on display at the Huntington Municipal Airport in Indiana. In 2022 its fuselage showed no damage, beyond its dull paint and its wings removed. As we can see, the plane has suffered damage to the cockpit and fuselage.

Another of the damaged aircraft was this Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, specifically the T-33A-1-LO 51-6745 (cn 580-6077). According to Aerial Visuals, this aircraft was built in 1952 in the Lockheed factory in Burbank, California. It served for a year in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but retaining his USAF number, after which he was transferred to the Wisconsin Air National Guard. On March 27, 1955 it was damaged in an accident and that same year it was sent to this museum, from where it was transferred to the city of Huntington, Indiana, where it was exhibited from 1963 to 2015, returning to the museum in 2017, remaining in the restoration area since then.

In one of the photos of the Museum's Restoration Hangar 4 you can see an F-15 Eagle fighter (above these lines) inside the building. It is an F-15A, 76-0027 (cn 0207/A179). According to Aerial Visuals, this aircraft was delivered to USAF in 1978, initially serving at Bitburg Air Base, Germany. Between 1980 and 1988 he served at various bases in the US, later joining the Air National Guard and being sent in 1994 to aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, in Arizona, being rescued in 1996 by the USAF National Museum, where it has been displayed for many years. It does not appear that this aircraft was damaged.

Fortunately, all of the aircraft on display at the National Museum of the USAF are protected in hangars, so they are safe from both damage caused by tornadoes and storms and from the deterioration to which the aircraft are subjected that are out in the open.


Photos: Wright-Patt AFB.

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