This is the town where the Wright brothers were born.
I went to the National Museum of the United States Air Force
in Dayton where more than 400 aircraft are on display.
The museum presents the progress in aviation technology along with its historical background.
I am not at all familiar with the technical aspects,
but I would like to tell you about a few things that made an impression on me.
First of all, here is SAM 26000, painted in a beautiful light blue.
This is the first aircraft built solely for the President.
Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of former President Kennedy, suggested the color.
Being Japanese, seeing the displays below brought mixed feelings.
A newspaper article about the attack on Pearl Harbor that came out at the time, and some related materials (↑)
Models of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the aircraft (↓)
Little Boy (left) and Fat Man (right)
Ohka, the training aircraft of the kamikaze suicide squad.
I do not know how to put my feelings about this into words, it was indescribable.
Stealth attack aircraft, research aircraft, and development aircraft were also on display.
Now, do you know what these exhibits are?
They are so tall you cannot see their tips in the photo: They are missiles.
I am impressed by the progress in technology, to think that it’s man-made, but when I consider its purpose, I feel only fear.
If it were OK for me, as an ordinary person, to simplistically say in straightforward terms what I felt,
it would be that I wonder if the money for this wonderful technology and its development could not be used for something else.
The various aircraft exhibited are amazing, and as "aircraft" they look very impressive, but then most of them are military aircraft that have been used in war.
But in that sense, there is more than just negatives when you think about it.
The scientific advances to do with space have been amazing.
This is the Apollo 15 command module.
The spacesuit when they landed on the moon for the first time: 1969 (left)
The spacesuit that allowed astronauts to move about the surface of the moon for as long as seven hours: 1971 (right)
I can only admire the imagination of the Wright brothers, first of all, who were the first to take on the challenge of flying in the sky, as well as the people who first thought of, and succeeded in, going to the moon.
The scale of all American museums and art galleries is huge, and this one is no different.
Or rather, this was by far the biggest of the ones I've been to,
and I was so worn out in the second half I kept wondering when I would get to the exit. Lol
You walk quite a long way.
It would take a whole day to take a close look at all the exhibits, so I recommend that you narrow your visit down to the exhibition spaces that you are particularly interested in.
The number of exhibits was beyond my expectations and made me think a lot,
and I fully realized the importance of learning about history and my own lack of knowledge, which even made me reflect on myself.
Finally, the entrance fee, which we all care about, is zero!!
I left the museum with the thought: Being able to see so many prized aircraft and exhibits for free, that is America for you.