Mackensie Wittmer on the National Aviation Heritage Area and Dayton’s Appeal for Air Sports Enthusiasts

Mackensie Wittmer, the Executive Director of the National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA), shares insights into the organization and what makes Dayton, Ohio a captivating destination for air sports enthusiasts. The NAHA is designated by Congress as a national heritage area in southwest Ohio, and its mission is to develop and promote the region’s aviation heritage assets.

Dayton holds a special appeal for air sports enthusiasts due to its rich aviation history. Visitors can explore a range of aviation heritage sites, such as the Aviation Trail Inc. Parachute Museum and the Wright B. Flyer in Miamisburg, where Wright Flyer look-a-likes are constructed. These experiences provide a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to both witness air sports in action and delve into the history and development of aviation.

For international visitors attending the FAI General Conference in 2023, there are several attractions they can explore in Dayton. The Carillon Historical Park, home to the Wright Brothers National Museum, and the Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum, the burial place of the Wright brothers and other aviation pioneers, are within walking distance of the conference hotel. Additionally, visitors can rent bikes and electric scooters to conveniently travel around the heritage area, and transportation services like Lyft and Uber are readily available.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is a key attraction for foreign visitors. It is the largest and oldest aviation military museum in the world, showcasing the evolution of aviation from its early beginnings to the space age. This museum offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts and stories that resonate with international visitors.

Dayton’s aviation heritage continues to have a significant impact on the city’s present and future. Its legacy has led to the establishment of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the largest single-site employer in Ohio. The city is also a major supplier to Boeing and Airbus, with seven universities leading unmanned aerial system research and development. Dayton is home to over 550 aviation and aerospace companies, solidifying its status as an aviation hub.

In conclusion, the National Aviation Heritage Area and Dayton, Ohio provide a wealth of opportunities for air sports enthusiasts and international visitors. With its diverse heritage sites, world-class museums, and thriving aviation industry, Dayton is a captivating destination that showcases the evolution and importance of aviation.

Sources:
– Mackensie Wittmer, Executive Director of the National Aviation Heritage Area
– National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA)
– Carillon Historical Park
– Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
– National Museum of the United States Air Force