DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Some popular galleries at the national Air Force museum, including one featuring President John F. Kennedy's Air Force One, will close next month due to federal budget cuts.
The presidential and research and development galleries at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton will be closed until further notice beginning May 1, museum Director and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson said Tuesday.
The XB-70 Valkyrie is another popular exhibit to be affected, Hudson said in a release.
There were only two of those planes conceived for the Strategic Air Command in the 1950s. The high-altitude bombers could fly three times the speed of sound and were intended as research aircraft for the advanced study of aerodynamics, propulsion and other subjects related to large supersonic aircraft, according to the museum.
The first XB-70 made its initial flight Sept. 21, 1964 and was flown to the museum in 1969. The second plane first flew on July 17, 1965, but crashed in June of 1966, after a midair collision.
Museum officials worked with the Air Force on making the reductions required by mandated cuts in federal spending.
"Our goal has been to make every effort to maintain museum operations to the maximum extent possible, and we hope to reopen these galleries as soon as possible," Hudson said.
The main museum complex will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. The Air Force will pay utility costs six days a week, with the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc. covering those costs one day a week from May through September. The foundation normally supports museum growth and expansion and special events and programs.