Wright-Patterson’s Heritage

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Main Web Site

National Museum of the USAF

List of WPAFB's units

AFMC's "Freedom's Call" Tattoo

Wright-Patterson AFB neighbor to Beavercreek, Ohio, traces its origin directly from the Wright brothers’ pioneering flights in 1904 and 1905 at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field located in the middle of the installation. Its past, present and future are all inextricably linked with the Wright brothers’ legacy. Dayton was the Wright brothers’ home and Daytonians consider their city the "Birthplace of Aviation". The Wrights’ early years, their bicycle shops, their printing business, and their early aviation efforts are evident throughout the greater Dayton area. Just off the end of Wright-Patterson’s active runway, a replica of the Wright brothers’ 1905 hangar overlooks the Huffman Prairie Flying Field. Here they established their first flying field, developed the first practical airplane, and in their own words, "really learned to fly". The Flying Field has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

The installation itself has been a leader in military aviation since World War I. Aviation research and development began to flourish at Wright-Patterson when the U.S. entered World War I. Wilbur Wright Field was established in the summer of 1917 as a pilot training school at the site of Wright-Patterson’s present flight line. In the fall of 1917, McCook Field was established as an Air Service engineering center. McCook Field was located near downtown Dayton at what is now the intersection of State Route 4 and Interstate 75. In 1927, a new aerodrome and research complex were constructed on land donated by the citizens of Dayton to replace the overcrowded McCook Field. Named Wright Field in honor of both brothers, it is now part of Area B.

The excellent community spirit and cooperation of the installation and its personnel is another hallmark of Wright-Patterson’s heritage. Base personnel contribute hundreds of volunteer hours to community projects. They support the annual Vectren Dayton Air Show, offer special events at the NMUSAF, host the Air Force Marathon, conduct education outreach programs, and work with the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park to enhance the Miami Valley’s legacy as the Birthplace of Aviation.

The creativity and professionalism of our Airmen and civilian employees combined with the vitality of the Miami Valley’s citizens continue to make Wright-Patterson AFB the birthplace, home, and future of aerospace. 

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