Special to 1812Blockhouse; By 1812Blockhouse

America 250-Ohio, the official state commission responsible for spearheading Ohio’s celebrations around America’s semiquincentennial in 2026, announced today the Ohio Air and Space Trail, the first of six planned experiential trails linking historic sites across the state. The Ohio Air and Space Trail is a thematic collection of more than 30 sites in Ohio that celebrate the Ohio people and places that have become synonymous with air and space exploration over the past century. Participating locations align with one or more trail themes, including Innovation, Birthplace of Aviation, Service to Country, Space Exploration, Training, Preservation & Flying Experiences, and Aviation Feats & Spectacles.

The trail will honor a number of famous Ohio flyers, including Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Orville and Wilbur Wright and the Ohio’s Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. Locations for the trail include well-known sites and hidden gems across the state such as the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum, the Armstrong Air & Space Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center/NASA Glenn Visitor Center, WACO Air Museum, the John & Annie Glenn Museum, The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology; and the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum, among others. A full list of participants, interactive maps, and other interactive materials can be found on the newly launched Ohio Air and Space Trail website, ohioairandspace.com.

“From the Wright brothers flying over Dayton to Wapakoneta’s Neil Armstrong walking the surface of the moon, it is impossible to tell the nationally significant story of air and space travel without Ohio,” said Mackensie Wittmer, Executive Director of the National Aviation Heritage Area and America 250 – Ohio Commission Member.  “The Ohio Air and Space Trail offers a fun and informative exploration of aviation and space landmarks, museums, and historic sites celebrating the Ohioans who made world-changing contributions.”

The Ohio Air and Space Trail is the first of America 250-Ohio’s planned Trails & Tales program, which aims to establish five additional thematic experiential trails similar to the Air and Space Trail over the next two years. Additional details on these trails will be announced in the coming months.

Locally, the Frank P. Lahm Aviation Museum at 34 Park Avenue West is included. The entry reads, “Inspired by his father, a pioneer sports air balloonist, Lahm claims many aviation firsts. Major General Frank Lahm was the first balloon pilot, the first airship pilot, and the first airplane pilot in the US Army. Born in Mansfield, Lahm was one of the principal leaders in the development of military aviation at the start of the 20th century. He was the first military person to ride as a passenger in an airplane. The plane was piloted by Wilbur Wright. Lahm’s pilot license is #2. He organized the lighter-than-air service of the AEF (American Expedition Forces) during World War I and was the first Army Chief of Aviation. Later, he served as commander of what was then known as the Air Corps Training Center, the forerunner of today’s Air Training Command, and he spent most of his military career training pilots. See artifacts and hear the stories of Lahm’s contributions to aviation, as well as those of aviation veterans throughout the years.”

Photos of the sites along the trail as well as video footage of the launch event can be accessed at this link: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/wB8hq5QSb9.

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

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