Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center

Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, Dayton: Hours, Address, Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center

Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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1-2 hours
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4.5
168 reviews
Excellent
93
Very good
58
Average
13
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Teardrop Trailer Traveler
United States712 contributions
Huffman Prairie is one of those sites that is significant not because of what is there, but because of what happened there. This large, empty field is the world's first airport!

The visitor center was closed on the day of my visit, but the field itself was accessible. There are information plaques placed around a walking loop, which allows for a self-guided tour. The site also has a replica hangar as well as the rail from which the earlier Flyers were launch.

The location is adjacent to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the base's long runway is visible. This gives a cool compression of the large modern airfield to the small first-every airfield.
Written July 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dewayne P
Elizabethtown, KY1,719 contributions
This was the last site for the Wright Brothers I had remaining in the Dayton area. The interpretive center was small, but extremely informative. It is a short drive away from the actual field, but that specific area was unavailable the day we went due some other event. The Ranger took some extra time to talk to my daughter and helped provide some additional insight and swear her in the Junior Ranger program.
Written June 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

wireless_in_CA
United States4,588 contributions
Family
Unfortunately the Center was not open every day and it happened to be on the only day we were in Dayton.

However, since we drove to the Center, its location up a small hill that was likely the highest point in Dayton. The views were nice and mainly of the dam in front. Off to the right was the actual air field used by the Wright Brothers to test their plan designs. The air field was located on the Wright Patterson Air Force base. We figured out what gate to enter (the same as the golf course) but as we were pressed for time we did not drive back.

Other than the views, a monument dedicated to the Wright Brothers was situated halfway between the Center and the Viewing area. A couple of additional plaques documented Native American and aviation history, key flyers who were trained by the Wright Brothers and more. All worth reading.
Written September 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

961daleh
Kindersley, Saskatchewan242 contributions
After a pleasant relaxing drive you turn a corner and suddenly go back in time. It's very moving to stand on one of the spots where important history was made. This field and launch rail are a definite must see.
Written May 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ryan R
Earth, TX65 contributions
Family
I never knew of this place and I’m glad I do now. Stopped here after visiting the Air Force Museum and what a cool place. The have signs across the field explaining what occurred there. There is a replica of the barn and the launching system that the Wright Brothers used when perfecting their flying skills. Cool little piece of history.
Written March 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Torte_Sue
Vonore, TN1,401 contributions
Couples
After reading McCullough's new biography on the Wright Brothers and planning a trip to the Outer Banks, including a stop at Kitty Hawk, we decided to visit Dayton and learn more about the Wright Brothers. David Mccullough outlined a lot of the tests done on this field, and we were especially interested in seeing the catapult. Some people mentioned it was difficult to find the field, but if you pick up an Aviation Trail brochure at any of the other museums, such as at the Air Force Museum, Carillon Park, or the Interpretive Center, there is a good map. Plus it's just minutes from the Interpretive Center-- both are located on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. You do not have to go through security to enter these areas.

You can get up to the recreated shed and rail and catapault by driving without walking across any fields, but the placards in the field are also interesting and you need to walk across the field to read most of them. This field also served as the Wright Aviation School and a number of famous pilots first trained here--such as Hap Arnold.The shed and catapult are located in the original locations. It is interesting to see the space they had to fly their tests with their Flyer.

We met a gentleman out walking looking at birds, butterflies and wild flowers in this serene location. It is definitely not a big tourist overrun spot. We saw two other people in the hour we spent there!
Written June 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NelsonTouch7
Wilton, UK21 contributions
Couples
Most aviation enthusiasts already know that powered flight as we know it took place at Kitty Hawk, N.Carolina, but not all of them know that the Wrights perfected their invention here at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field in Dayton, Ohio.

The use of this field was given to the Wright brothers by the owner, a local banker, to develop and perfect their invention and it has been associated with the Wright brothers ever since.

It is located within Wright - Patterson airbase and although it is well sign posted, it is still tricky to find. The co-ordinates from my satnav are:N 39.80685° W084.06470° that will take you right to the small car park. There are no facilities there for your personal comforts, so make sure you take care of things like that before you visit. The walking is flat of course and easy. The main surface is good and ok for strollers.

It is a field, but a field with attitude, in the aeronautical sense. This is where Orville and Wilbur really taught themselves to fly and flight as we know it ( 3 axis, pitch, roll and yaw). There is a shed, similar to the one at Kittyhawk, where they hangared the aircraft and from where they took off for each flight.
The circuit is about a mile round, in an elongated circle, the parameters of it are marked out by tall metal flagpoles and flags so that it is very easy to imagine them flying overhead in the circuit.

There are information boards dotted all the way around with lots of really interesting historical information with very good and large pictures. There is one information board there showing their father, a Bishop, on his own 'first flight'. That took place in 1910 and the Wright brothers had been flying for six and a half years by then and were completely accomplished pilots. He wanted more, to fly higher, and they took him to a height of 395 feet, according to the information board. He was 81 years old and looks a very, very, thrilled old gentleman.
This was the location of first airport in the whole world, and the first flying school too, (over 100 pilots were taught by the Wright brothers how to fly here) and the site of the flying school hanger is marked out on the ground.

And that is what you get when you come to this place, atmospshere! This is a place where dreams were made into reality. It is a place full of atmosphere, you can feel it. We (my lady and I) had the whole place to ourselves, there was nobody else there, just us and the noise of the wind blowing through the trees.
We walked along the route marked by the flags and it was a lovely sunny day with gophers popping up from nowhere and disapearing, there were buzzards flying overhead on the thermals, it was a real day to remember.

We read that as this Flying Field is a part of Wright - Patterson airbase, it never has and never will be developed so that what happend here over 100 years ago is now preserved for everyone in the world to see. It is so worth the visit.
Written October 21, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mlgocon
Taytay, Philippines308 contributions
Friends
There's more than meets the eye here at Huffman Prairie. First is a replica of the old streetcar station where Wilbur and Orville Wright would have gotten off. Near there is a path which goes out on to Huffman Prairie where the brothers experimented flying. White flags mark the boundaries of the field and there is a replica of their hangar as well as the catapult they launched their plane with. All along the path, in the hangar and at the catapult are signs that explain the history of their journey into flight. You can also hike on a path through the prairie. It's a great place to bring a dog, on a leash of course, and children. Not recommended for a hot day, though.

More signs on how to get to the field would be helpful.
Written July 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dmfinpa
54 contributions
Friends
This is worth visiting IF you're an aviation enthusiast. It's the place where the Wright Brothers did their aircraft testing and development. They also ran the nation's first flight school here. There is not a lot to see in terms of structures. There are several interpretive signs that you must read to appreciate the story. Mainly, there is a lot of walking to see this site. If you are an older person with limited mobility and/or a young family pushing a stroller this is not for you. As I said, you have to be really into aviation and/or the Wright Brothers' story to make this a stop on your visit to Dayton. Also, it can be a bit confusing even getting to this site as it is on Wright-Patterson Air Force base, but you can enter through an unsecured gate. It's operated by the National Park Service, but I did not see a ranger on duty during my nearly one hour visit to the site. Not sure why. Budget issues no doubt.
Written June 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

aliceblois
Camarillo, CA238 contributions
Solo
This isn't for everyone, but I really enjoyed being able to see the Huffman Prairie Flying Field after reading David McCullogh's "The Wright Brother's" book. History was made here. It's a little confusing because the actual flying field is in a different location from the NPS Interpretive Center, but the rangers gave me directions on how to find the field which is what I was most interested in seeing. When you get there, it's just a big grassy field. Not much to see, but it's still cool to see where the Wright brothers had their early flights. They have a replica catapult which is neat too.
Written June 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center

Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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