The staff at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is committed to preserving the unique aviation history for the enjoyment of this and future generations. We work closely alongside Federal, state, local and private partners to accomplish our mission, and maintain close, positive relationships with our communities, area businesses, local citizens and many friends of the park.

Although the National Park Service (NPS) is over 100 years old, Dayton Aviation Heritage NHP commemorates its 30th anniversary this fall. On October 16, 1996, Congress passed legislation to create a national park site in Dayton, Ohio, but how did it all begin? Follow the link below to learn more about the administrative history of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, and explore the video below to learn about future plans found within the 2022 General Management Plan Amendment.

Source: Data Store Collection 9250 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

NPS Arrowhead showing a bison, trees, a mountain and a lake on an arrowhead shape.
The arrowhead was authorized as the official National Park Service emblem by the Secretary of the Interior on July 20, 1951.

Park Purpose

The purpose of the park is:

  • to commemorate the legacy of three exceptional men - Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar - and their lives and works in the Miami Valley.
  • to recognize the national significance of the contributions made by Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Wright Brothers and the city of Dayton's role in their contribution.
  • to promote preservation and interpretation of resources related to the lives of these three men and the invention of flight through a management framework based on cooperation among the diverse groups that share an interest in aviation history and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Park Significance

The park is significant because:

  • it is situated in the neighborhood where the Wright Brothers first became interested in and investigated the basic principles of flight.
  • it contains the only existing original buildings at their original locations and resources associated with the Wright printing and bicycle businesses.
  • it is the place where the world's first successful, heavier-than-air, power-driven, and controlled airplane was designed and built.
  • it contains the world's first practical airplane and the first flying school
  • it contains the home of renowned African-American author/poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Park Mission

To preserve, enhance, and interpret the historic and cultural structures, districts, and artifacts associated with the Wright Brothers, the Invention and Development of Aviation, the Life and Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar through the creation of partnerships.

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45 minutes, 52 seconds

A virtual public meeting was held on Friday, March 18, 2022. This is the recording of that meeting. Public comments were accepted from February 28, through March 30, 2022. All interested individuals are invited to learn more at:


Last updated: October 15, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

16 South Williams Street
Dayton, OH 45402


937 225-7705

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