- Rob Bardua National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The Vapor Special Operations Supercar, one of two custom-built automobiles commissioned by the Air Force Recruiting Service from 2009-2016 for its “Project Supercar” recruiting campaign, was recently transferred to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is now on display in the museum’s third building.
This fully customized Dodge Challenger was built by Galpin Auto Sports of Van Nuys, Calif., and is outfitted with special gullwing doors, a carbon fiber body kit and a “stealth” exhaust system that, when activated, allows the Vapor to run almost silently. Its features include cutting-edge technology used by the Air Force, such as a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system for night operation and a high-resolution 360-degree surveillance camera with quarter-mile range.
In addition, the car’s blacked-out “command center” interior is equipped with aircraft-style controls, a passenger-side steering wheel and a windshield head-up display with both night and thermal vision capability, and its advanced computer system allows remote operation from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The Vapor Supercar toured the U.S. for more than seven years with the Air Force Recruiting Service, educating the public on opportunities for officers and enlisted Airmen by showcasing Air Force ingenuity, state-of the-art technology and innovation.
According to National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Deputy Director and Senior Curator Krista Strider, having the Vapor Supercar on display at the museum will not only allow visitors to appreciate the advanced technology and unique aspects of the car, but could also lead to some extended mileage for its recruiting mission.
“The special features and innovative technology associated with the Vapor Supercar is really interesting for visitors to see,” said Strider. “A major part of the museum’s mission is to inspire our youth toward an Air Force or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career, and the Vapor Supercar is another asset that we can utilize to help us accomplish that goal.”
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.