The Museum of Flight is located south of downtown Seattle at the Boeing Field facility. Folks of all ages will find something to enjoy at this striking showcase of the history of flight.
The tone is set for your exploration as soon as you enter the facility. Hanging above you is a life size model of the famous movable wing manned contraption designed by Leonardo DaVinci. Early gliders are displayed, and you cannot help but notice the advancements in the design of the world of aircraft as you proceed through the museum. All aspects of flight are covered, including wing configuration design and the development of engines in aircraft.
The Red Barn is part of the museum and is a turn of the century structure that housed the first Boeing Aircraft factory. The belt driven machinery from the 1920’s is faithfully displayed. This fascinating display shows you how the aircraft industry was not only born, but how the early planes were constructed.
Among the other displays are two floors devoted to the combat aircraft of WWI and WWII. Planes as well as fascinating information detailing the feats of the courageous men who flew combat missions during those wars is shown through the dynamic displays. See a WWII British Spitfire, a Luftwaffe ME109 and a P-41 from the famous Flying Tigers. The second level offers a view of a wide variety of WWI bi-planes, mono-planes and tri-planes.
Further exploration of the museum will reveal the great hall with an amazing number of aircraft displayed. Everywhere you look there are aircraft on the floor, mounted on the walls or hanging from the three story tall ceiling. The only remaining Blackbird spy plane is the centerpiece of this remarkable room. The size of this aircraft is remarkable.
The museum has two seperate buildings. An overhead walkway leads to the Space Shuttle display. The original trainer used to train the Space Shuttle crews takes up most of the wide open building. A couple of simulators give you the chance to bring the Shuttle in for a landing. Don’t miss the Russian space capsule in the corner. You can still see the charred exterior from when the capsule re-entered the atmosphere.
An outside display area allows for a walk through Air Force One. This plane served all of the U.S. Presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon. Look for the special Heat/AC panel installed for LBJ. It seems he wanted to control the temperature in the plane. A fake panel was installed. LBJ never knew he had been scammed by his staff.
When in the Seattle area take the time to visit the Museum of Flight. Information about times, directions and admission fees can be found on the museum website.