Journeys Around Seattle, #51: Museum of Flight

December 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

On a rainy day this week, with Lisa on break from school and internship, we took the opportunity to visit the Museum of Flight, located near Boeing Field in South Seattle. As we drove, we passed the Boeing plant where new 737s are made, then at the south end of the runway we reached the museum itself, which consists of two large buildings on either side of the road connected by a skyway. There's also a large outdoor airpark, where a retired Concorde sits, as well as an incarnation of Air Force One that was used by Presidents Kennedy through Nixon.

The biggest gallery is a huge glass atrium where dozens of old planes, from a replica of the Wright Brothers' flier to an SR-71, are parked or hang from the ceiling. These include a history of fighter aircraft, as well as a replica of Amelia Earhart's plane that was actually used to recreate her journey several years ago (minus the mysterious disappearance, of course).

Across the skybridge in the building on the opposite side of the road is a Space Shuttle trainer that was actually used for training astronauts before it was transported to the museum a few years ago. Hubble telescope replicaHubble telescope replica There's also a Soyuz capsule and a replica of the Hubble telescope hanging from the ceiling.

Other large areas of the museum include a section dedicated to the planes and pilots of World War I and World War II, featuring aircraft and stories from both sides of the conflict, and also a barn that is a replica of the original shop where Boeing was founded and constructed its first planes. There's another large space exhibit with a replica of the ISS module that people can walk through, and various simluators scattered throughout that let people have a more dynamic experience of flying in some of these planes.

Overall, it was a good, if slightly pricey, way to spend a rainy winter afternoon. It's definitely the best aerospace museum I've been to outside of the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C.

 


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