As mentioned in the previous Aviation Overload post I rented a car to enable me to visit The Museum of Flight after the Boeing Factory tour. I had heard it was good, billed as “the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world!”, but was completely blown away how good it was. The Connie is just a carpark ornament!
Every direction you look, more aircraft. Stare a bit longer, see even more aircraft!
Impressed to see both US Apollo and Soviet Soyuz space capsules.
The William E. Boeing Red Barn is the birth place of Boeing and shows how the first aircraft were built and the history of the company.
Great to see some artefacts of people I had read/heard about over the years like test pilot Tex Johnson’s cowboy flight boots. He was famous for both being a superb pilot and antics; most notably barrel rolling the 707 jet prototype in a demonstration flight over Seattle.
The “J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing” is a bit of an odd name for a stunning and sobering two story display. The first level is dedicated to showing the aircraft and aircrew (flight and support) of the First World War in interactive displays.
The upper level is the same theme but focuses on World War Two. The unique lighting is all artificial, deliberately chosen to preserve the delicate uniform, aircraft fabric and document materials in displays from damaging U.V.
The Aviation Pavilion is relatively new, 3 acres of covered outside gallery with about 40 aircraft on display and open to view. While I have stolen this next bit of text from their website, to save me typing a long list, all the photos are mine:
“For the first time, the Museum’s unrivaled collection of large commercial aircraft can be seen in one place. The airliner exhibit includes the world’s only presentation of the first Boeing 727, 737 and 747 jets, the first jet Air Force One, the extremely rare Boeing 247D and Douglas DC-2 airliners from the 1930s, the only Concorde on the West Coast, and the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The military line-up includes three big bombers—World War Two’s B-17F Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress, and the Cold War’s B-47 Stratojet; plus jet fighters spanning the wars from Korea to the Persian Gulf.”
The history of commercial aviation, including the first Boeing 747 and 787, in a photo.
The first Air Force One jet, a Boeing 707.
It was somewhat surreal to see, get onboard, the first 747. An aircraft I first read about as a six or seven year old kid.
The machine which ended a war, it took a nuclear bomb but aircraft like this delivered it.
Oh, and inside a Space Shuttle mock-up.
While the Boeing Factory was awesome to see, this was a stunning way to follow it up. So glad I got that car!