The Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington boasts one of the largest air and space collections in the United States. Setting out to become the foremost educational air and space museum in the world, it contains over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, dozens of exhibits and experiences, as well as a world-class library.

Established by a small group of aviation enthusiasts in 1964, the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation sought to store and exhibit important historical artifacts representing the evolution of flight that were otherwise being lost and destroyed, putting these objects on display in a 10,000-square-foot space at the Seattle Center.

In 1975, when the Port of Seattle leased the land on which the Boeing Red Barn now sits, the decision was made to move and expand the complex. The Red Barn, the birthplace of The Boeing Company, was saved from demolition in its original location on the Duwamish River and floated by river barge to its current location where it became part of the permanent home for The Museum of Flight.

The Red Barn was joined by the Great Gallery in 1987, the Library and Archives Building in 2002, and the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing and Airpark in 2004. To this day, The Museum of Flight continues to expand its exhibits, experiences, and educational programs— providing a foundation for scholarly research and lifelong learning programs that inspire an interest in and understanding of science, technology, and the humanities, while paying homage to the history of flight.

Of all the aircraft on display, I enjoyed visiting both the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and British Airways (BA) Concorde the most. This particular 787, registration code ZA003, was the third Dreamliner built, flying first on March 14, 2010. The Concorde, registration code G-BOAG (referred to as Alpha Golf), was first flown in April of 1978 and delivered to BA in 1980. It logged more than 5,600 takeoffs and over 16,200 flight hours while in service. It flew the last BA commercial Concorde flight, from New York to London, on October 24, 2003. On its retirement flight to the museum on November 5, 2003, Alpha Golf set a New York City-to-Seattle speed record of 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 2 seconds. Much of the flight was over northern Canada, where it flew supersonic for 1 hour, 34 minutes, and 4 seconds.

The Museum of Flight is open daily from 10:00AM to 5:00PM, with FREE admission from 5:00PM to 9:00PM on the first Thursday of each month.

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