History of U.S. Aerospace Industry in Seattle, Museum of Flight
From the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers to the F/A-18 aircraft featured in <Top Gun: Maverick>, the place has everything related to flight. For those who have a travel plan to Seattle, it definitely widens the range of choices for activities in the city, which often seem to revolve around visiting the Original Starbucks. We’re talking about the Museum of Flight here.
Although it is known to us largely as a city of delicious food and stylish people, Seattle is primarily known for its aerospace industry. The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor, was founded in Seattle in 1916. After moving its headquarters to Chicago in 2001, Boeing has recently relocated to Arlington, Virginia, which is near Washington, D.C. The biggest aerospace museum in America is located in Seattle for that reason. We bring to you the Museum of Flight.

Aircraft that fought in the Vietnam War

Entrance to the Museum of Flight in Seattle

Boeing Red Barn, birthplace of the Boeing Airplane Company

60 Years of Aviation History
Opened in 1965, the Museum of Flight celebrates a history of nearly 60 years this year. It sits on East Marginal Way South, with quite a distance from downtown Seattle. The museum is filled with fascinating airplanes and artifacts that will appeal even to those least interested in aviation, airplanes, or space. Famous exhibits include the legendary fighter jet F/A-18 Hornet, the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers, the first jet Air Force One that carried US presidents such as Kennedy and Nixon, and the most cutting-edge space shuttle, along with the actual models, reproductions, or mock-ups of various other airplanes and spacecrafts. In a nutshell, the museum compiles the crucial moments in American aviation history.
Over 175 airplanes and spacecrafts, as well as tens of thousands of artifacts, books on aviation, and millions of rare photographs are among the vast collections the Museum of Flight presents. It is considered as one of the best aerospace museums in the world. The number of visitors is currently between 400,000 and 500,000 a year. According to the museum, the annual figure went up to as high as 640,000 before the pandemic.

Great Gallery, with airplanes of all types and sizes hanging from the ceiling

From Man-Powered Aircraft to Air Force One
The museum is divided into the West and East Campuses with East Marginal Way South positioned in the middle. There are a total of five galleries spanning across the museum with the East Campus offering Great Gallery, Red Barn, and Personal Courage Wing, and the West Campus having Aviation Pavilion and Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.

The history of aviation in American is all captured here.

T.A. Wilson Great Gallery has an extensive indoor space of 84,950㎡ which is occupied by the first-generation aircraft models. Stepping inside, you’ll see the 1930s’ Douglas DC-3, also known as its nickname ‘Skytrain’, proudly hung from the ceiling. A total of 62 groundbreaking aircraft including the Wright brothers’ 1903 airplane(reproduction) and Gossamer Albatross II, a human-powered airplane, can be found at Great Gallery. The space of the gallery is designed with glass and steel, letting in ample sunlight and contributing to the creation of the atmosphere similar to that of an airport. The East Campus also presents the William E. Boeing Red Barn, the historic birthplace of the Boeing Airline Company, in its original form. The space is used to exhibit various records, photographs, and artifacts related to the American aerospace industry.  J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing provides combat aircraft employed during WWI and WWII, along with relevant data from the World War period.

Air Force One, the U.S. presidential jet

Boeing’s signature craft, Boeing 747

Module for the Apollo spacecraft

The West Campus can be reached via the T. Evans Wyckoff Memorial Bridge from the East Campus side. The outdoor exhibit space is known as Aviation Pavilion. In here, you will see big-size aircraft including the supersonic passenger plane Concorde, the US presidential jet ‘Air Force One’, the first Boeing 747 which is a familiar name to everyone, and the CH-47D Chinook capable of transporting over 30 soldiers in full gear. In particular, the Air Force One offers a look inside the presidential office and VIP room on board.
Charles Simonyi Space Gallery is where you can view diverse spacecraft models and historic records. The Soyuz TMA-14 Descent Module, the first civilian spacecraft SpaceShipOne, and the Full Fuselage Trainer donated by NASA.

The museum covers aircraft in the early days to spaceships in the present day.

Mankind’s Dream for Space
Among the many features of the Museum of Flight, diverse tours, facilities, and event programs are just as attractive as its aircraft collection. For a light activity, you can participate in the complimentary in-person docent tours giving a survey of everything the museum has to offer, from airplanes to historic documents. For educational programs, weekend family workshops have a variety of experiences for children and teenagers dealing with topics such as women air force service pilots and natural flight. Flight simulators ensure you have the most thrilling time at the museum. A paid program, it allows you to engage in a 3D simulated combat as a pilot of the 360-degree-rolling motion control ride. Additionally, for those of you interested in the history of aviation and space exploration, there is a free storytelling session at 1pm from Sunday to Friday.

Space shuttle

The Museum of Flight is preparing for a new exhibition. Slated for June 10, 2023 through January 7, 2024, will introduce various artworks with elements related to aviation and aerospace, along with activities such as interactive murals, music, and dance. At the same time, the exhibition will invite artists and guest speakers to enhance the community-focused event.
In , Tom Cruise says, “It’s not the plane, it’s the pilot.” to his frustrated team facing an impossible mission. A tour of the Museum of Flight leaves you wondering about the people behind the scene that actually designed, made, and piloted all the aircraft that have ever existed. Mankind has long dreamed of flying, and the sky is no longer our limit. We continue to pursue our dream to go into space. The Museum of Flight, in that sense, may be a place where you can see the outcome of efforts made by mankind in regards to exploring the sky and space.

The Museum of Flight
Address 9404 E. Marginal Way South Seattle, WA
Hours 10:00~17:00


Where to Stay in Seattle: LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE
Opened in September 2020, LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE is located in the 44-story building on 5th Avenue in Seattle’s Midtown. The building’s glassy façade mirrors sunlight and the surrounding area. Creative designs with a modern flair in 189 rooms and suites were inspired by the beautiful natural landscape of Seattle. The hotel stands close to some of the major tourist destinations of the city, such as Space Needle, Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market. LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE is an emerging landmark of the city, perfect for both business travelers and tourists.

Address 809 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone +1-206-800-8110
May 2023 Editor:Lee Youngju
Writer:Lee Siwoo
Cooperation: The Museum of Flight

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