From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaMuseum of Flight
The Museum of Flight is a private non-profit air and space museum at King County International Airport (Boeing Field), south of downtown Seattle, Washington. It was established in 1965 and is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums. As the largest private air and space museum in the world, it also hosts the largest K-12 educational programs in the world.
The museum attracts over 400,000 visitors every year. The museum serves more than 140,000 students yearly through both its onsite programs: a Challenger Learning Center, an Aviation Learning Center, and a summer camp (ACE), as well as outreach programs that travel throughout Washington and Oregon.
The Museum of Flight can trace its roots back to the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation, which was founded in 1965 to recover and restore a 1929 Boeing 80A-1, which had been discovered in a landfill in Anchorage, Alaska. The restoration took place over a 16 year period, and after completion, was put on display as a centerpiece for the museum. In 1968, the name "Museum of Flight" first appeared in use in a 10,000-square-foot facility, rented at the Seattle Center. Planning began at this time for a more permanent structure, and preliminary concepts were drafted.
In 1975, The William E. Boeing Red Barn was acquired for one dollar from the Port of Seattle, which had taken possession of it after Boeing abandoned it during World War II. The 1909 all-wooden Red Barn, the original home of the company, was barged two miles (3 km) up the Duwamish River to its current location at the southwestern end of Boeing Field. After restoration, the two-story Red Barn was opened to the public in 1983.
That year a funding campaign was launched, so capital could be raised for construction of the T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. In 1987, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush cut the ribbon to open the facility, with an expansive volume of 3,000,000 cubic feet (85,000 m3). The gallery's structure is built in a space frame lattice structure and holds more than 20 hanging aircraft, including a Douglas DC-3 weighing more than nine tons.
The museum's education programs grew significantly with the building of a Challenger Learning Center in 1992. This interactive exhibit allows student's to experience a Space Shuttle mission. It includes a mock-up NASA mission control, and experiments from all areas of space research.
Completed in 1994, the 132-seat Wings Cafe and the 250-seat Skyline multipurpose banquet and meeting room increased the museum's footprint to 185,000 square feet (17,200 m2). At the same time, one of the museum's most widely recognized and popular artifacts, theLockheed M-21, a modified Lockheed A-12 Oxcart designed to carry the Lockheed D-21 reconnaissance drones, was placed on the floor at the center of the Great Gallery, after being fully restored.
The first jet-powered Air Force One (1959–62, SAM 970), a Boeing VC-137B, was flown to Boeing Field in 1996. Retired from active service earlier that year, it is on loan from the Air Force Museum. Originally parked on the east side of the museum, it was driven across East Marginal Way and now resides in the museum's Airpark, where it is open to public walkthroughs.
In 1997, the museum opened the first full scale, interactive Air Traffic Control tower exhibit. The tower overlooks the Boeing Field runways, home to one of the thirty busiest airports in the country. The exhibit offers a glimpse into what it is like to be an air traffic controller.
The next major expansion was opened in 2004, with the addition of the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing. North of the Red Barn, the wing has 88,000 square feet (8,200 m2) of exhibit space on two floors, with more than 25 World War I and World War II aircraft. It also has large collection of model aircraft, including every plane from both wars.
In June 2010, the museum broke ground on a $12 million new building to house a Space Shuttle it hoped to receive from NASA. The new building will include multisensory exhibits that emphasize stories from the visionaries, designers, pilots, and crews of the Space Shuttle.Though the museum did not receive one of the three remaining shuttles, it did receive a shuttle mockup that was used to train astronauts. Because it is a trainer and not an actual shuttle, the public will be allowed to enter its interior. The new gallery is slated to open in April 2012.
The Museum of Flight has more than 80 aircraft, including:
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Gossamer Albatross II at the Museum of Flight
On its grounds is the Personal Courage Wing (PCW) with 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from several countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan.
The Red Barn,Boeing
's original manufacturing plant
There is also the "Red Barn", a registered historic site also known as Building No. 105. Built in 1909, the building was used during the early 1900s as Boeing's original manufacturing plant. Through photographs, film, oral histories, and restoration of work stations the exhibits in the Red Barn illustrate how wooden aircraft structure with fabric overlays were manufactured in the early years of aviation and provides a history of aviation development through 1958.
In June 2007 the Museum opened a new space exhibit: "Space: Exploring the New Frontier", which traces the evolution of space flight from the times of Dr. Robert Goddard to the present and into future commercial spaceflight.
The museum maintains a restoration facility at Paine Field in Everett with about 39 ongoing projects including a de Havilland Comet 4 jet airliner, a Jetstar, a FM-2 Wildcat, among many. A previous project, the only flyable Boeing 247 in existence, is based from the airfield at the restoration center. A restored B-17, currently the only flyable B-17F variant of the B-17 and a B-29 in progress are currently hangared at Boeing Field. The B-17 is displayed seasonally in the summer, on the grass next to the B-47, in front of the Museum's entrance.
The museum has a library dedicated to aviation that is open to the public.
It was founded in 1985. As of 2011 it contains 66,000 books and subscribes to 100 periodicals. It specializes in aerospace and aviation. Its special collection includes the G S Williams photographic collection, the peter bowers photo collection, the DD Hatfield Aviation History collection, the E B Jeppesen Aviation History and Navigation collection, the Fighter Aces Association Archives, the Lear Archives, and the Wright Airplane Company Collection.
On August 23, 2011, the Museum of Flight, along with the Highline Public Schools broke ground on the new home of Aviation High School. The building will be owned and operated by the museum, and is located directly north of the Museum's Airpark. The new school will be completed in 2013. The facility will also be used for the museum's summer education programs when school is not in session.
There are also plans to enclose the Airpark with a roof, covering the currently exposed aircraft from the weather. The roof will span the gap between the future Aviation High, and the newly built Space Gallery. The cover will also allow aircraft which are seasonally brought out, such as the Museum's B-17, to be permanently on display.