PanAm747
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Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:45 am

Greetings to all!!

I think the title speaks for itself - I am considering a trip to Seattle mainly for the purpose of visiting the Museum of Flight. It sounds incredible (a real Concorde!!), but I would love to hear some firsthand accounts from visitors.

Will it take my breath away?

Thanks in advance!!  Big thumbs up
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GSPSPOT
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:08 am

I've been twice, most recently last Sept. The BIG attraction is the Concorde on display across the street. There are several other airliners that you can see up close, but none that you can actually go inside. The front fuselage section of an old US Air 737 inside the main building is cool. You can sit in the seats, etc. Overall, a very interesting way to spend a couple/few hours. The shop has decent airliner stuff, but it won't blow you away. Also, when SEA traffic is taking off/landing to the South, arrival traffic flies directly over the musem...
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corocks
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:13 am

I have been there several times. I like the way that they have reorganized all the planes across the street since they got the concorde over there. You can get much closer to the other planes than ever before. You can also go inside one of the old Air Force One's.

You can spend hours walking through the displays if you read everything, especially in the "Red Barn" and the new WWI and WWII displays.

It is worth it, plus you can make a trip up to Everett for the Boeing plant tour.
 
QuestAir
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SE

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:18 am

I went there back in 2001. I liked the US Air 737 'movie theater' that they have set up there. And, to top it all off, I got to go inside a few 757 in-production fuselages on the assembly line in Renton!  Smile
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:24 am

I was there in 2003, nice museum, but we didn't get to go across the street. I heard they are building an addition that will house the Concorde, 747, 727, etc as well as some others being restored up in Everett. If you get a chance, take a trip up to the Museum of Flight Restoration Center (just south of the Boeing plant). They were working on a Comet when I was up there, and the 247 was there too (main reason I wanted to go). Awesome place, be sure to leave a donation.  Big grin
 
SNATH
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SE

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:25 am

PanAm747,

I went in Oct 2002 with a friend. It was pre-Concorde but I still enjoyed the visit very much. For me, the highlight was the two-seater Oxcart (just in case you're wondering: the "Blackbird" on display is not actually a Blackbird, but a two-seater A12 Oxcarts designed to carry the D21 drone; only two of them were ever built) which looked awesome. They even had an actual Blackbird cockpit (and back seat I think) you could sit in. It was great. Another highlight was that Boeing was running a set of passanger-confort experiments in a mockup of a B767 cabin (with a B777-style interior). So, my friend and I took part. They sat us down and asked us how confortable we were at the seat we were sitting, what we thought of the interior, etc. I remember something that looked very unusual was that the windows were really large and round. I assume they carried that concept to the 7E7 but the actually stretched them a bit. JFK's Air Force One was also really cool. So, overall, I personally enjoyed the visit very much. We actually combined it with a tour at Everett (Everett in the morning and Museum in the afternoon) and they can be easily accommodated in the same day.

Of course, if you want to see a really amasing museum, go to the Smithsonian annex at Dulles:

http://www.nasm.si.edu/museum/udvarhazy/

This is truly breath-taking (I was that just over a week ago).

Hope this helps,

Tony
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Tango-Bravo
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:33 am

Absolutely positively worth visiting for anyone having an interest in aviation. Lots of 1:1 aircraft on display, plus a theatre that plays interesting films on various aviation subjects as well as (when I last visited) a walk-through display of an actual early "Air Force One" presidential 707. Another part of the museum is Boeing's first facility, the "red barn;" well worth visiting to learn about the humble beginnings and early history of Boeing. The museum gift shop has lots of interesting books and other items likely to be of interest to aviation enthusiasts. All of the features I have listed are included in the basic admission price.
 
bhill
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:27 am

GO!!! I live in the Pugetopolis area, and never miss an opportunity to go, My kids love it too as there are lots of displays for them also. If you get the chance or have enough time, schedule a tour at the Everett plant to see how the planes are built...

Cheers
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717-200
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:33 am

Well worth the visit, especially the static park across the street from
the museum facility. With the usually damp Western Washington weather
are there been any plans to build an enclosed facility to protect the a/c
from the elements?
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:34 am

Absolutely great place. . . .

Lots to see . . .
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ltbewr
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:36 am

I was there in late August, and did the Everett plant tour earlier in the day. Defenitly worth your time, I ended up spending over 3 hours there. The new WWI/WWII section just opened up last July, and is a very good visit. Of course, one can now walk thorugh a Concorde (BA) and the 2nd 707 Air Force One, both with their own history. Boeing/King County Field is also where 737's and 757's are delivered from (they are built in Renton).
One hint for the Plant tour. Get to the tour office about 8:15, as tickets are sold from 8:30 am each day when tours are offered. If you are lucky, like I was, you may be able to get into the 1st tours of the day at 9:00 am. The tours last over 1 1/2 hours and are well worth the time.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SE

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:37 am

"Will it take my breath away?"

Yes!!!! I went in July 2004, it was absolutely amazing...well worth a trip to see it...

Greg
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roseflyer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:06 am

Hi PanAm747,

I am a former employee at the Museum of Flight. I worked in the education department which is the department in charge of the airpark. When the funds come there will be a whole enclosure built to hold the 747, 737, 727 as well as Air Force One and the Concorde. In the future a Comet 4 which is currently being worked on at the restoration center will take the place of the AA 727. The 727 is there basically because it was donated to the museum by AA at the time of the opening of the airpark. The enclosure should also include a new library and there will be a walkway built across East Marginal Way. Currently the airpark is only open 11-3:30pm and the hours expand to 11-4:30 in the summer. Remember that it gets crowded and both planes can have waiting lines of over 30 minutes in the afternoons, summers or holidays. Go early.

The great gallery is a great part of the museum. It features the Museum's most prized possessions (of course with the exception of Concorde and AF1). The M-21 Blackbird is there and is the focal point. Also there is a Mig 15 next to an F-4 Phantom for comparison's sake as well as a wide variety of other military planes in the perimeter. Apollo exhibit is also interesting with its moonrock and other setups. You should also check out the control tower. It looks over Boeing Field and is a relatively new addition. You can hear audio of the real tower, so you can watch when the really exciting stuff comes in. I had the opportunity to watch the real AF1 with Bush land from there which was really amazing. I was lucky to know the time it was coming in (since it is not public knowledge).

The new Personal Courage wing just opened June 6 2004. I got to see the unveiling and it is truly an extremely good exhibit. It features more than just planes, but tries to tell the story of the men and women fighting in WWII on the bottom and WWI on the top floor. It is my favorite part of the museum.

If you have any questions, you can email me through my profile, or post a comment and I will happily answer to the best of my ability.
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:24 am

I almost forgot, and surprised nobody's mentioned it..but the original Boeing "plant" (I think it's called the Red Barn?) is there and you can walk through it...I think that's where the WWI displays are, very neat. And visit the restoration center! Big grin

One question to any employees, will the UA 727 (sn 001 I think) sitting up at Everett be going in the new annex?
 
roseflyer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:32 am

Yes the Red Barn is still a focal part of the museum. I never liked it very much, but that is because it leeked and there was once a flood a in class room that I was teaching in when it rained. But for all intensive purposes it is quite interesting. It has a lot of exhibits about the pioneers of aviation, and how the Boeing company started including information about how Boeing actually was a furniture maker in the early part of the 1900s because it couldn't profit from planes.

The second floor was modified into an exhibit for education (Aviation Learning Center) when the military stuff was moved to the Personal Courage Wing. But with the reconstruction of the ALC down in basement, I am not sure what is up there.
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Mason
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SE

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:38 am

My grandpa is a retired wind tunnel supervisor, so I can get in free anytime, and I live about 30 min away, so yes, I have been there a few times. Lucky. Yes, the Concorde is spectacular, as is Air Force One, the Blackbird, and the other aircraft. Keep in mind, this is NOT a Boeing museum, as many think. This is a FLIGHT muesum. Long term plans call for an additional structure west of the main building to house the 747, 737, etc. So, yes, go. The only Concorde in the West, and I believe one of two or three in the US. The Red Barn is very well restored, and interesting as well.
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SE

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:52 am

I like it so much that I've been a member of the museum for over ten years now ($35/year if I remember right). Of all the aircraft museums that I've been to (including ones in Europe and the Middle East), I think it is second best to only the National Air & Space Museum in DC.

If you visit, make sure you also check out the restoration facility at Paine Field and the Boeing Everett plant tour. If you have a group, you can also arrange a tour of the Paul Allen collection of WWII aircraft up at the Arlington airport.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:03 am

Mason,
You are very right about it not being a Boeing Museum, but it is obvious that Boeing is a major contributer to the Museum. If you try to look for the word Airbus anywhere in the Museum, you will be looking for a while. The Comet will be the first commercial plane in the museum built outside the United States. However this is primarily because US companies are the ones that support the Museum and they will take anything they can get.

Another thing. If you are interested in purchasing items, the store is a good place, but if you want some better prices and some more selection, Boeing has a company store about 2 miles north of the museum on East Marginal Way. It is open to the public, but the good prices are for Boeing employees with their 30% discount.
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zippyjet
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:51 pm

At least half the fun/excitement would be the chance to go inside these retired birds, especially the Concorde. Now, if they could come up with a simulator that actually has the sights, sounds and smells of an airliner's particulars. Imagine at least a simulated Concorde flight. Of course, minus the caviar and the other perks for the rich folk.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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USAFHummer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SE

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:27 pm

"If you try to look for the word Airbus anywhere in the Museum, you will be looking for a while. "

Looking for an eternity, actually...the closest thing that I saw to an Airbus reference when I was there was a jetBlue windup airplane toy for sale in the gift shop...although the toy looked nothing like an A320, thats all B6 flies...thats it (real obscure line of thought i know), couldn't find anything else to even HINT at Airbus in the entire museum...while I obviously did not expect the place to be drooling with Airbus references, I think there could have been a few, if just to let people know that there are other commercial aircraft manufacturers out there...

Greg
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jetboyflyhi
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:29 pm

Hey it's good to go!!!!!!!!!!!
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roseflyer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:31 am

The funniest thing every from when I worked the Museum of Flight is when Frontier had a A319 that it brought in for a special event carrying VIP passengers for a gala at the Museum of Flight. They had most of the parking lot cornered off, and they actually let people go up and look at the plane. It was truly an odd thing to see a brand new Airbus in Boeing Land, kind of a shot in the face for Boeing as Frontier went from 737s to Airbus.


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In the second picture you can just barely see the F9 A319 on the left in the parking lot of the Museum of Flight.
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b741
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:44 am

Actually, I think the best display that nobody mentioned was the B-47 Stratojet by the parking lot entrance.
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lincoln
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:26 pm

Absolutely awesome.

I was there Christmas Eve after doing a roadtrip/helping an ex-coworker relocate to the city of Freeland on Whidbey Island [He is REALLY close to the plant in Everett, or at least it seems that way]

I wish I could have spent more time up there (only got to spend about 3 hours) before having to dash back home (1,500 miles down I-5 in just over 2 days) to get back to work/beat weather.

Only three complaints, all very minor:

- Too much military/not enough commercial for my tastes [I'm a commercial av. fan, indifferent to military-- not that it's not important/valuable]

- I wish more of the aircraft in the airpark were open for walkthoughs. Concorde and AF1 were great, but what about the insides of the first 747? [Being able to reach up and touch a 747 is a very unique experience. They're even bigger than they look from inside a terminal Big grin-- that's why rampers are so lucky!]

- I was freezing my butt off walking through the air park so I didn't linger as long as I otherwise would have. Then again I'm a native southern Californian so anything less than 60 degrees is "cold" to me -- and this was December 24.


It truely is a great -- if not somewhat overwhelming -- musuem. I'm planning a trip (flying this time, probably AS LGB-SEA) in March or April to catch up with the coworker/finish touring the musuem and get in a tour of Everett.

Go! Go! Go!

Lincoln
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roseflyer
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RE: Anyone Ever Been To The Museum Of Flight In SEA?

Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:40 am

Lincoln I understand your pain. Right now it is not looking like the 747 will be opened up to the public anytime soon. It has a gutted interior with the exception of a small section, so it would take a lot of work. Estimates are about $2 million. All of the funds currently are going to the Comet 4C that should be opened up to the public once it is done at the restoration center.

Personally I would like to see them extend the guardrails or remove them completely so you can walk around the airpark. They could have barriers around the landing gear and engines, but let you walk under the planes. As of now there are portable barricades blocking you from walking up to the 747. I think these will be removed and redone once the building of the hanger over the planes is complete, but I am not sure.

I was disappointed not to get to see that stuff up closer, but I did have a key when I worked there that could get me over there to see the stuff, but that isn't for the public. I also had a key to open those locked plastic doors within the planes too. But I never actually went up and unlocked the door in the Concorde to actually sit in a seat, because I might have been fired since they have a camera in there monitoring things.
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