Welcome to Seattle! Whether you flew in or drove here, you will want to learn about airplanes at the Museum of Flight while in the area. The Museum of Flight is the largest non-profit, independent museum on air and space in the world, and we are lucky to have it right here in Seattle. The museum features more than 175 aircrafts and spacecrafts, as well as countless rare photographs, artifacts and exhibits pertaining to flight and space. Visit the Museum of Flight to bring the history of aviation and space exploration to life.
The Museum of Flight offers exhibits on commercial aviation over the years, military history, and space and exploration. This is an educational experience that can pertain to all people.
In 1964 the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation was formed by a group of aviation enthusiasts.This small group recognized that historic artifacts were being lost or destroyed. They established this foundation with the purpose of preserving aviation and flight related artifacts.
Soon after the PNAHF was formed, they realized they needed a place to keep and preserve these artifacts. In 1965 the first exhibits were displayed in space at the Seattle Center. In 1983 the Red Barn, the birthplace of The Boeing Company, became the permanent location of the Museum of Flight. Since then, the Museum of Flight has grown from just the Red Barn to include the Great Gallery (1987), the Library and Archives Building (2002), and the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage wing and Airpark (2004).
There are so many exhibits on commercial aviation throughout the Museum of Flight. Here are a few of the most popular to keep an eye out for:
The Birth of Aviation
This exhibit is dedicated to telling the Wright Brothers’ story in a complete and new way. The exhibit is a celebration of over 100 years of taking flight and how it changed the world. One key part of the exhibit is a combination of rare documents and some interactive aspects to the exhibit.
The Boeing Story
Interested in learning more about the Boeing Company, from the very beginning to the challenges they faced? This large exhibit is all about The Boeing Story from 1916 to 1958. From aircraft blueprints to rare artifacts and photographs to a re-created factory shop floor, there is a lot to learn and see in this exhibit.
The Museum of Flight offers many exhibits and artifacts from different wars, here are just a few of the permanent exhibits:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park
After several years of fundraising, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park was finally made possible. The centerpiece of the park is the B-52G Stratofortress 59-2584 Midnight Express. The B-52 flew in the war, during Operation Linebacker II and was restored as part of Project Welcome Home. The plane is accompanied by a statue of a Vietnam airman carrying a folded American flag. Finally, the park features a tribute wall with the names of many soldiers who served in the Vietnam War.
World War I and World War II Fighters
The World War I exhibit is open and operating, while the World War II exhibit is opening in September 2021. These two exhibits showcase different aircrafts and artifacts from World War I and World War II. Seeing these exhibits allows you to see the evolution of fighters over that period of time.
Space is the final frontier and a very intriguing topic for a lot of people. The Museum of Flight in Seattle Washington offers different opportunities to experience space and to learn more about it. Check out these exhibits in your visit to the museum:
Space: Exploring the New Frontier
This exhibit is under construction but will be reopened in May 2021. Here you can learn about all things space, including viewing the lunar rover and to-scale models of Apollo 17 astronauts Jack Schmitt and Gene Cernan.
This is an interactive exhibit showing the basic science behind spaceflight. The exhibit is 15,000 square feet with four different interactive sections for educational value and fun.
Come visit the Museum of Flight while in Seattle! With all the fun available in the city, take the time to enjoy the educational value and excitement of the Museum of Flight. Interested in seeing where the museum began in the Seattle Center? Go visit the Seattle Center and take a look at the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, and other attractions in the center.