The Museum of Flight is located at Boeing Field, which is a few miles south of Seattle, Washington.
I thought at first it was a Boeing-centric museum, because of its proximity to Boeing, and the heavy representation of Boeing aircraft and artifacts.
But according to their website:
The Museum of Flight is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world! With over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, dozens of exhibits and experiences and a world-class library, the Museum and its people bring mankind’s incredible history of flight to life.
The museum was first established in 1965 at the Seattle Center, the home of the famous Space Needle, and former location of the World’s Fair in 1962. In 1975, it was relocated to its current location. The first building established at this location was the relocated Red Barn, which is the original factory of the Boeing Company.
The included photos are among my favorite features of the museum. As with any museum artifact, each one has its own unique story behind it.
The sun sets behind a fully restored Boeing B-52 called Midnight Express, which was recently restored and put on display in the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. [src] . The B-52 has been in active service for over 60 years [src].
These are the remains of the first stage rocket engines from the Saturn V rocket which bought the Apollo 11 manned mission to the moon in 1969. They were recovered from the ocean floor in 2013 by a team funded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. [src]
The interior of the Red Barn, which was the original airplane factory build in 1909 by William E. Boeing of The Boeing Company. The building was relocated by barge from its original location two miles away after being sold to the museum in 1975 for the tidy sum of $1. [src]
A view of the T.A. Wilson Great Gallery, which contains several planes either on the ground, or suspended from the ceiling with cables. In the foreground is an M-21 variant of the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird, which it the predecessor to the SR-71 Blackbird. What makes the M-21 special is D-21 drone that rides piggyback. This particular M-21 was produced in 1963. This family of planes holds the distinction of being the fastest production jet airplane to ever fly, able to cruise at up to Mach 3.3. [src]
The Starfighter F-104s pictured here was America’s first operational Mach 2 fighter, which entered into service in 1958. It was painted with the NASA paint scheme, however this particular plane was never flow by NASA. [src]
A Boeing B-29 Superfortress, similar to those that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. This particular B-29 flew 37 bombing missions in the Pacific during WWII, and converted to an refueling tanker during the Korean war. [src]
This Boeing 80A-1 and its predecessors came into existence in the late 1920s, as one of the first commercial passenger planes. This particular model could hold 18 passengers, but was converted into a cargo aircraft in the 1940s. This is the only remaining 80 series in existence, being recovered from a dump in the 1960s. [src]
This British Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfire MK.IX was flown in support of the D-Day Invasion of WWII on June 6, 1944. [src]
The Lockheed P-38L Lightning is my favorite World War 2 era warplane, for its aesthetics alone. At the time of its released, it was 100 mph faster than any other fighter in the world, due to its two supercharged engines. Its four 50-caliber machine guns and 20-mm cannon were nose-mounted, making it effective at long range, and the most successful fighter plane in the Pacific theater, and highly successful in other roles as well [src]
The resident Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress is the only flyable B-17F left in the world. It has a storied history, having been modified multiple times as a memorial display, aerial sprayer, air tanker and fire fighter. It has also starred in multiple Hollywood movies, before being brought to the museum of flight in 1988. It was later fully restored to its military configuration, and fully certified for flight by the FAA. [src]
The North American P-51D Mustang was instrumental in defeating the German Luftwaffe during World War 2. This particular P-51 came from the Israeli Air Force, who had removed the manufacturer’s data plates, rendering the plane’s origins unknown. [src]
Both of these Nieuport 24bis(lower) and Nieuport 27 (upper) are enthusiast reproductions of French planes used during World War 1.
The museum built an entire wing in the hopes of obtaining a retired Space Shuttle from NASA. Though they were unable to obtain an actual shuttle, they were able to get a NASA Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT). The FFT was built in the 1970s, and was used to train every astronaut that participated in the Space Shuttle program.
The Aviation Pavilion is located across the street from the main building, and is accessible by sky bridge. Pictured here are some of the aircraft located here. Concorde: The fastest commercial transport in history capable of Mach 2. Boeing VC-137B (Air Force One): The first presidential jet plane, that carried presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Douglas DC2: First built in 1934, it was the predecessor to the famous DC-3. Boeing WB-47E Stratojet: Cold War era medium range bomber with a pronounced swept wing design.
Thanks for dropping by! I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.