AIr-Minded: The Museum of Flight

During our recent road trip to California and the Pacific Northwest, Donna and I spent a couple of days with our niece Rebecca in Bremerton, Washington. While there, we visited The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Museum of Flight’s Lockheed Super Constellation & Boeing B-47 Stratojet

To me, any visit to an air museum is special, but this visit was extra-special. My oldest friend, Jeremy, who is now a rare book dealer in Tacoma, drove up with his wife Phyllis to meet us there. I hadn’t seen Jeremy since the summer of 1964. Donna had never met him, and neither of us had met Phyllis before. We had a great reunion at the museum.

Donna, Jeremy, and Phyllis

The Museum of Flight has an impressive collection of aircraft from all eras of aviation on display, indoors and out, many of which are open and accessible. I particularly enjoyed walking through the interior of the Concorde, even tinier and more tubelike than I had imagined, and it was fun to see enthusiastic visitors lined up to sit in SR-71 Blackbird and F/A-18 Hornet cockpit procedure trainers in the main museum building.

Everything is squeaky clean and beautifully displayed, and the volunteer docents not only know their stuff, they wear suits. Suits! That would never work at my museum, Pima Air & Space, where summer temperatures get up into the hundreds and teens. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Before I visit air museums, I try to look up what kind of aircraft they have on display. I didn’t do that this trip, and was floored to discover the Museum of Flight has not only a Concorde but also the sole surviving M-21 Blackbird, complete with a D-21 drone on its piggyback launch rail. Not only that, another organization was selling B-17 dollar rides (well, a hundred or more dollars, I’m sure) to the public from a taxiway in front of the museum. I didn’t go, but I was sure tempted.

Lockheed M-21 with D-21 drone

Here are some thumbnails to whet your air-minded appetite. Click on any thumbnail to see the full sized photo on Flickr. Click here to view my full Museum of Flight photo album (89 photos in all) on Flickr.

Concorde cockpit
Nieuport 24bis
P-47 Thunderbolt
B-17 dollar rides

Mezzanine view

Boeing 80A-1

SUU-23 gun pod on F-4

© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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