Museum of Flight

Giant new aviation pavilion at Seattle’s Museum of Flight

Seattle’s sprawling Museum of Flight will double its gallery space with the official opening of a 3-acre Aviation Pavilion this Saturday.

aviation pavilion

The 9-story roofed outdoor gallery currently displays 15 commercial and military airplanes, including a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first Boeng 747 prototype, the only Concorde on the west coast and a FedEx Air Cargo exhibit housed inside a 727 freighter.

Tucked under the wings of the 747 is a mini-airport for kids.

Also on display: a Douglas DC-2 airliner from the 1930s, three big bombers (World War Two’s B-17F Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress), and the Cold War’s B-47 Stratojet.

The Museum’s rare, flyable 1932 Boeing 247, Boeing 727 prototype, and the first jet Air Force One will be moved over from the Museum’s Airpark across the street to the Pavilion in the fall.

Aviation pavilion 2




Westjet & others celebrate April Fools’ Day

In the spirit of the April Fools’ Day holiday, yesterday Virgin America shared its “new” logo.

Today, WestJet and others join the fun with RALFH – a replacement for airplane food carts:

Cheapflights brings up Hipster Air , an airline “for those who badly want to be in the know – but who don’t want others to know it. It guarantees that no airline will try so hard to not look like it is trying so hard.”

Hipster air

And Seattle’s Museum of Flight once again rolls out a unique April Fools exhibit. This year – it’s the Sopwith Camel airplane flown by World War I flying ace, Snoopy.

Museum of Flight snoopy

“The famous aircraft has never been seen in public, and until recently, historians have believed it among the thousands of fighter aircraft lost forever in combat over France nearly one hundred years ago,” the museum said in a statement that refers to the aircraft as “one of the greatest finds of the century.”

More fun to follow…

More April Fools’ Day aviation news

In addition to this list of April 1 travel tidbits sharing April Fools’ Day announcements from WestJet, Richard Branson and Denver International Airport, you should know about these April Fools’ Day announcements.

Southwest Airlines released a video saying “all the other guys are doing it,” so they were beginning a “bag fee bandwagon bonanza” based on bag color.


Virgin Australia announced a special pre-flight lounge for pets.


Qantas Airways posted a note on its Facebook page announcing a slight change in the spelling of the carrier’s name:

Putting ‘U’ in QANTAS! So excited to today be adding a ‘U’ into our name, QANTAS, to acknowledge all of our passengers worldwide. Look out for the QUANTAS name change as of midday today!”


Delta Air Lines announced it would begin serving a version of its popular Biscoff cookies – made with kale.

Spirit Airlines announced Spirit Superiority Boarding at all U.S. airport locations.

Because “the boarding process for most airlines can be lengthy, confusing, and frankly insulting…these new boarding procedures will clear things up,” the airline said it a statement announcing a new line-up of boarding priorities that starts with gluten-free customers, members of the Illuminati, those with O-negative blood type and ends with people who eat kale and, finally… everyone else.

And, in Seattle, the Museum of Flight announced plans for adding real personality to some exhibits.

“Traditionally, an aerospace museum accessions an aircraft or spacecraft at the end of its service life to conserve and protect it for the enlightenment of future generations,” said museum spokesman Ted Huetter, “we now aim to treat the people in aerospace the same way. It’s that simple. And thanks to recent advances in the art of preserving human tissue, the exhibition of an aviator is no different from that of an old propeller or clock.”

Huetter noted that the museum has planes dating back to the 1920s and 1930s and that there are people alive today who flew in these planes. “When they pass away we will reunite them with the aircraft forever,” he said.

Seattle’s Museum of Flight gets a Dreamliner

It’s still so new – but the 787 Dreamliner is already a museum piece.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, the Boeing Company will officially donate Dreamliner “Number 3” to Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

If you’re in town, you’ll be able to see the plane in the museum’s East Parking Lot all weekend and tour it from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, and all day Sunday, Nov. 9.

The plane will then be relocated and closed to the public from Nov. 10 until the 21st while it gets prepped for permanent exhibition starting Nov. 22.

What’s the big deal about this airplane?

This 787 – ZA003 – was the third Dreamliner built. It first flew on March 14, 2010 and, in addition to its role in the flight test and certification program, Boeing flew this plane to almost two dozen countries to show it off as part of a “Dream Tour.”

Rare aviation & space treasures on view in Seattle

Two rare, historic and rarely-seen documents relating to the history of aviation and the exploration of spare are on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight through the end of May.

The first document is the original contract between Wilbur and Orville Wright and their creation, the Wright Company, in 1909. In the document, the brothers agree to transfer and assign to the Wright Company two U.S. patents that describe their successful flying machine.

Wilbur and Orville Wright signatures on Wright Company document.

The other document is the 1969 Apollo 11 Command Service Module Maneuver Card, which has Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s most extensive flight notes from the first visit to the Moon.

Apollo 11 P30 Maneuver card.

Cool, right? Both papers are part of the museum’s permanent collection, but are rarely shown because of their value and fragility.