Aviation Museum

An Orchestra Will Take Over This Aviation Museum

University of Stuttgart Academic Orchestra.

 We’re not sure how this will work. Or why it is happening. But we’re sure it will be great.

On September 21, from 3 pm to 5 pm, the University of Stuttgart Academic Orchestra will take over all five main galleries at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

The plan is for the Orchestra to divide into five separate chamber groups and station themselves in the aviation and space galleries on both the Museum’s East and West Campuses.

Each group plans to play selections by composers including Mendelssohn and Weber to celebrate aviation, space, history, and science.

Here’s the program:

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826): Quintet for clarinet and strings in B-flat major, Op. 34.
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1947): String octet in E-flat major, Op. 20.
Joachim Raff (1822-1882): Sinfonietta for winds in F major, Op. 188.
Plus arrangements for brass ensemble.

The Museum performances are part of a North American tour by the Stuttgart, Germany-based orchestra, and are free with admission to the Museum of Flight.

Museum of Flight No Stranger to Music

Seattle Opera Dress Rehearsal at Museum of Flight

This isn’t the first time a music production has taken over the Museum of Flight.

During the pandemic, the Seattle Opera was scheduled to present a performance of “Flight.” The three-act opera was written in 1998 by composer Jonathan Dove and librettist April De Angelis and has been performed around the world.

Here’s the story of the opera:

An omniscient air traffic controller watches over a departure lounge bustling with relentlessly cheerful flight attendants, an excitable couple on vacation, a mysterious older woman, and a diplomat and his expectant wife, all of whom must spend the night to wait out a storm. At the heart of the show is the Refugee, a character inspired by Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris for almost 18 years.”

The pandemic meant that Seattle Opera could not perform the show live. But rather than pass on the opportunity to present it, the Seattle Opera teamed up with Seattle’s Museum of Flight and filmed the opera there.

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




Bye-Bye Spruce Goose?

Spruce Goose from outside

If you want to get an up close look at the Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose – or play for a day in a water park built with a Boeing 747 on the roof – now might be a good time to make those plans.

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum – and Wings and Wave Water Park – may be sold on November 30 in a foreclosure auction in Oregon.

Spruce Goose and others inside the museum

The museum is hoping to delay the sale and has posted this notice on its website:

“We have been notified that our landlord, the Michael King Smith Education Foundation, has received a writ of execution on the sale of both the Space Museum and Wings & Waves Waterpark. The Foundation is a separate entity that owns buildings on the Museum Campus including the Space building, chapel and the Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark.

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is an independent non-profit organization. Museum Management is actively working on solutions to address this situation with the landlord. Visitor count at both the Museum and Waterpark is strong, and the Museum is profitable. We will continue to operate as usual and look forward to welcoming our guests.”

(Photos courtesy of the museum)

Souvenir Sunday: Chicks fly in Sacramento

The Aerospace Museum of California, in Sacramento, has some might impressive airplanes on exhibit. Among them, this Curtiss-Wright Model B-14-B Speedwing, which once belonged to the president of the Curtiss-Wright Aeroplane Company.

I saw this and a few dozen other aviation treasures during a recent tour of the museum and spent some time in the gift shop in search of items to share with you for souvenir Sunday.

I liked this 38-piece 3-D Space Shuttle puzzle –

And this cute plate –

But my favorite items in the gift shop were these glasses celebrating the fact that Chicks Fly.

Souvenir Sunday: horseshoes and cigars from Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport

Each Sunday at StuckatTheAirport.com is Souvenir Sunday – the day we look at some of the fun, inexpensive items for sale in airport gift shops.

This week’s souvenirs come to us from the Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky is on airport property and last weekend (June 13, 2010) 15,000 area citizens showed up at the airport to walk, run, bike, skate and play on the new general aviation runway as part of the city’s 2nd Sunday initiative, which encourages people to be active.

That sounds like fun but, but this is Souvenir Sunday. So we sent the airport’s Amy Caudill into the airport shops in search of items that cost around $10, are ‘of’ the city or region and are, ideally, a bit offbeat.

She came up with some winners, including this cute stuffed horse –

And these handmade Maker’s Mark cigars, which have filler seasoned with Maker’s Mark Bourbon.  Each cigar is sealed in a glass tube and hand dipped in sealing wax, just like all those bottles of Kentucky-made Maker’s Mark bourbon.

A box of four bourbon ball chocolates sells for under $10

And these “Authentic racing horseshoes with track dirt from Churchill Downs” sell for under $6.

Did you find a great souvenir last time you were stuck at the airport? If it’s priced around $10, is ‘of’ the city of region and is somewhat offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along. Your souvenir may be featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.