Flying Car

Tidbits for travelers: Free drinks for fliers; Flying car tweaked

If your Mileage Plus status on United Airlines lands you in the Economy Plus section, or if you pony up some extra bucks and buy your way into the seating area that promises 5 extra inches of legroom, the airline will buy you a drink.

Beer cans

Free drinks in Economy Plus on United Airlines

According to the airline website, anyone sitting in the Economy Plus section August 6-16, 2010 will get a free drink.

But you may have to ask for it. According to the Terms and Conditions of the offer, the complimentary beverage is only available during the first beverage service and is “upon request.”

The Transition flying car

Flying car design gets updated

And it seems there’s news about design changes for The Transition, the “roadable aircraft” that the folks at Terrafugia claim is the world’s first flying car.

According to Adam Hadhazy’s TechNews Daily story, mild design makeovers to the car include “a more car-like front courtesy of traditional headlights and a license plate holder” and “On the engineering side of things, the next generation of the vehicle has an improved wing that folds up smoothly per a command from the cockpit, rather like a convertible.”

And in the in-dash espresso maker?

Museum Monday: Museum of Flight, Seattle

It’s Museum Monday here at, so time to take a look at one of the 694 aviation museums around the country.

This week: a quick look at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, which has just kicked off a new exhibit about women in the aerospace industry: Chasing Horizons: Women in Aerospace.

Associated Women Pilots of Boeing Field (1933-1946). Museum of Flight collection.

The exhibit starts off with pioneer French aeronaut Élisabeth Thible, who became the first woman to fly in a balloon in 1784, and continues through aviation’s Golden Age of the 1920s and 1930s, World War II, and to today’s fighter pilots, aerobatic pilots, engineers, and astronauts.

Of course, there are plenty of other things to see here. The Museum of Flight is home to a vast collection of more than 150 rare aircraft and space vehicles.

There’s a control tower overlooking the very active Boeing Field and, in the Personal Courage wing, a display of 28 fighter aircraft.  The major attraction, though, is the six-story Great Gallery where there are more than 20 full-size aircraft on display, including this Lockheed M-21 Blackbird.

Lockheed Blackbird at Museum of Flight

See that little red dot to the left of the Blackbird? That’s my favorite museum artifact – an early flying car known as the Taylor Aerocar III:

The museum also has a Concorde on loan from British Airways and the first presidential jet plane, a specially built Boeing 707-120, which had this ‘high-tech’ conference area.

First Air Force One Presidential plane

Seattle’s Museum of Flight is located just south of Seattle and not far from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. So it’s a good option for an activity during a long layover. See the Museum of Flight website for more information about exhibits, special events, hours and admission.

And let us know if you have a favorite aviation museum you’d like us to feature.