Museum of Flight

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.

Helsinki Airport art cinema & Earhart’s plane twin

Helsinki movie


Helsinki Airport just opened a relaxation area.

Now there’s yet another cool amenity at that airport: an art cinema.

For the next six month’s the airport’s art gallery at gate 37 will be hosting an Art Cinema and showing the work of Finnish media artists.

First up: films about the Finnish people’s relationship with nature.

“Enter the red interior of ArtCinema. Take a seat and allow media art to steer your mind to another world. Return with a refreshed mind, and enjoy your flight,” said Art Cinema Anna Forsman in a statement. 

Amelia Earhart

And a new exhibit about Amelia Earhart is opening in Seattle on October 12 at the Museum of Flight.

“In Search of Amelia Earhart,” features a 1935 Lockheed Electra airliner that is the same type of plane as Amelia Earhart’s and one of only two in existence. This one has the same modifications as those made to Earhart’s plane and this one was flown around the world in 1997 on the 60th anniversary of Earhart’s global flight attempt.

For Museum of Flight, Seattle

The Museum’s Lockheed Electra passes Seattle on its final flight, Sept. 21, 2013. Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/The Museum of Flight.

The museum’s “Amelia” exhibit tells Earhart’s story through original photographs, newspapers, newsreel footage and Earhart’s personal belongings including her pilot’s helmet and goggles, and the only known surviving piece of the Lockheed Electra Earhart flew on her ill-fated flight around the world in 1937.

Not in that exhibit: Earhart’s iconic leather flight jacket which is in storage at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. More about that here.

A Norwegian view of Aviation Geekfest 2013

More than 200 people from around the region – and around the world – recently attended Aviation Geekfest 2013 in Seattle.

Over the past few years this annual event has grown tremendously in scope and attendance and this year offered aviation fans a chance to visit the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Boeing’s Renton 737 factory and, up near Paine Field in Everett, the Future of Flight, Boeing’s Dreamliner Gallery, the Museum of Flight Restoration Center, the Historic Flight Foundation, the Flying Heritage Collection, and the Boeing Factory Tour.

David Parker Brown, the key event organizer, has a full report – and loads of photos – on his blog, Airline, but I wanted to share the report filed by 12 year-old Eskil Skute, who traveled from Norway with his dad, Per, just to attend the Aviation Geekfest – and check out Seattle.


Eskil and his dad at Aviation GeekFest. All the way from Norway! Courtesy Boeing


I wasn’t able to attend Aviation Geekfest this year, but did stop by for the closing session and sat down next to Eskil and his dad. They filled me in on all the activities and I told Eskil that if he ended up writing a report of his adventure, I’d be happy to include it on

Eskil sent this to me a week or so back. English is not his first language and I toyed with editing this to smooth it out, but have decided that his enthusiasm comes through just fine as is. So all I did was shorten it a bit.

Thanks, Eskil, for sharing your story!

“My trip to Seattle was totaly awesome!!! We started leaving from our town Sarpsborg and drived to Oslo airport hotel. … At 04:00 at morning we took a shuttle buss up to the airport and took the airplane from Gardermoen to schipol. Then we whaited 2 hours to the 9hours trip ahead of us. When we landed i was whery tired.we also lost our luggage:

We where a lot at the future of flight. We where a lot up on the roof and watched planes land and take off. We saw the Dreamlifter take off. That whas very cool:) next day we where going to the boeing 737 factory. We where first at the museum of flight. I loved museum of flight. The sr-71blackbird and mig 21fishbed and more…

When we comed to the boeing factory we where taked up to a Big room with three Big tv’s. We where not allowed to take pictures inside. When i comed out to where They builded boeing 737 i where like woow. It was huge. I saw a lot of airplanes in Lines ahead. I saw sas, westjet, hainan airlines,northwest airlines and united. It was hot inside.

That was the first time in history that They had lett anobody inside where They builded boeing 737. 

Next day i buyed me a model aircraft. It was a boeing 737 800 star allaince. The airline was air nippon(ANA).

Then we went shopping some new clothes beacause we have lost our luggage. The next day we where going to the dreamliner gallery and the main factory for boeing. The dreamliner gallery was pretty cool. We saw things and colors They wanted to have in the plane.

Then we whent to the main factory. I just said wow when i comed in. This plase wasent huge…IT WAS LARGE. We saw the boeing 747,777,787. We saw the first boeing 787dreamliner for Norwegian. The boeing factory is the biggest building in volum in the WORLD.

I had a great time inside the boeing factory. The coolest thing was the 737 ofcourse;). Next day it was back to seatle. We went to pike plase market in seatle. They throwed fish and that was funny:). Then we went to spaceneedle. It was tall and i could see the museum of flight:). We also saw the k5news helicopter take off from the roof:) that was very cool. We saw it from spaceneedle:).

Next day was our last day in seatle. We went on the tallest skyscraper in seatle it was abaout 70-80 floors. On 40th floor the talest starbucks in the world was.

The next day we had to leave. I buyed togheter 6model aircraft and i was happy. When i comed home i was tired. I miss seatle.


Museum Monday: Style in the Aisle at Seattle Museum of Flight

It’s Museum Monday here at and this week we’re taking another look at some of the photos and outfits in the Style in the Aisle exhibit at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Airline Ephemera from the Archives of the Museum of Flight.

Three Stewardess near Jet Engine; possibly PanAm (from the Archives of the Museum of Flight; Copyright The Museum of Flight Collection.)

Style in the aisle galley

A United Airlines Stewardess with food service in the Galley, circa late 1940’s early 1950’s. Copyright The Museum of Flight Collection

Style in the Aisle

“Fashion designer, Oleg Cassini created a futuristic look for the flight attendants of Air West during the carrier’s brief existence prior to its purchase by Howard Hughes. The basic uniform consisted of a textured polyester dress and a jacket with an unconventional side-buttoning configuration. The pieces came in a selection of bright, solid colors inspired by the natural colors found at Air West’s destinations, including fern green, Pacific blue and canyon red.”  Copyright Delta Airlines.

Souvenir Sunday: Amelia Earhart luggage

Earlier this week, while waiting for Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger’s presentation at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, I spent some time in the Amelia Earhart exhibit.  And while I don’t think I’ll take up flying my own plane anytime soon, I keep thinking about getting some new luggage.

Amelia Earhart endorsed a long list of products ranging from cars, cigarettes and clothing to what one press release described as nothing less than “the first truly practical and genuine airplane luggage.”

Earhart may have disappeared in 1937, but it appears a line of luggage bearing her name was produced well into the 1990’s.   And while I haven’t come upon anything from that line in the thrift stores near me, I did poke around the Museum of Flight gift shop to see if I could find something under $10 and “Amelia” for today’s Souvenir Sunday feature.

The only items that fit the bill were a few young adults books, including this one from the National Geographic Children’s Books series that includes photos, quotes from Earhart’s writings, theories about how she vanished, and maps of the route she followed on her last flight.