South of the bulk of Seattle and North of the airport there lies a museum that is… dare I say it?… out of this world. The Museum of Flight is positioned in connection with Boeing Co’s property in the area, much of which it has held since the company’s founding in the town in 1916, and feels like a full escape from the city (though it remains in view should visibility be decent). Especially with Lake Washington to the east, it’s enough to forget about the rush of the highways nearby.
The Museum itself is in several large buildings and has airplanes outside on the tarmac to explore. You can tour a replica of the first Boeing factory with explanations about how planes were built throughout history and view artifacts from the entire course of the history of flight.
There’s a room dedicated to planes and their role in war organized to allow the visitor to experience the timeline in a linear fashion. Most notably, however, is the special focus the museum takes in order to make their exhibits especially international. I viewed pilot suits from both Allied and Axis forces from World War II, nose art from pilots of every nation, parachutes as they evolved in different technological climates. I could experience things I would have likely never considered seeking out.
Of course, some of you might not care as much about planes as me (I mean, I do admit to having a special love of the Blue Angels… don’t ask me why). That being said, there’s so much more to flight than just airplanes. Indeed, the museum goes through modern times encompassing current efforts to make space travel more accessible (at the time I visited, they had one of the SpaceX suits from their first launch).
Currently, the museum is featuring a centennial exhibit for Boeing and lots of special events involving the anniversary. You can check out their calendar for more information.
The Museum of Flight is open daily from 10 am-5 pm. They are located at 9404 E Marginal Way South in Seattle, Washington. For more information about planning your visit, including ticket prices and special information, be sure to visit their website.