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Prep for Your Tour of Seattle's Museum of Flight

April 18, 2023 By CityPASS

When people think of Seattle, they often think of tech and coffee, and there's plenty of both to go around. What most people don't know, however, is that Seattle is an important city in regard to aviation history. Boeing (the aircraft manufacturer whose planes many visitors to Seattle will arrive in) was founded in the Emerald City and named after its founder, William E. Boeing. Without Boeing's founding in 1916, the aviation scene might have been very different today.

If you're interested in learning more, we highly recommend visiting the Seattle Museum of Flight. Located down the road from both King County International Airport and Boeing's current base of operations, this museum is sure to be a fun excursion for adults and children alike. It's full of fascinating exhibits, including original airplanes, flight simulators, and historical records. There are even some exhibits dedicated to outer space.

What Can You Expect to Experience at Seattle's Museum of Flight?

Museum of Flight has made it its mission to preserve and share the history of aviation in fun and unique ways. Here, you'll find countless aircraft and artifacts from every era of flight, including the earliest years, both World Wars, the Space Race, and the present day. You'll also experience stories both new and familiar in a whole new way through exhibit installations. With so much to see and so many ways to experience it all, this is a great place to take the whole family. People of all age groups, personalities, and levels of interest in aviation are sure to have a great time.

Though there's no substitute for being here, we're happy to give you an overview of what you can expect to find:

Exhibits on Space Exploration

The museum of flight is home to more than just airplanes; there are plenty of treats for space lovers as well. Visit the Lear Gallery for a first-hand look at the tools used in space and the spacecraft used to get there. To feel like you're there yourself, step onto a replica of the Destiny Research Laboratory of the International Space Station. Of course, you'll also find many relics of the Space Race that pushed flight technology beyond our sky. While the museum is a tribute to our progress as a species, it also serves as a reminder of how far we have left to go.

Cockpit Experiences and Artifact Collections

This museum is full of priceless aviation artifacts. We recommend checking out The Boeing Story in the Red Barn to see all sorts of fuselages, the tools they were made with, and historical photographs. Of course, the planes themselves are artifacts as well, and there are over 160 of them on display. You'll find all types of aircraft in the Aviation Pavilion, including fighter planes, old Boeing airliners, and even the original Air Force One. Though many of these planes are just for viewing, you may have the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of a Blackbird and get a feel for what it must have been like to pilot the fastest jet ever made.

Oral Histories of American Aviation Innovation

When you visit the museum, it probably won't be too long until you find the Red Barn. This is where the Boeing Aircraft Company originally manufactured its planes. Now, it's home to several exhibits, one of which is called The Birth of Aviation. This exhibit doesn't just pay tribute to the world-renowned Wright brothers; it lets you get to know them like never before. In addition to historical photographs and documents, the Barn contains oral histories from several of the brothers' acquaintances. If you've ever wanted to learn more about these aviation pioneers, the Museum of Flight is the place to be.

Flight Simulators

Sightseeing is great, but are you ready to take flight? If so, you'll probably be interested in one of the museum's flight simulators. Choose from one of several digital aircraft and learn how to pull off 360-degree barrel rolls and other combat maneuvers. These machines use state-of-the-art motion controls and high-performance digital flat panel technology to pull off a realistic flight experience. These simulators have a lot in common with amusement park rides, so people of all ages looking for a thrill are sure to find it here. If this isn't your preference, this might be a good time to take a break at the Wings Café.

Digitized Materials

When looking for perspective into the past, there's no better way than to see it as it was. Thanks to the museum's efforts, this is possible through the many digitized archival collections in its possession. Though it's certainly mesmerizing to browse through birds-eye view photographs of some of the earliest flights, you might find the digitized letters and journals tugging at your heartstrings as well. Other records that have been digitally preserved include flight logs, military records, and even the planes themselves. Digital recordkeeping is an ongoing process, and it's easier to appreciate it once you see the history it's been able to save.

Walk Through Aviation History and Interactive Exhibits During Your Next Seattle Vacation

As you can see, Seattle's Museum of Flight has no shortage of fascinating exhibits, and there are plenty more for you to discover. The same can be said for Seattle itself, as there are so many other exciting things to do in the Emerald City. Though traveling between them might not be that hard, you might feel overwhelmed by the planning and scheduling involved in making sure you see everything.

Why not save time and money on your next Seattle vacation with Seattle C3® tickets? One bundle gives you admission to three of Seattle's premier attractions of your choosing, including Museum of Flight, and saves you up to . This is a great way to simplify your trip planning so that you (and your family) can focus on having a great time.

Ready to explore Seattle at your own pace? Purchase Seattle C3® tickets today.

Lodging in Seattle

To get the most out of your stay in Seattle, we recommend finding lodging near Seattle's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header image courtesy of Museum of Flight

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