The Museum of Flight is an air and space museum and is located at the southern end of King County International Airport (Boeing Field), in the city of Tukwila, just south of Seattle. It was established in 1965 and is the largest private air and space museum in the world. The museum also hosts the largest K-12 educational programs in the world. The museum attracts over 500,000 visitors every year and serves more than 140,000 students yearly through both its onsite programs at learning centers and summer camps. The museum also leads several outreach programs that travel throughout Washington and Oregon.
The Museum of Flight can trace its roots back to the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation, which was founded in 1965 to recover and restore a 1929 Boeing 80A-1, which had been discovered in Anchorage, Alaska. The restoration took place over a 16-year period, and after completion, was put on display as a centerpiece for the museum. In 1968, the name "Museum of Flight" first appeared. In 1975, The William E. Boeing Red Barn was acquired for one dollar from the Port of Seattle. The museum's education programs grew significantly with the building of a Challenger Learning Center in 1992. This interactive exhibit allows students to experience a Space Shuttle mission. It includes a mock-up NASA mission control, and experiments from all areas of space research. in 2012, the museum received a practice shuttle from NASA that visitors can now go inside. In 1997, the museum opened the first full scale, interactive Air Traffic Control tower exhibit. The tower overlooks the Boeing Field runways and offers a glimpse into what it is like to be an air traffic controller.
The Museum of Flight has more than 150 aircraft in its collection, including the original Boeing 80A-1, whose restoration led to the founding of the museum.
On its grounds, you can find the Personal Courage Wing (PCW) with 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from several countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan. In June 2007, the Museum opened a new space exhibit: "Space: Exploring the New Frontier", which traces the evolution of space flight from the times of Dr. Robert Goddard to the present and into future to look at commercial spaceflight. So cool!
All information sourced from Wikipedia. Cover Photo by Fawcett5 and available on Wikipedia in the Public Domain.