The Enduring Seduction of Flight
T. A. Wilson Great Gallery, The Museum of Flight. Photo: Ted Huetter / The Museum of Flight.

The Enduring Seduction of Flight

The Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA - Ongoing

by Lisa Kinoshita

If boarding the Concorde or Air Force One has ever been on your bucket list, then wish fulfillment is tantalizingly within reach at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. This aviation-and-science museum boasts a jaw-dropping collection of more than 150 aircraft and spacecraft, stunningly exhibited in glass-walled and open-air hangars spanning 23 acres. Even non-aviation geeks will be swept up by the powerful story of America’s race to push the altitude of adventure ever higher.

While today’s billionaire entrepreneurs race to launch civilians into suborbital space, the flight museum’s gravitas grows out of the grand history of air and space travel from the Wright Brothers to Apollo, and beyond. The sheer physicality of the airships is overwhelming as one strolls through galleries showcasing the first wood-and-canvas flying machines, fighter planes from World Wars I and II, supersonic jets, Apollo rocketry, and the Space Shuttle. Some of these icons pack an emotional wallop as they encapsulate historical chapters such as the first Moon landing or the war in Southeast Asia. A skybridge (with sound installation by composer Paul Rucker) leads visitors from three indoor galleries to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, where a B-52G Stratofortress resides. The outdoor Aviation Pavilion houses legends including the first Boeing 747, the Concorde and an Air Force One that served presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, Kennedy and Nixon; all have cabins open to the public.

Starting in June, the museum will broaden its focus to multimedia art events and community engagement projects, including an open-call art exhibition. Art activities will be centered in the Big Red Barn, the lovingly restored birthplace of the Boeing Company manufacturing plant.

Free admission on the First Thursday of the month, 5-9pm.

Share this: