Sunday, 18 January 2015

DAY 39 - Boeing, Boeing, Gone

Hi y'all, and greetings again from wet-wet-wet Seattle. Today was a day with purpose, today we visited the Museum of Flight to check out a bunch of famous aircraft as well as some great new exhibits since we last visited here back in 2012.

The Museum is located at King County Airfield which is also known as Boeing Field. It is also adjacent to the Boeing 737 production line which I am willing to bet just about everyone reading this blog has travelled on. In fact, as at Dec 31, 2014 Boing had delivered 8350 Boeing 737s from this site. The museum is a privately owned air and space museum and is famous for having the very first (prototype) Boeing 747 on display. The museum drew a lot of criticism in recent years for the terrible state of RA001 and very recently set about restoring the aircraft (as seen above) and will eventually build a roof to cover the aircraft that are currently displayed outdoors.

A Presidential VC-137B (an older Air Force 1)

A Beautiful TCA Lockheed L1049G Constellation

A Boeing VC-137B

The main landing gear of the world's first Boeing B747

Schuyler and I in front of the world's first Boeing B747-121

Lockheed L-1049G Constellation

A stairway to heaven

The prototype Boeing B737-130

This American Airlines Boeing B727-022 was the first B727 produced

The Cockpit of the Concorde BOAG

The Concorde (BOAG) of only four on display outside of Europe

The Museum also houses a Full Fuselage Space Shuttle trainer which is really impressive. The building it is contained in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery has some interesting artefacts including a Dragon reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX.

The Full Fuselage Space Shuttle Trainer

Blue Origins test vehicle Charon, used to teat guidance systems for its rockets

The Russian Soyuz Capsule which carried American Tech Billionaire Charles Simonyi to space and back

SpaceX's reusable Dragon spacecraft

Inside the cargo bay of the Full Fuselage Space Shuttle Trainer

The indoor displays are immaculate with the crown jewel being a Lockheed A-12 with the only surviving M21 Drone attached atop of it.

The Lockheed A-12 with it's M-21 Drone above

There are also many other air and space items on display.

The Caprioni was the world's first fighter plane and this was the only one built

There were also hundreds of spectacularly detailed mode aircraft that were just stunning

Everyone knows what this is...

The space stuff was also good, including one of the NASA Command Module test articles. This one was actually swung down on a trapeze into the ground for impact testing. There was also John Young's space suit from the Apollo 16 Moon mission. John Young's my Astronaut hero.

John Young's Apollo 16 Moon suit

Apollo Command Module 007A

A very intricate door lock for the capsule
Also there was a recent display which was Boeing B787 Aircraft ZA003 which was used as part of the B787 test flight program. You could walk all around the outside of it and inside of it also. It's sister test aircraft ZA001 and ZA002 are currently in storage at Palmdale, California. ZA003. ZA003 actually flew to Australia in 2012.

The very modern cockpit of the B787 ZA003

Hey! It's Schuyler

...and me!

I love the wing-tips, though the Airbus A350's looks better

Schuyler demonstrating just how large the massive 2.85m diameter Rolls Royce Trent 1000 Engines really are
There are also a number of other aircraft on display outside including a WB-47E Startojet and a gift-wrapped B-29 Superfortress aircraft.

A Boeing WB-47E Stratojet

Imagine finding this under your Christmas Tree
Finally, the Museum also has the original Boeing Red Barn where Boeing started making aircraft. The Barn was built in 1909 and was called Building No. 105

Building No. 5

After finishing with the Museum of Flight, we managed a bit of retail therapy at South Centre and Tacoma Malls which are both close to our Hotel. We also attempted to check out the McChord Air Museum at McChord Air Force Base and were disappointed that as a non-US citizen, we need to be sponsored by a Military member. Oh well, cest-la-vie.

Well that's it for today. Tomorrow we are leaving Seattle and driving south. Hopefully it wont be raining where we are going.