The “Museum of Flight” in Seattle Washington Chose Heat Mirror Technology for Ultimate Energy Savings
The next major expansion was opened in 2004, with the addition of the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing. North of the Red Barn, the wing has 88,000 square feet (8,200m 2) of exhibit space on two floors, with more than 25 World War I and World War II aircraft. It also has large collection of model aircraft, including every plane from both wars. Many of these aircraft were from the collection of the Champlin Fighter Museum, formerly in Mesa, Arizona, which closed in 2003. The wing opened on June 6, the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day.
In June 2010, the museum broke ground on a $12 million new building to house a Space Shuttle it hoped to receive from NASA, named the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.The new building includes multisensory exhibits that emphasize stories from the visionaries, designers, pilots, and crews of the Space Shuttle and other space related missions. The gallery opened to the public in November 2012.
Though the museum did not receive one of the three remaining shuttles, it did receive the Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT), a shuttle mockup that was used to train all Space Shuttle astronauts. Because it is a trainer and not an actual shuttle, small group (no more than six persons, minimum age 10, maximum height 6′ 4″) guided tours of the interior are available, for an extra charge. The FFT began arriving in various pieces beginning in 2012. The cockpit and two sections of the payload bay arrived via NASA’s Super Guppy
1929 Boeing 80A-1 Restoration with Heat Mirror Technology
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 by 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 use in a 10,000-square-foot facility, rented at the Seattle Center. Planning began at this time for a more permanent structure, and preliminary concepts were drafted.
The first jet-powered Air Force One (1959 – 62, SAM 970), a Boeing VC-137B , was flown to Boeing Field in 1996; it arrived in June and was opened to visitors in October. Retired from active service earlier that year, it is on loan from the Air Force Museum. Originally parked on the east side of the museum, it was driven across East Marginal Way and now resides in the museum’s Airpark, where it is open to public walkthroughs.
In 1997, the museum opened the first full scale, interactive Air Traffic Control tower exhibit. The tower overlooks the Boeing Field runways, home to one of the thirty busiest airports in the country. The exhibit offers a glimpse into what it is like to be an air traffic controller.