The Museum Of Flight, Seattle Washington

Photography by Gary Horrocks

Gary Horrocks will be heading for Sebring shortly, but last week he was in the Seattle area, and forwarded this beautiful collection of photographs. There's a Sebring connection with aircraft, of course...

The Museum of Flight, located in Seattle Washington, has been a large part of my life. I remember going to it when I was a child, back when it was located in what was basically a warehouse, in the shadow of the Space Needle. It’s amazing to think back to what it was then - and to see what it is now. What we have here now is possibly one of the premier museums in North America of any type.

After out-growing the facility near the Space Needle, a site was found at Boeing Field, which is one of the core plants for Boeing. Thankfully, someone was a forward thinker, and made sure that the original Boeing building was preserved, and now that same building, looking much nicer that it did in its day, forms the cornerstone upon which this collection is based. The “Red Barn” is now located quite close to its original site, and for many years contributed to the unofficial name of the museum - the Red Barn Museum.

Having spent some of my formative years as a child in the Seattle area, it is not that odd that I have a keen interest in aviation. You couldn’t escape aircarft in that region. In fact, when the first flight of the 747 took place, it was such a big deal, that they gave us kids the day off from school, so we could join in the festivities. Back then, in the years before Microsoft, the Seattle area was pretty close to being a company town. If you didn’t work directly for Boeing, you probably had a neighbor who did. In fact, back in the late 60s and early ‘70s, when the SST (Super Sonic Transport) program was cancelled, there was great concern if Boeing was going to still be around. If Boeing wasn’t going to survive, would Seattle still be around? The lay offs that hit the area were devastating. It was so bad that legend has it that a giant billboard asked “Will the Last Person Leaving Seattle, Please Turn off the Lights?” Rather ironic that a Concorde now is on site.

The museum is simply amazing. The collection of aircraft is astounding, especially when you consider that the B-17, B-29, B-47 and B-52 (among others that they have) are not yet on site. But it is much more than airplanes. It is the history of the people that made the planes what they are now. To go in and only look at the aircraft at a museum like this would really be a shame. In fact, the latest addition to the museum is the Personal Courage Wing, which is where the fighters of the two World Wars are displayed to such dramatic effect. But the aircraft are not really the stars here. They are on display to tell the stories of those who flew them, and to be a tribute to those that have served their countries. Further info on the Museum of Flight can be found, amazingly enough at www.museumofflight.org

         
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A Rare Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair
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A Wildcat And A Corsair
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Air Force One
         
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Albatros D Va Replica
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An Overview Of The Main Building
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Lockheed Blackbird With D-21B Drone
         
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Boeing 747 #1
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Coming At You - Messerschmitt ME 109E
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Command Central In Air Force One
         
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Concorde
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Corsair
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DC-3
         
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Dramatic View Of A P-38 Lightning
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F4-C Phantom
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F4-C Phantom
         
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Focke-Wulf Fw-190D-13
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Another View Of The Blackbird And The Drone
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Nieuport Type 28
         
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P-40 Flying Tiger
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Part Of The World War I Exhibit
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Ryan M-1
         
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Sopwith Snipe Replica And A Fokker D VIII Replica
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Spad XIII Replica
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Spitfire Mk IX
         
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Taylor Aerocar III - Preview Of The Flying Panoz
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The Original Boeing Building
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The Sign Says It All - Lavatory Redesigned For Jackie Kennedy - Air Force One
         
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The Way It Used To Be - Boeing 80A
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Where It All Began For Boeing - A Replica Of Their First Plane - The Boeing B&W
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Wildcat And Zero Adversaries At Rest
         
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Yak-9U Buzzed By A P-51
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Yes That Is A Big Stud - P-47 Thunderbolt
   
         
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