As I said in my intro post, my recent visit to Seattle was to complete my grandfather’s aviation adventures there. So, revisiting the Museum of Flight Seattle was a priority, as he had never been there.
Mrs. Island Miler and I first went to the Musem of Flight back in 2015 during our very first visit to the PNW. However, during our visit, the museum closed early and the Air Park was undergoing renovations. So, while the main goal of revisiting the Museum of Flight Seattle was to take my grandfather on his first visit to the museum, I also wanted to check out the areas I missed the first time around.
Since we checked out the Great Gallery, the Boeing Red Barn, the World War II Gallery, and The Tower, I won’t go over those areas again.
Though, instead of seeing a test place like last time, this time we saw a bunch of KC-46s.
And, having served in the USAF in Vietnam, my grandfather really enjoyed the Vietnam exhibits in the Great Gallery.
It was great listening to his stories about where he was stationed during the war. But seeing him light up as he explained his experiences to us was the best.
Across the street from the main museum are the Space Gallery and Aviation Pavillion. The Space Gallery is the only building on that side of the museum immediately next to the pedestrian bridge over Marginal Way.
The Space Gallery, though, is one of the smaller galleries in the museum. But, in it, you’ll find a mockup of the Space Shuttle, a SpaceShipOne mockup, and a Soyuz descent capsule.
There exhibits in the Space Gallery are interesting, but there isn’t much to see. So, while I’m a bit of a space nut, I found the Aviation Pavillion to be more interesting.
Though the Aviation Pavillion was open during my most recent visit, most of the exhibits were. So, while I finally got to see my first Concorde, I couldn’t check out the interior.
What was open, though, was the VC-137B (Boeing 707) Air Force One.
From the top of the stairs to the VC-137B, you could see a bunch of other aircraft, including a United Boeing 727, Boeing 787 ZA003 the third ever built, and the very first Boeing 747 ever made.
The only two aircraft open to visitors during our visit were the 787 and the 747. Sadly, ZA003 is the only 787 I’ve ever been on to-date. I still have yet to take a flight on one!
As for the 747, this was the very first test aircraft. As a result, the interior is entirely stripped out. Too bad the upper level and cockpit isn’t open to visitors.
Aside from the above aircraft, there’s also a B-29 Superfortress, a B-17 Flying Fortress, a Grumman EA-6B Prowler, a Boeing 737-100, and an Antonov An-2 Colt.
Revisiting the Museum of Flight Seattle, Final Thoughts
I’m glad I finally got to take a look around the Museum of Flight’s Aviation Pavillion. It’s too bad so many of the aircraft weren’t open for tours, though. I guess I gotta come back again in hopes they’re open next time? But, that’s ok. The focal point of this visit was to let my grandfather tour the museum. And that, we did. To me, the best part of the whole experiencing, though, was seeing my grandfather enjoy the exhibits and reflect on his past. That’s priceless.