Museum of Flight Programs
The Museum's mission focuses on education, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as the humanities. Participants are served through the Museum's on-site and outreach education initiatives-including our ACE summer camp, Aviation and Challenger Learning Centers and distance learning programs. The Museum is dedicated to serving learners of all ages with programs that meet the needs of all audiences across the state, the country and the world.
Library and Archive
A truly world-class museum requires a substantial library and archive. The Museum of Flight's aeronautical library and archives are the largest on the West Coast of the United States. Each year teachers, researchers, authors and filmmakers visit the Museum in search of original source material to further the collective knowledge and understanding of flight. In 2012, 1,845 researchers were served through the library and archive collections.
Exhibits & Programs
More than 150 historic air and space craft are the heart of the exhibits and programs that educate and entertain visitors. The Museum hosts more than 50 public programs each year, including lectures, aircraft fly-ins, and films. In addition to the many permanent exhibits, the Museum provides several temporary exhibits each year on a wide range of subjects. Our educational programs, library and exhibits work together to bring the history of aviation to life, honoring its past and inspiring future generations.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012, The Museum of Flight took delivery of NASA's Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT). This full-sized Space Shuttle simulated environment now serves as the centerpiece of the developing "Spaceflight Academy" exhibit within the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery. The exhibit tells the story of the impact the Shuttle and International Space Station programs have made on manned spaceflight as well as the important story of where private and commercial spaceflight will take us in the near future. Designed with highly interactive exhibits surrounding it, the FFT itself will be the only internally-accessible, complete shuttle-based learning environment in the world. Visitors are able to move through the cargo bay and get a close up view of the crew compartment.
This new exhibit has already become a focal point for agencies and organizations working in the growing commercial/private space flight sector as evidenced by a NASA Future Forum meeting held in the fall of 2011 and Planetary Resources holding their ground-breaking announcement about mining asteroids in the spring of 2012. The exhibit, and the Museum, is quickly becoming recognized as the organization leading the way in telling the current and future story of space flight.
A critical effort for the Museum’s future, is our campaign to cover the Air Park which is home to prototypes of the Boeing Company's iconit 747, 737, the first “Air Force One” jet - a 707 known as SAM-970, a British Airways Concorde and a Lockheed Super Constellation. These aircraft are threatened from year-round exposure to the weather and will benefit from being under cover. The covered Air Park will also serve as the link between the Museum of Flight and Raisbeck Aviation High School, scheduled to open in the fall of 2013 on the north edge of the Museum’s property. When completed, the Westside Gallery and Aviation High School will open seamlessly into each other providing AHS students with one of the richest aerospace learning environments in the world.