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 film-makers visit the Museum in search of original source material to further the collective knowledge and understanding of flight. In 2013, 2,155 researchers were served through the library and archive collections.
Exhibits & Programs
More than 150 historic air and space craft are at 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 Space Shuttle and International Space Station have made on manned spaceflight as well as the important story of where private and commercial spaceflight will take us in the near future.
Surrounded by highly interactive exhibits, the FT is the only internally-accessible, complete shuttle-based learning environment in the world. Visitors are able to move through the cargo bay and get inside 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. Through this exhibit 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 “Inspiration Begins Here” Comprehensive Campaign which focuses on three primary objectives: an enhanced world-class collection, an expanded interactive visitor experience and delivery of outstanding aviation related, informal STEM-based education programs. Results will empower Museum staff with the work setting, tools, technology, training and teams necessary to deliver on a robust set of goals into the next decade.
A new West Campus Aviation Center will serve to guarantee the safety and preservation of the Museum's large aircraft collection which includes aircraft such as an iconic Boeing B29 & B17, the first Boeing 747, British Airways Concorde “Alpha Golf”, and a Lockheed Super Constellation. This complex will also integrate the recently opened Raisbeck Aviation High School directly into the Museum, creating a dynamic learning environment for 400 STEM-focused high school students.