The Museum of Flight in Tukwila, WA – Travel Through Time and Space

Museum of Flight - SignWhile we were in Seattle in May of 2016 checking out the Space Needle, Microsoft, Boeing, and Pike Place Market, my husband toured the Museum of Flight in  Tukwila, Washington. Here are his memories from his visit. The Museum of Flight in Tukwila, Washington is one of the largest aviation museums in the world. It is located next to Boeing Field and one of Boeing’s manufacturing plants, so many classic Boeing aircraft are of course represented, but the collection contains many others.

Museum of Flight - 3When you first arrive at the Museum of Flight, your attention is drawn to the display aircraft outside the museum buildings. The most interesting of these is a Boeing VC-137B known as SAM (Special Air Mission-970).  Sam 970 is the first jet built to transport the President of the United States and is a specially built version of a 707 airliner.  Most people would call it Air Force One, but it or any other air force aircraft is given that designation only when the President is on board.

Museum of Flight - 1Once inside, in the south wing of the east campus, is the glass-roofed Great Hall. This is where dozens of historic aircraft are displayed, both on the floor and hanging from the ceiling. Dominating the floor area is a Lockheed M-21.  It is a variant of the Lockheed A-12 Oxcart, the predecessor to the legendary SR-71 Blackbird, modified to carry a D-21 reconnaissance drone.  Only two were produced. The other was lost in a testing accident, so this is the only one in the world.  Other notable displays are the North American F-86 Saber next to a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, two Korean War adversaries, as well as a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom next to a MiG-21, two Vietnam War adversaries.

Museum of Flight - 4In the center of the west campus, is the building where William Boeing set up his first aircraft factory.  Originally located in a shipyard on the Duwamish River, the Red Barn, as it came to be known, was where Boeing built seaplanes for the U.S. Navy during the First World War.  As the Boeing Company expanded and built other plants, the site fell into disrepair in the 1960s. In 1975, the building was barged and trucked to its present location and restored.  Today, it is restored to look as it did during the early years of the company.

Museum of Flight - 5In the north wing of the east campus, there is a display of many fighter aircraft of World War II, with the U.S. well represented, as well as aircraft from several other countries involved in the war.  Upstairs, there is a World War I display with several aircraft from that era.

Museum of Flight - 6Across the glass pedestrian bridge over E. Marginal Way is the east campus.  The first stop after the bridge is the Space Gallery.  It has displays chronicling the history of space flight.  Dominating the gallery is a full-scale mock-up of the space shuttle, used to train astronauts on shuttle missions.  

Museum of Flight - 7Next to the space gallery is the covered open-air aviation gallery, displaying historic larger aircraft, including Boeing’s WWII era B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Super-fortress,  a Concorde SST,  and various jet airliners that Boeing is best known for today.

He had a great time touring the Museum of Flight and took a lot of pictures. Too many pictures to actually put on this page, so I created the short video above. Hope you enjoy his post and pictures. Looks like he had a great time during his visit. Here is a link to their website for more information than what is posted below.

Museum of Flight Visitor Information

Address:

9404 E. Marginal Way South, Seattle, WA 98108

Phone:

206-764-5700

Hours:

Open daily from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

 Prices:

Child (4 and under) FREE
Youth (5-17) $17
Adult (18+) $25
Senior (65+) $21
Museum Members FREE

The first Thursday of each month, the Museum is open from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM with FREE ADMISSION!

Discounts:

Boeing Employee

  • Youth $15
  • Adult $22
  • Senior $19

AAA (and affiliates)

  • Youth $16
  • Adult $23
  • Senior $20

Any Airline / Port of Seattle 

  • Youth $16
  • Adult $23
  • Senior $20

Microsoft Prime

Prime discount applies to employee(s) + 1 adult guest, and multiple youths (up to age 17). Not to exceed 10 total guests w/o proof of dependent status.

  • Youth $6
  • Adult / Senior $12

Active Military / Veterans

  • Adult $22
  • Senior $20
  • Youth $15

Directions:

By Car

Take Interstate 5 to Exit 158.

Turn right on East Marginal Way S.

Enter the Museum lot a half-mile down the road, on your right.

By Bus

Take METRO Bus #124 from Downtown Seattle or Tukwila Station. Get off at the stop directly in front of the Museum of Flight.

By Plane

Airplane pilots and crew are welcome at The Museum of Flight! There are five spaces available for fly-in parking at the Museum. GA Aircraft only. No twin engines, business aircraft or rotorcraft without prior approval. Airplane parking is for Museum guest use, during Museum operating hours and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For visits between 0700 -1700, call security to request access at 206-920-9770. After-hours access, or if the parking is full, contact KCIA at 206-296-7334.

Parking:

All parking is FREE! Convenient parking is located next to the Museum entries on the east and west sides of East Marginal Way. Please see the Parking Map below for additional information.

Accessibility

The Museum is fully ADA-compliant, all galleries are fully wheelchair-accessible and courtesy wheelchairs are available for use.  3D movies are captioned, when available (please check listings).

Audio guides are available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, French, and German. Learn more about them here.

“Touch the Sky,” the tactile tour experience at The Museum of Flight is for visitors with low or no vision. More Info.

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9 thoughts on “The Museum of Flight in Tukwila, WA – Travel Through Time and Space”

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