January Events at The Museum of Flight

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wells Fargo Free First Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 1, 5 - 9 p.m.

Once a month, the Museum stays open late-for free! Enjoy the Museum's Great Gallery, Personal Courage Wing, Space: Exploring the New Frontier exhibit, flight simulators and more from 5 - 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. Museum Store and Wings Café will also remain open for the extended hours on this night.

Bank of America Weekend Family Workshop: Space Stations: A Home in the Sky!

Saturdays and Sundays, Jan. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Since the 19th century, scientists and writers have dreamed of an outpost in space orbiting the Earth, where people could live and work. Learn about space station design, then build your own space station model!

The Berlin Airlift-A Legacy of Friendship: A new exhibit opens

Saturday, Jan. 10, T.A. Wilson Great Gallery

On view for one month, this exhibit honors the 60th anniversary of the humanitarian effort commonly known as The Berlin Airlift. After World War II, the Allied powers who had defeated Germany in 1945, divided the country into four occupation zones. The United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France each were to occupy a part of Germany. On June 24, 1948, in an attempt to drive the Western Allies out of the city and its occupation zone, the Soviet Union began a blockade of the land- and waterways to Berlin.

Together with Great Britain and France, the United States took a stand to protect the freedom of Berlin. The terms of access by air were regulated by an air safety agreement, which guaranteed the Western Allies the use of three air corridors to Berlin. So, they took to the skies and supplied more than 2 million men, women and children with life's essentials for almost one year by means of an airlift.

The exhibit is presented in part by The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Washington, D.C. The Museum is one of only a few places this exhibit can be seen during its year-long tour of the United States.

Pappy Boyington Field: A Documentary Film by Kevin Gonzalez

Sunday, Jan. 11, 2 p.m., William M. Allen Theater

"Pappy Boyington Field - A Campaign to Honor a Hero" tells a story surrounding the controversy in paying tribute to a hometown hero by changing the name of the local airport. The town is Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and the hero is World War II Marine fighter ace, "Pappy" Boyington. Filmmaker Kevin Gonzalez will be on hand to introduce the film and to answer any questions.

Col. Gregory Pappy Boyington, USMC, was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He was a University of Washington graduate and flew for the American Volunteer Group, the famous "Flying Tigers," before commanding the VMF-214 "Black Sheep Squadron" in the Pacific during WWII. He was an ace with at least 22 aerial victories, a prisoner of war and a Medal of Honor recipient. 

Personal insights into Pappy Boyington's life are provided by his son Greg Boyington Jr., as well as actor Robert Conrad, who portrayed Pappy in the 1970s television series "Baa Baa Black Sheep." The film also features members of the Marine Corps League Pappy Boyington Detachment, local representatives of the Disabled American Veterans and The Distinguished Flying Cross Society.

American Fighter Aces Panel: US Army Air Force Aces over Europe

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2 p.m., William M. Allen Theater

Join the Museum as we honor a panel of WWII Aces who flew over Europe:

Lt. William H. "Bill" Allen flew P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs during the war. Hear how he became an "ace in a day."

Maj. Frank McCauley, credited with 5 ½ aerial victories, flew the P-47 Thunderbolt and completed 46 fighter missions over Germany.

Lt. George P. Novotny was credited with three confirmed aerial victories flying in the P-40 Warhawk with the 325th "Checkertail" FG while in Africa in May, 1943. In December he was transferred to Italy and flew the P-47 Thunderbolt, gaining five more aerial victories.

Tip-To-Tail Tour: The Douglas DC-3

Sunday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Great Gallery

Docent Dr. Dieter M. Zube will present the role of the military C-47 and the civilian DC-3 in the Berlin Airlift. Zube's Father was involved in the Airlift operation.

Astronomer Dr. Don Brownlee and the Stardust Mission

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2 p.m., William M. Allen Theater

On Jan. 2, 2004, NASA's Stardust spacecraft flew through the coma of Comet Wild 2 and collected approximately 1 million bits of dust from the comet. Two years later it flew back past Earth and dropped a capsule of comet dust samples that landed on the Utah desert. These are the first extraterrestrial samples returned to Earth since the 1970s and the first from beyond the Moon. This little comet dust bin has revolutionized our understanding of these cosmic building blocks. Stardust Principal Investigator Don Brownlee will share the details of this exciting mission and what it has shown us about the formation of our Solar System.

The Candy Bombers: Lecture and Book Signing by Andrei Cherny

Saturday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m., William M. Allen Theater

In conjunction with the Museum's temporary exhibit celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, author Andrei Cherny will talk about his popular book on the subject, The Candy Bombers.  Bringing together newly unclassified documents, unpublished letters and diaries, and fresh primary interviews, Cherny tells the tale of the ill-assorted group of castoffs and second-stringers who not only saved millions of desperate people from a dire threat, but changed how the world viewed the United States - setting in motion the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and America's victory in the Cold War.

NASA Astronaut Remembrance Weekend

Saturday, Jan. 31 and Sunday, Feb. 1

The Museum remembers the fallen astronauts of Apollo 1 and Space Shuttles STS-51-L Challenger and STS-107 Columbia during the anniversary of the tragedies. Special remembrance exhibits include the display of the panels highlighting the lives of each of the 17 astronauts. There will also be a special display of personal memorabilia from Washington State resident and Columbia pilot Willie McCool.

Bank of America Weekend Family Workshop: Badge of Honor: Remembering the Crews of Apollo 1, STS-51-L Challenger and STS-107 Columbia.

Saturday, Jan. 31 and Sunday, Feb. 1 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Learn about the history of space mission patches. Then make your own space mission button honoring the American astronauts who have given their lives to advance the progress of space travel.


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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn®--the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs - the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only aviation and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.


The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org