Displays to humanize the story of flight
SEATTLE, April 1, 2015--The Museum of Flight today announced plans for a daring new exhibit unlike any seen before. The display will give new meaning to an exhibit with "personality." It will feature real personalities-deceased people accessioned, conserved and cataloged into the Museum's collection.
"Traditionally, an aerospace museum accessions an aircraft or spacecraft at the end of its service life to conserve and protect it for the enlightenment of future generations," said Museum spokesman Ted Huetter, "we now aim to treat the people in aerospace the same way. It's that simple. And thanks to recent advances in the art of preserving human tissue, the exhibition of an aviator is no different from that of an old propeller or clock."
Museum officials say that because the history of powered flight is so young-barely 112 years-it is still possible to populate its collection with people directly associated with all but the earliest days of flight. "We have planes dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, like our DC-2 airliner," Huetter continued, "and there are people alive today who flew in these planes. When they pass away we will reunite them with the aircraft forever. For more recent artifacts representing vehicles still in service, we can fill them with people of all ages-former passengers, engineers, flight attendants and pilots!"
The Museum is not at liberty at this time to release the names of the people who have already pledged to donate their bodies to the institution, but the list is large and growing. As a world-class museum, officials insist they will need to evaluate the quality and historical significance of every donor to decide if he or she is a proper fit for the collection. "We don't accept every flying machine that shows up at the curator's doorstep," Huetter concluded, "we want the best of the best, and our visitors expect nothing less."
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Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The Museum's collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today's 787 Dreamliner. Attractions also include the original Boeing Company factory, and the world's only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum's aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 150,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and older, $17 for active military, $12 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. McCormick & Schmick's Wings Café is on site. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org
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