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Seattle's Classic Flight Museum Takes Off

Seattle's family-friendly Museum of Flight has exhibits ranging from vintage aviation to early modern rocketry and through the Apollo moon landings.

lunar landing module with lunar vehicle mock-up at Seattle's Museum of Flight, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Francis Zera
Photo caption
The exhibit boasts a lunar vehicle mock-up.

Seattle's Boeing Field may be nearly 90 years old, but the attached Museum of Flight stays fresh by switching things up. In May, the family-friendly spot reveals a revamp of its popular Apollo exhibit, which guides visitors from the beginning of modern rocketry through the moon landings.

The updated show features previously unseen artifacts, including the Saturn V's F-1 engines, lifted in 2013 from 14,000 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean and on display for the first time. Used to send Apollo 12's main booster rocket to the moon, they remain the most powerful single-chamber, liquid-fueled engines ever produced.

"Having the chance to display this piece of space history is a real honor," says Geoff Nunn, an adjunct curator for the museum. "The recovery effort was spectacular, as the engines came up from a spot deeper than the wreck of the Titanic."

The museum, which turned 50 in 2015, also presents the Red Barn, part of Boeing's original factory and now a reminder of the industry's humble beginnings. Inside the Aviation Pavilion you'll find new displays of such vintage vehicles as a Boeing 727 and Air Force planes from four presidential administrations of the 1950s–'70s.

This article was first published in Spring 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.