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Aviation/transport museums you've visited/enjoyed!

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Hi!

 

Thought I'd ask what aviation or transport museums or science museums people have visited and enjoyed and maybe things they remembered seeing or enjoyed. For me I remember:

 

1. The science museum in Kensington, London:

Cut-out cross-section of a Boeing 747

A Rolls Royce Boeing 747 engine

A Rolls-Royce/Snecma Concorde engine.

A real Apollo lunar module (touching something which has been to the moon and back is something!)

A Vickers Vimy (from Fs2004 of course)

A cockpit/radio station from a Douglas DC-3 (military version called C-47 or something?) (sorry)

 

2. St.Nazaire, France:

A real ###### WW2 submarine base (scary place)

A walk-through replica of the ocean liner Normandie museum.

A tour of the Airbus assembly plant fitting out cockpits of narrowbodies and constructing fuselages of the A380.

A tour of the shipping construction site: seeing how cruise ships and cargo tankers and stuff are built and seeing a brand new cruise ship before delivery.

 

3. Toulouse Blagnac, France:

Airbus A380 factory tour: I actually wanted to see the A340 more but they don't do tours of that anymore. Not too much to see really as you're not allowed anywhere near the final assembly floor (not suprisingly). You do get to see it from above though through a big glass wall which is cool.

 

4. Verkerhshaus (transport museum), Luzern, Switzerland:

Just next to the lake I found by accident. Great place (and free too or at least nowone asked me to pay!).

Cool 1960's airliner with full access.

Playable Wright Brothers aircraft (built like the real thing and running on Fs9).

Lots of other cool aircraft and trains.

 

5. Duxford (near Cambridge), U.K.:

Test Concorde with full access to passenger cabin.

Trident missile (I'm not sure if that's the right name). Scary to see a (albeit disabled) nuclear missile!

 

I hear the US has some great museums but there are many good ones (big and small) I'm sure around the World.

 

Any experiences welcome.

 

Many thanks.

 

P.

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I have not been to that many places (yet) however I have been to Duxford, Farnborough (Air Show) and the USS Intrepid Museum in NY. All of which I enjoy.

 

I have to ask however... How did you manage to get a tour of the Airbus factory? I would love to do something like that and an article found via a search on Google said that members of the public can apply however I am yet to find any other official details from Airbus.


Tim Heptinstall
Airports I have been to: Doncaster Robin Hood Airport EGCN, East Midlands (EGNX), Manchester (EGCC), Tenerife South/Reina Sofia Airport (GCTS), Fuerteventura Airport (GCFV), New York John F Kennedy International Airport (KJFK)
Aircraft I have travelled on: 737-800 (Thomson), 737-800WL (Thomson, Ryanair), 757-200 (Thomson, Thomas Cook), 757-200WL (Thomson, Thomas Cook, American Airlines), De Havilland Dragon Rapide (Classic Wings G-AIYR).

 

Currently studying Aeronautical Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). Applying for medicals to start PPL soon. Message me if you would like to share stories/progress. 

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Hi!

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll try to give you what info I remember about Airbus.

 

For the St.Nazaire site:

http://visit-saint-nazaire.com/page_n3/2/55/how-visit-airbus-factory.html

 

When I was there I don't think I even knew Airbus were there. There is a big ###### WW2 submarine base at the docks there and some of it is modern and glass like and there is a ticket office where you can buy tickets to "Escale Atlantique" (excellent if you like old Ocean liners) and also the Airbus tour. I think I bought mine and had to wait for the next day for the tour. It was really good but I think when we were there it was a Sunday so nowone was actually working. Come to think of it maybe they only go on Sundays so not to interfere but I don't remember. Sorry. It was excellent though. We saw Belugas (from the bus anyway) and walked around the factory supervised. We weren't allowed inside any cockpits being built or anything but we were allowed to get right up close to A380 fuselage sections being worked on and stuff. The factory is extremely clean and organised with recycle bins everywhere!

 

In Toulouse a company called Taxiway organise the A380 factory tours. They also used to do A340 ones too but I'm not sure if they do them now.

 

http://www.taxiway.fr/

 

I think the website accepts bookings but when I was there I just turned up and went on the next tour available. They have (or had when I was there) tours in French or English. I think they're based in the same building which is not too far from the Blagnac terminal, maybe a 20-30 minute walk if the weather's nice and you have a map or a short car trip. I actually don't remember seeing much at all on the tour except a lady taking us up a big elevator to a viewing gallery where we looked down on lots of tiny guys all in extremely clean blue overalls working on lots of shiny new A380's. This was back when they were having a lot of initial problems with wiring so it was interesting. The lady who conducted the tour was quite knowledgable and made it fun too keeping things light-hearted but also presenting lots of cool info.

 

I'm sure there are more Airbus sites you can visit in Europe with tours and stuff. I think the sites in the UK like Broughton and Bristol Filton don't have tours though. I'm not sure though.

 

Hope it might help!

 

Pierre

 

P.S. Even though I don't remember much about the A380 tour just visiting Toulouse Blagnac is a lot of fun. The airport is nice and as well as watching traffic there are also lots of A340's and A380's doing pre-delivery flights going around and stuff. There used to be a cafe and windows in the terminal upstairs with a good view. Plus just walking around there are lots of aviation companies in the streets surrounding the airport and airfield like Rockwell Collins and ATR turboprops and stuff. If you go to the local hypermarche near the airport you can also sit down and eat steak and frites with lots of guys in blue Airbus overalls (if I remember right!).

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I saw the Spruce Goose in it's old location at Long Beach, California. Amazing the size of it.

 

It was a bit of a surprise when they moved it as Long Beach was the location where it made its only flight. It's new location doesn't have any significance to the aircraft. However the new owners are taking good care of her.


Matthew Kane

 

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Hi!

 

I saw the Spruce Goose in it's old location at Long Beach, California. Amazing the size of it.

 

It was a bit of a surprise when they moved it as Long Beach was the location where it made its only flight. It's new location doesn't have any significance to the aircraft. However the new owners are taking good care of her.

 

That must have been cool. The first time I heard about this aircraft was watching Leonardo DiCaprio fly it in "The Aviator". Not my favourite movie but some great flying stuff in it. I can't imagine the costs of restoring and maintaining an aircraft of that size made of wood but I'm sure it must be quite high. Or maybe if it's in an indoor environment it doesn't need much looking after. Would be interesting to see it though, particularly if allowed inside.

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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The Museum of Flight at KBFI in Seattle.

 

What stood out for me? Just about everything! :-) There's a lot to see, with many, many aircraft from all eras.


Joel Murray @ CYVR (actually, somewhere between CYNJ and CZBB, but quite close to CSK8) 

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http://www.oldrhinebeck.org/

The Old Rhinebeck museum in Red Hook, NY is pretty cool as it is a flying museum with many replica and original aircraft from the beginning of powered flight.

 

Weather permitting, they fly many of the aircraft all through the summer including a Bleriot XI, the oldest flying aircraft in the US and second oldest in the world. There are numerous Curtiss aircraft and engines among the exhibits.

 

It is quite a sight to see some of these aircraft buzzing around the sky. I was there just last weekend after a decade away, some of the older non-flying aircraft are not in the best state of repair, but then again they are over 100 years old in some cases!!

 

You can get right up to many of the aircraft and examine them.

 

Intrepid Museum

Having grown up in NY, I always love visiting the Intrepid. Now that it has the shuttle Enterprise and the Concorde together I must plan a trip soon. Unfortunately, it does not feature much aircraft from WWII though I recall an Avenger that looks HUGE inside the hangar deck.

 

Quonset Air Museum in Rhode Island

http://www.quonsetairmuseum.com/

This museum has an unusual collection including some WWII and a number Korean through Cold war aircraft. There is an AWACS precursor in there, though I can't remember the type (Neptune perhaps?).

They have a beautiful O-2 Skymaster in the hangar.

The outdoor collection was not in the best shape when I visited 5 years ago.

 

I have some flights planned to the Air Victory museum and Naval Air Station Wildwood when I fly down to the shore in southern NJ in a few weeks. I have no idea how they are, but the collections look interesting.

http://www.airvictorymuseum.org/html/aircraft.html

http://usnasw.org/

 

I have heard from a good friend that the Kalamazoo Air Zoo in Michigan has a great collection that you can walk right up to.

http://www.airzoo.org/

 

There is a little known submarine museum in Bergen County NJ right near my home. At least no one near me knows about it.

http://www.njnm.com/

It features a guided tour of USS Ling. There is also a recovered Japanese Kaiten Suicide Torpedo. I don't know if they still offer this, but you could sign up for a camp to live in the sub for a day and night.

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Hi!

 

Many thanks for all the info. I'm gonna have to try and make it to the US and do an aviation museum tour! I really appreciate hearing about smaller museums too as they can have just as interesting stuff sometimes as the larger more famous places.

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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New Jersey: Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey at Teterboro Airport. http://www.njahof.org/

 

Kansas: National Airline History Museum Kansas City http://www.airlinehistory.org/

 

Arizona: Davis Monthan Air Force Base boneyard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis%E2%80%93Monthan_Air_Force_Base

 

Washington DC National Air and Space Museum

 

London: Royal Air Force Museum http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/

 

London: Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/

 

Hawaii USS Arizona http://www.pacifichistoricparks.org/


10700k / EVGA 1070

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Hi!

 

New Jersey: Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey at Teterboro Airport. http://www.njahof.org/

 

Kansas: National Airline History Museum Kansas City http://www.airlinehistory.org/

 

Arizona: Davis Monthan Air Force Base boneyard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis%E2%80%93Monthan_Air_Force_Base

 

Washington DC National Air and Space Museum

 

London: Royal Air Force Museum http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/

 

London: Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/

 

Hawaii USS Arizona http://www.pacifichistoricparks.org/

 

Many thanks for the interesting (albeit rather anonymous) reccommendations!

 

The Kansas National Airline History Museum definitely looks like an interesting place.

 

In particular this page:

 

http://www.airlinehistory.org/?page=simulator

 

I am not of the Lockheed Constellation era but it would definitely be a lot of fun to try this if/when they complete it!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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Hi!

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll try to give you what info I remember about Airbus.

 

For the St.Nazaire site:

http://visit-saint-n...us-factory.html

 

When I was there I don't think I even knew Airbus were there. There is a big ###### WW2 submarine base at the docks there and some of it is modern and glass like and there is a ticket office where you can buy tickets to "Escale Atlantique" (excellent if you like old Ocean liners) and also the Airbus tour. I think I bought mine and had to wait for the next day for the tour. It was really good but I think when we were there it was a Sunday so nowone was actually working. Come to think of it maybe they only go on Sundays so not to interfere but I don't remember. Sorry. It was excellent though. We saw Belugas (from the bus anyway) and walked around the factory supervised. We weren't allowed inside any cockpits being built or anything but we were allowed to get right up close to A380 fuselage sections being worked on and stuff. The factory is extremely clean and organised with recycle bins everywhere!

 

In Toulouse a company called Taxiway organise the A380 factory tours. They also used to do A340 ones too but I'm not sure if they do them now.

 

http://www.taxiway.fr/

 

I think the website accepts bookings but when I was there I just turned up and went on the next tour available. They have (or had when I was there) tours in French or English. I think they're based in the same building which is not too far from the Blagnac terminal, maybe a 20-30 minute walk if the weather's nice and you have a map or a short car trip. I actually don't remember seeing much at all on the tour except a lady taking us up a big elevator to a viewing gallery where we looked down on lots of tiny guys all in extremely clean blue overalls working on lots of shiny new A380's. This was back when they were having a lot of initial problems with wiring so it was interesting. The lady who conducted the tour was quite knowledgable and made it fun too keeping things light-hearted but also presenting lots of cool info.

 

I'm sure there are more Airbus sites you can visit in Europe with tours and stuff. I think the sites in the UK like Broughton and Bristol Filton don't have tours though. I'm not sure though.

 

Hope it might help!

 

Pierre

 

P.S. Even though I don't remember much about the A380 tour just visiting Toulouse Blagnac is a lot of fun. The airport is nice and as well as watching traffic there are also lots of A340's and A380's doing pre-delivery flights going around and stuff. There used to be a cafe and windows in the terminal upstairs with a good view. Plus just walking around there are lots of aviation companies in the streets surrounding the airport and airfield like Rockwell Collins and ATR turboprops and stuff. If you go to the local hypermarche near the airport you can also sit down and eat steak and frites with lots of guys in blue Airbus overalls (if I remember right!).

 

Wow, lots of information thank you very much for that detailed post. Will have to arrange a trip there at some point as Aircraft Avionics and Engineering is something I would love to pursue as a career and it would be great to get to time looking around these facilities.


Tim Heptinstall
Airports I have been to: Doncaster Robin Hood Airport EGCN, East Midlands (EGNX), Manchester (EGCC), Tenerife South/Reina Sofia Airport (GCTS), Fuerteventura Airport (GCFV), New York John F Kennedy International Airport (KJFK)
Aircraft I have travelled on: 737-800 (Thomson), 737-800WL (Thomson, Ryanair), 757-200 (Thomson, Thomas Cook), 757-200WL (Thomson, Thomas Cook, American Airlines), De Havilland Dragon Rapide (Classic Wings G-AIYR).

 

Currently studying Aeronautical Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). Applying for medicals to start PPL soon. Message me if you would like to share stories/progress. 

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Hi!

 

<br />Wow, lots of information thank you very much for that detailed post. Will have to arrange a trip there at some point as Aircraft Avionics and Engineering is something I would love to pursue as a career and it would be great to get to time looking around these facilities. <br />

 

You're welcome. Toulouse is easy to get to either by car or with Easyjet or British Airways from London. Good luck with trying to work in avionics too. I don't have the nerve for the real thing so I stick to simming! I'm sure Rockwell Collins in the road off Blagnac probably do internships if people are interested!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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Gee, I can't beleive no one has mentioned the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. I visited it in 1984 and it was spectacular. It has almost tripled in size since then. I am going back to revisit next month and am so looking forward to the trip.

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Ive been to the Air and Space museum in Washington DC and the one out by Washington Dulles Airport.

 

Been to the http://www.airlinehistorymuseum.com/index_old.htm Airline History Museum, where one of the last flying Super Constellations is nested, they also have a flyable Martin 404, and a DC-3, all three in TWA markings.

 

The http://www.combatairmuseum.org/ in Topeka Kansas is a nice museum also.

 

I loved the http://www.strategicairandspace.com/ The SAC museum

 

The http://www.airpowermuseum.org/ The Confederate Air Force museum at Midland Odessa airport in Texas

 

The http://www.museumofflight.org/ In Seattle Washington near Boeing Field was a neat place, and they have a Concorde there.

 

And ive also taken the Boeing Plant tour at KPAE, which not quite a museum, is still a must see.

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Hi!

 

Many thanks again for the new info and links. Looks like there are a lot of cool aviation museums in the US which I need to visit someday if I can!

 

Many thanks,

 

Pierre

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