If you go
What: New Vietnam Air War Exhibit
Where: The Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way, Boeing Field in Seattle
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; new exhibit opens May 26
Cost: Free to service members and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day
BLUE STAR MUSEUMS
Here are a few other local museums participating in the Blue Star Museum program. For a more detailed list, visit: arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums
Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 253-272-4258 or visit TacomaArtMuseum.org.
Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma. Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Third Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m; Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 866-4MUSEUM or visit MuseumofGlass.org.
Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Monday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Third Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 888-BE THERE or visit WashingtonHistory.org.
For those looking for a great day trip to educate the kids and enjoy some of the beauty and history of this country’s aircraft in war times and times of peace, the Museum of Flight, at 9404 E. Marginal Way, Boeing Field, has been in Seattle since 1965 and is one of the largest museum’s of space and flight in the world.
It’s also one of the nation’s Blue Star Museums that are free to service members and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The museum is currently updating its Grand Gallery to include a Vietnam Air War Exhibit, which opens May 26.
The Museum of Flight is offering free admission to every mother accompanied by their children on Mother’s Day Sunday. The first 500 moms also will receive free chocolate, and kids can make an electric illuminated card for mom during a workshop.
The Vietnam exhibit will feature some of the planes already at the museum. It also will highlight their participation in the Vietnam War and tie that in to several other aircraft throughout the seven-story glass structure that houses the Grand Gallery, according to Ted Huetter, senior manager of public relations and promotions at The Museum of Flight.
“This has been a long time coming and long overdue,” Huetter said, of the honor to the pilots and aircraft of the Vietnam War, which ended more than four decades ago.
The exhibit is expected to bring better context to the timeline of planes and other aircraft at the museum, he said.
“We have planes from most of the first century of flight, from a high fidelity replica of the Wright Brothers’ plane to a ScanEagle drone,” Huetter said.
The ScanEagle displayed, No. 678, is the historic surveillance drone used in the 2009 U.S. Navy rescue mission of Capt. Richard Phillips, about whom the film “Captain Phillips” was based. Actor tom Hanks portrayed Phillips in the film. Phillips’ ship was hijacked by Somali
One of the most popular reconnaissance aircraft in the museum’s Great Gallery is a Lockheed Blackbird, a spy plane of the 1960s, Huetter said.
Also of interest to many exhibit attendees will be the largest plane flown in the Vietnam War, a B-52 bomber and a Huey helicopter.
The museum is built on 20 acres, with five structures, including the original Boeing Company factory, the NASA Space Shuttle Trainer and the only exhibit of the rocket engines used to launch Apollo astronauts to the moon. More than 160 historically-significant airplanes and spacecraft are featured at the museum.
That’s enough to capture the excitement and imagination of aerophiles of all ages, including Huetter.
“The museum is an incredible place for anyone who enjoys flight,” he said.