About the Museum
The Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight Vision Statement
To be the foremost educational air and space museum in the world.
The Museum of Flight exists to acquire, preserve, and exhibit historically significant air and space artifacts, which provide a foundation for scholarly research, and lifelong learning programs that inspire an interest in and understanding of science, technology, and the humanities.
In 1964 a small group of aviation enthusiasts realized that important artifacts representing the evolution of flight were being lost or destroyed at an incredible rate. To aid in the preservation of these artifacts, the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation was established with the twin goals of saving significant aircraft and related artifacts and educating the public in terms of their importance.
It soon became clear that a place to store and exhibit these artifacts was needed, and in 1965 the first official Museum of Flight exhibits were put on display in a 10,000 square foot space at the Seattle Center, location of the 1962 World’s Fair. The concept for the Museum complex began to jell in 1975 when the Port of Seattle leased the land on which the Red Barn® now sits to the Museum for 99 years. The Red Barn®, the birthplace of The Boeing Company, was saved from demolition on its original location on the Duwamish River, and floated by river barge to its current location. It was restored in 1983 and became the first permanent location for the Museum. The Red Barn was eventually joined by the Great Gallery in 1987, the Library and Archives Building in 2002 and the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing and Airpark in 2004.
Statement of Purpose
To acquire and conserve a valuable collection of artifacts relating to air and space history and technology.The objectives of The Museum of Flight's mission are met with the following Statement of Purpose.
Artifacts are acquired by way of an adopted policy that establishes priorities, restricts collecting to specific museum needs, and stresses non-conditional gifts. Artifacts are authentically restored to high museum standards and carefully conserved, whether stored or exhibited, to assure perpetuation. The Museum of Flight Foundation's original objective to preserve Pacific Northwest aviation artifacts and documents has naturally expanded to include aerospace artifacts of great national and international importance.
Exhibits are artifact-based for credibility, professionally researched and designed according to a carefully thought-out comprehensive storyline, based on the central theme of "mankind's dream of flying." This theme centers on the evolution of air and space technology and its impact on our world, augmented by highlights of the Pacific Northwest region's contribution. Exhibits communicate the rich story of flight in several levels of detail to satisfy the varying interests of the general public, as well as the scholar.
A comprehensive educational program includes tours, classroom curricula, a variety of aviation special events, lectures, and publications, including in-house newsletters, books, and journals. The central focus of the Museum's educational programs is to broaden science literacy within an historical context, relating the evolution of technology to the human needs that drive it, and the resulting changes that technology brings to humanity. As a resource to the public schools, youth programs are designed to complement established schoolroom curricula, presenting factual, yet exciting, interactive examples of the benefits of a science and math education. The educational effort is not limited to the school years, but extended to a wide range of audiences by age, background, and interest, from continuing education events to technical presentations and symposia.
The extensive collection of historic photographs, books, and precious papers is used by scholars for research. In addition, both pure and applied research in aeronautics and astronautics are accomplished by the Museum's association with related air and space organizations.
Adopted 5.15.92 by the Executive Committee of The Museum of Flight Foundation Board of Trustees