I decided to give the museum a call anyway just to be safe. If the museum was open, it was an attraction that I didn’t want to miss. I was surprised when someone answered the phone and told me that the museum had actually opened a bit earlier than planned!
I checked out the museum’s website (where it still stated it would be reopening mid- June) and tickets were for sale. I decided to hold off on buying them just in case something came up and we couldn’t make it. This ended up being a great move. A $12 per person entry fee would’ve cost Kim and I over $25 with tax, but when we arrived we were told that entry was free for now since there was no way for them to collect the money!
Score! An earlier than expected opening plus no fee to get in!
We were impressed from the moment we walked inside the museum which is housed in two historic airplane hangars.
Once we made it into the first hangar, we were amazed by the collection of old airplanes on display, both on the ground and hanging from up above. We took some time to look around and take photos before heading over to the exhibits telling the history of Delta, which had an early start as a mail service. I also learned that Delta got its name from founder C.E. Woolman’s secretary. The name was taken to reference the Mississippi Delta.
The exhibits were both interesting and fun to read. I really liked that the displays had lots of cool memorabilia on display with short descriptions so you never get stuck for too long at any given area.
After checking out the displays we headed through a tunnel to get to the next hangar.
This hangar appeared much larger than the first one. Although it felt somewhat empty, it had lots of interesting items on display. There were a bunch of interactive displays that weren’t up and running just yet. Given the space available, I am pretty sure that if you’d like to host a private event at the museum, this is where the event would be.
A full size Boeing 767 named the Spirit of Delta caught my eye right away. The plane has a really interesting story. The Spirit of Delta was bought for the company by their employees for over $30 million in 1982 “to express pride and gratitude felt for their company”.
The Link Trainer Flight Simulator is from the 1940s and helped to train over a half million pilots during and after World War II. The simulator also had a funny sign on it- something like Please do not place children inside!
A recently donated passenger boarding bridge leads you into The Spirit of Delta. Talk about a really awesome set-up. It also makes for a great play area for little ones. Lucas enjoyed running back and forth over here!
Our first stop was the Prototype L-1011 fuselage. The plane, made by Lockheed was used for test flights and never flown by an airline. It was also used as a movie set in films like Passenger 57 in a previous life. The inside is now turned into (what looks like) a conference room .
We then headed on into The Spirit of Delta.
This was possibly the coolest part of the visit. We got to sit in the pilot’s seat and it was such a fun experience. (It brought back memories I had when I was around 5 years old when I got to sit in the cockpit of an Air France Concorde!) We pushed and pulled the steering wheel and played with other buttons and gadgets. I totally got why Lucas loves so much “to drive Daddy’s car”.
Besides the cockpit, business class and first section of coach, the rest of the plane was like a little museum. The seats were all removed and there were displays in the walls showing various flight attendant uniforms and info about the plane. The very back area was set up like the galley with two dummies dressed as flight attendants preparing food.
On the way out we stopped into the gift shop and bought a few souvenirs, ending a really fun visit!
If you’re going to be in Atlanta, I highly recommend visiting the Delta Flight Museum.
Find out all of the details about visiting here.