Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flight Path Museum

You'll probably have to go to LAX for a pick up at some point over the holidays. The Flight Path Museum and Learning Center is a great place to hang out while waiting for your arrival.

Located on the south side of the airport, at the end of the 105 on Imperial Highway, the Flight Path is a collection of flying-
related memorabilia. From the Wright brothers' first flight in 1903 to Boeing's new Dreamliner, you can see and learn about it here.

There's a great timeline about both the history of flight, as well as our local growth. LAX got off the ground in 1928 in former bean and barley fields. Mines Field became Los Angeles Municipal Airport, and the aviation manufacturing companies starting moving in. LA was "the Detroit of aviation" during that time. I was surprised to read that during World War II, the airport (as it existed then) was camouflaged to look like a farm from the air to protect the fighter plane production.

They have a DC-3 from the '40s in the back and invite you to go inside with a guide and take a looksie. The plane was owned by the Union 76 Corporation, so it is arranged for inflight boardroom meetings. I chuckled at the couches with the seat belts. I sat in the cockpit and started immediately with the Airplane! lines in my head; Roger, Roger. What's the clearance, Clarence? and others brought a huge smile to my face.

My favorite exhibit inside the Museum is the various flight attendant uniforms. I selected the "white glove" version, as a reminder of a time when flying was civilized and a lot more fun. Some of the versions were quite sassy, while others were themed to a location, like the Hawaiian muumuu, the Japanese kimono, and the wacky coonskin cap as the topper for the Americana look.

I would definitely recommend going there and waiting out the dreaded LAX pick up. Yes, you picked the wrong day to complain about going to the airport!

Click here to go to their Web site.

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