Aviation News

June 19, 2014

Delta Flight Museum Goes Back to the Future

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Written by: Brian Stevenson
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 On June 17, Delta Air Lines reopened its flight museum after approximately six months of closure for renovations, but the airline made it well worth the wait. The IMG_6470date itself  marked the 85th anniversary of Delta’s first passenger service and was declared ‘Delta Airlines Day’ by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who joined Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Delta CEO Richard Anderson along with many other notable individuals for the festivities.

A common thread with the heritage of the museum –  and Delta Air Lines on the whole – is employee participation. Out of an effort to find and restore Delta’s original DC-3, ‘Ship 41,’ the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum was created in the mid 1990’s with the immaculately maintained Ship 41 as the centerpiece.

Housed in Delta hangars One and Two – which could be considered museum pieces themselves – the Delta Flight Museum is home to exhibits great and small from each of the 40 airlines in Delta’s lineage. Visitors will be greeted by a new ‘gate guard’ staring you down, 757-200 N608DA repainted in the ever popular “Widget” scheme associated with Delta’s post deregulation era. Second, they pay homage to Northwest Airlines with N675MC, one of the last examples of the workhorse DC-9s.

IMG_6586The one display that can’t be missed, literally and figuratively, is ‘Ship 102,’ the employee-purchased 767-200 which dominates Hangar Two.  Visitors are welcome to board the Spirit of Delta and view the original flight deck, seating from both classes of in flight service and the back end which has been turned into a gallery of past flight attendant and pilot uniforms.

And for aspiring pilots, the Delta Flight Museum now has a fully operational 737 simulator in which anyone can see if they really have the right stuff to fly a commercial aircraft. A 45-minute simulated flight can be booked right on the museum’s web site.

An airline with such a rich history of course also gives props to props, and Hangar One is dedicated to just that, with the aforementioned shining DC-3 featured prominently. Among other aircraft keeping company with Ship 41 is a restored Delta Air Service Travel Air 6B Sedan and example of a Northeast Airlines Stinson SR-8E Reliant, as well as the only version of the Waco 125 remaining.

Along with an L-1011 hull that can be booked as a meeting facility and a large new Delta gift shop where you can get all your DAL swag, the new and improved flight museum goes, in typical Delta fashion, above and beyond your expectations. It’s clear Delta Air Lines loves its history… and it shows.

See more photos of the event below. All photos and video are by the author.

Brian Stevenson is an Atlanta-based airline enthusiast and aviation photographer. His work can be seen on Facebook.











About the Author

Brian Stevenson



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