Groups will be fascinated by Boeing Future of Flight in Mukilteo, Washington, just 25 miles north of Seattle and north of Lynnwood. Learn about aviation history and the science of flight at this engaging destination.
A general admission ticket allows access to the Future of Flight Gallery, with exhibits on 150 current and future Boeing products, and the Sky Deck. The gallery also features the “Destiny Module” exhibit, a full-scale mock-up of the primary research lab for U.S. payloads sent to the International Space Station.
“There’s also a monitor that tracks the International Space Station as it circumnavigates our planet, and you can track it any time,” says Norman Mah, a communications professional at Boeing Stores Inc./Boeing Brand Experiences.
Visitors can do a self-tour of the gallery or join a staff member for a Gallery Walk. “Some folks like to explore on their own or do parts of the Gallery Walk,” Mah says. “Our guests have flexibility to participate in some parts and navigate others on their own.”
On the Sky Deck, visitors are treated to panoramic views of Paine Field, the Boeing Everett factory, and the North Cascades mountain range. Plus, get a front-row view of flight operations and testing of Boeing’s newest airplanes.
A Boeing Backstage Pass adds a 45-minute video followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period. Groups can learn about founder Bill Boeing; the development of the 747, the world’s first jumbo jet; and the factory created to build the planes.
“The development began to build the largest building in the world by volume to build the largest wide-body commercial aircraft at the time,” Mah says. That was in the late 1960s, and the 747 was built there for more than 50 years. Newer planes like the 767 and 777 are currently assembled at the factory.
Discounted rates are available for groups of 15 or more. Free motorcoach parking is available on the grounds.
Tours of the Boeing’s Everett factory, where visitors can see airplanes being built, ceased when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the Boeing Factory Tour is expected to resume in 2023. An opening date is yet to be announced.
Another nearby aviation attraction, Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum (FHCAM), also at Paine Field, closed during the pandemic. The Wartime History Museum has acquired FHCAM’s artifacts and will reopen the museum in the same location. No opening date has been announced. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nearby in Seattle
Group tours are available at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. Private, docent-led tours usually last an hour and take groups through the evolution of flight in the museum galleries, which hold aircraft, exhibits, and experiences. In addition to the Seattle campus, The Museum of Flight operates a Restoration Center at Paine Field. The center is currently closed, and tours are not available.
Written by Kathie Sutin
Feature Image: Courtesy of Boeing Future of Flight