“Above and Beyond – The Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition,” a groundbreaking exhibit exploring the wonder of flight and the marvels of aerospace innovation, design and technology, opens for the summer at The Museum of Flight in Tukwila on May 28, and will run through Sept. 10.
This will be the first West Coast destination for the expansive, touring exhibit, according to a museum news release.
“Above and Beyond” is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing and in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. “‘Above and Beyond’ perfectly complements our collection,” said museum President and CEO Doug King. “We give you the history of air and space every day. This summer we also offer its future.”
Opening Day with Astronaut Tom Jones
On the opening day of the exhibit, May 28, space shuttle astronaut Tom Jones will be at the museum for a 2 p.m. public program about living in space. He will also answer visitor questions and sign copies of his new book, “Ask the Astronaut.”
Features of the exhibit
“Above and Beyond” is designed to be the most interactive touring exhibition on aerospace, with approximately 5,000 square feet of exhibition space, including a 180-degree immersive theater presentation, a high-tech media-rich historical timeline, a simulated space elevator ride, a challenge to design and test a supersonic fighter jet in a virtual high-speed flying competition, and an avatar-based motion-capture group experience that demonstrates flight like a bird.
NASA and the exhibit
“Above and Beyond” uses fully immersive experiences to explore the impact of aerospace in our world – and beyond. Explored through five key themes that define flight and space travel – “Up, Faster, Higher, Farther, and Smarter” – “Above and Beyond” is an education-based exhibition disguised as a hands-on journey that provides visitors of all ages and interests with both retrospective and forward-thinking views on the innovation and science behind flight, according to the release.
The five themed galleries will feature dozens of interactive experiences made possible using flight simulation, augmented reality, touch-tables, design and skill challenges, virtual reality and more.
“The tenacity of the human spirit couldn’t be more evident than in its never-ending quest to understand and explore the world around it,” said Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington. “This exhibit is a celebration of the innovation that made flight possible during the last century, and serves as an inspiration for the next generation of aviation and space visionaries.”
Boeing and the exhibit
“Above and Beyond” launches just as Boeing enters its second century of aerospace achievement. Supporting the exhibit is an important element of Boeing’s centennial commemoration, and an opportunity to share Boeing’s own rich legacy and culture of innovation through high quality, engaging education, and STEM-related activities. It is fitting that the exhibit is displayed at The Museum of Flight, which not only preserves the world’s greatest collection of Boeing artifacts, it is also home to the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning.
“‘Above and Beyond’ represents an investment in inspiring curiosity in a new generation to enjoy, explore and create through science, engineering, and technology – and to generate belief in their ability to develop the skills to contribute in fields like aerospace as future designers, engineers or business leaders,” said John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer at Boeing. “A sense of wonder, discovery and the drive to change the world through innovation is woven into the fabric of our company and our industry and is reflected in the impressive technology, design, and spirit of this exhibit.”
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Tukwila, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.