Grounded airplanes are frequently rewarded with guest appearances in stylish documentaries and are invited to press their large noses into freshly cemented town squares. Venerate vintage aircraft another way with today's Groupon: for $10, you get a family pass to and a $10 gift shop credit at the National Museum of Commercial Aviation in Forest Park. The family pass is good for two adults and up to four children.
The National Museum of Commercial Aviation, situated just south of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, houses 15 exhibits and numerous airline artifacts. The 6,000-square-foot space serves as the interim headquarters of the museum as it transitions to a larger campus in 2013. Wingless visitors can feel the virtual breeze in the Microsoft flight simulator, choosing between faux-flying a jet, a Wright Brothers glider, or a craft folded from lined notebook paper. In the Airliner Theater corner, a cushy first-class Eastern Air Lines L-1011 seat cradles movie-goers as they browse more than a dozen reels on aircraft boneyards, the making of Atlanta's airport, and more. The museum's Research Library and Air-chives encourages flight fans to plunge deep into study of a particular plane and airline, or to peruse the 2,500 volumes of material to glean an overview of commercial-aviation history. Petite pilots can explore the Young Aviators Hangar, replete with attractions that include a cartoon flight simulator, a reading nook, and a dress-up area.
For souvenir selectors, the $10 gift shop credit grants access to a mélange of vintage and vintage-looking gifts, keepsakes, and more. Items such as branded serving ware, actually used on flights over the last 70 years, add a touch of appropriate whimsy to Pan Am–themed dinner parties. Children's uniforms and costumes add prestige to burgeoning teddy-transport careers, and youthful books give kids a historical perspective on their passions.
National Museum of Commercial Aviation
The National Museum of Commercial Aviation sends visitors into the friendly skies without ever leaving the ground. Inside the 6,000-square-foot facility rests a collection of more than 35,000 artifacts from airlines and facilities dating as far back as the 1930s. Glass cases house a variety of dishes and flatware from mile-high kitchens, as well as timetables and ticket jackets. Meanwhile, mannequins display 200 vintage uniforms for pilots and attendants alike. Visitors can take a seat inside a Delta Airlines 727 familiarization trainer, replete with switches, gauges, and buttons. Inside they can attempt realistic take-offs and landings while navigating the Microsoft Flight Simulator housed within. The museum is also home to one of the first tug tractors, a Gate Gourmet catering truck, and the cockpit of the Eastern Airlines Martin 404 once used by singer and musician Ray Charles to travel from gig to gig along with his three million baby grand pianos.
5442 Frontage Rd.
Forest Park, Georgia 30297Get Directions