Most of us dreamed of flying through the sky as a kid. Even as adults, the idea of soaring through the air is still fascinating. The Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas lets you see different types of aircraft up close and rekindle those memories you had growing up.
The museum takes you through the history of flight. You’ll see everything from vintage war planes to space suits worn by astronauts. Over 30 aircraft are featured, with a few even hanging from the ceiling. Volunteers and veterans are on-site to answer questions you might have about the planes and history of the aircraft.
The building includes a lobby and two large exhibit areas. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so g
The Richard W. Cree Main Exhibit Hall is the largest part of the museum. Most of the planes are found in this area. The exhibits are arranged in chronological order, starting with the early days of flight and ending with the Space exhibit. Of course, you can tour the museum in any order you wish. There is a mezzanine upstairs with great views of the planes and more historical items to check out.
The second exhibit area includes a towering dome-shaped roof. It’s actually a restored aircraft hangar from the 1940s. It features the Southwest Airlines exhibit, where you can climb aboard a full-size airliner. You can also see components from the SR-71 Blackbird, a spy plane used during the cold war with Russia that’s now declassified.
The museum is located on the east end of Dallas Love Field Airport. Different types of jets are parked outside, so the building is easy to recognize. On the north side, there’s an airliner sticking out the side of the hangar.
This article by no means covers everything in the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Some of the main highlights are discussed below, so you’ll know what to expect when planning your visit.
World War II Artifacts and Planes
The World War II exhibit is located under the enormous United States flag. It’s filled with models and detailed information about various warplanes. The largest and most impressive model is the B-17 bomber, aka the “Flying Fortress.” The model was built by Jimmy Cowman, a WWII veteran from New Mexico who piloted the B-17 during the war.
The display cases contain war memorabilia and personal items from soldiers. These artifacts include flight jackets, equipment, and newspaper articles from the 1940s. In the back, a video screen features stories about combat missions from World War II veterans.
The PT-17 Kadet is suspended from the ceiling near the exhibit. It’s a 2-seater plane that was used to train pilots during the 1930s and up through World War II. Over 10,000 of these planes were produced by Boeing during that time.
Modern Military Aircraft
The Flying Pancake
The most unique plane in the room is the bright-yellow Vought 173, also called the “Flying Pancake.” It was a prototype designed to show off its aerodynamic design. Because of its odd shape, the plane could easily take off from short runways, like those of an aircraft carrier.
The Corsair II
The Modern Air Power exhibit showcases all kinds of military planes and weapons. A huge plane sits in the exhibit called the Corsair II. It was nicknamed as the “ultimate bomb truck” and could carry 15,000
SR-71 Blackbird Exhibit
Once a top-secret project, the SR-71 Blackbird was a spy plane used for decades by the U.S. Air Force. The plane was known for its ability to fly at high altitudes and fast speeds to avoid radar detection. No SR-71 plane was ever shot down by enemy forces.
The exhibit includes items that are no longer classified. You can see a flight simulator that was used to train pilots and the plane’s camera that could take precision photos from 85,000 feet. One of the SR-71’s engines is mounted on a small trailer. The SR-71 Blackbird was equipped with two of these engines, allowing the jet to reach Mach 3 speeds (3 times the speed of sound).
F-4D Phantom II Simulator
This flight simulator was developed in 1967 by Link General Precision in Arlington Texas. It was used to train pilots on the weapon systems of the F-4D Phantom II. The F-4 was a popular fighter jet used by the U.S. Air Force, Marines, and Navy. The simulator rotated to different angles while the flight crew practiced different attack modes.
Apollo 7 Command Module
The command module of the Apollo 7 mission is one of the museum’s treasures. Apollo 7 was the first manned space flight of the Apollo Program. Three astronauts orbited Earth 163 times and traveled 4,539,959 miles. The rigors of entering the Earth’s atmosphere paid its toll on the space vehicle. The main hatch is open so you can look inside the capsule. It’s easy to imagine how thrilling and dangerous the mission was.
Items from Apollo astronauts are displayed in the glass case above. It contains the gloves worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11 when he became the first man to walk on the moon. There is also a space suit worn by astronaut Don Eisele while training for the Apollo 7 mission.
Above is the nozzle of a Service Propulsion System (SPS) engine from the Apollo space program. After the astronauts were launched into space, the SPS engine was fired to place the astronauts into orbit. It was also fired again to get them out of orbit, so the astronauts could return to Earth.
Explore the Planets
There’s a fun interactive station to learn about the different planets in our solar system. You choose a planet using the control center. The virtual globe will then show weather patterns and other interesting things about the planet you selected.
Commercial Airline Industry
Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967 by Herb Kelleher. The company started off by offering flights between Texas cities. Over the years, it’s now grown into one of the largest airlines in the world. Its corporate headquarters is located at Dallas Love Field Airport, not far from the Frontiers of Flight Museum.
There are two Boeing 737 displays to check out, the first is a full-size airliner with the front portion sticking through the hangar wall. The rest of the plane is on the other side of the wall, outside of the building.
The cockpit is locked, but you can look inside to see the plane’s control system. Most of the passenger seats have been removed, which is kind of a strange sight.
There is a glass display case that runs the length of the passenger cabin. It contains awards and memorabilia as a tribute to the company’s dedicated employees. The very back includes an 89’ Harley Davidson motorcycle, given to founder Herb Kelleher by Southwest Airlines pilots.
The second Boeing 737 focuses on the electronics of the aircraft. You can walk up to the top level and get a closer look at the cockpit. Unfortunately, you can’t go all the way inside, but you can see the steering mechanisms and other controls that operate the plane. The bottom level is exposed so you can see the avionics bay. This is where navigational devices, radios, and other electrical components are installed.
Braniff Airways operated out of Love Field in Dallas for over forty years. Pictured above are the ever-changing uniforms of their flight attendants. The first uniform, seen on the far left, was designed by the Dallas retailer Neiman-Marcus in 1937. In 1965, the airline adopted brighter color schemes. This included some of the attendants wearing futuristic bubble helmets. Male flight attendants were introduced in 1973.
If you have kids, there’s an indoor airport-themed playground. It includes a large, toy-like plane with a slide on the back. Kids can also climb up different levels of an aircraft control tower. Parents can take a break on one of the many benches or airliner seats.
|Address:||6911 Lemmon Ave|
Dallas, TX 75209