The Museum of Air and Space in Paris provides a fascinating day out for anyone interested in matters of aviation and the universe around them.
One of the oldest aviation museums in the world, the collection encompasses almost 20,000 items, which includes 150 aircraft bound to delight any aviation fans, with both old models and modern aviation devices on display.
Plane enthusiasts visiting the museum have the chance to take a tour of some legendary aircraft cockpits with a expert guide who will give them the history of these planes and the secrets they posses. With a private tour, the public will be able to get closer to the cockpits which are usually closed to the public, and stand in the footsteps of the pilots of the past.
Alternatively, those attending the museum in the first weekend of every month can attend a short introductory store to the museum and help people to understand in just 45 minutes, the major themes in aviation and space. People opting for a mini tour can choose from The Concorde adventure, Pioneers of Aviation and The Journey into Space.
Some of the planes that people perusing the museum will be able to see include the Boeing 747, the Dakota and the Super Hornet, which is situated in the lobby of French prototypes, which also contains intriguing aircrafts including Triton SO 6000, the Leduc 010 and the Griffon helicopter.
Head to the aviation debut to travel back in time and learn about the first flying machines used during the Great War, with machines including the Biot-Massat, the Voisin Farman I, the Bleriot XI, the Morane-H, Caudron GIV, the Deperdussin, 14-18 planes, a pod of Zepellin and many more.
In the Terminal Bourget sits a vast interactive exhibition about the battle of the skies which played out between 1914 and 1918, detailing how aviation evolved and developed during the First World War. All devices showcased in this display are the originals, from planes and ballooning equipment to engines and propellers, armaments, relics, archives and old outfits. Outfitted mannequins are dotted around the planes to bring the exhibition to life, while a large mural evokes the drama of the confrontation. The exhibition features models including the G3 Caudron and Farman XI, which were reconnaissance aircraft working in 1914.
From some of the very first fliers to today’s passenger planes, visitors can go on to examine the Boeing 747-128. Originally commissioned in 1966 by Pan American, the Boeing 747 was the first jumbo jet ever designed to carry civilian passengers and it revolutionised travel by doubling the capacity in the first batch of jets. The Boeing 747-128 F-BPVJ carried out its first flight on October 26th 1972 and began work with Air France the following year, and in 1988 crossed the 50,000 flight hours barrier – finally retiring after a flight on February 10th 2000. The model has been situated at the Museum of Air and Space since June 2003, and is a particular star of the museum.
The expansive museum also looks beyond our atmosphere to space, with visitors asked to consider the question “are we alone in the universe”? In the Planetarium guests will learn to observe the night sky, including discovery of constellations from Cassiopeia to Andromeda and the Big Dipper. A planetarium session with live commentary takes place at 11.00 in the morning.
Another planetarium session looks beyond the night sky to celestial bodies above which really reveal the beauty of deep space, which are promised to be “the most beautiful pictures of the universe to reach your eyes”.