Last week, the kids and I had the opportunity to visit a little known Kansas City museum – the TWA Museum, located at the Downtown Airport in the original corporate headquarters of Trans World Airlines, better known as TWA.
The entrance to the museum is the same entrance that people used when originally coming to the airport for their flights. The hallway leading to the museum is full of various historical photos and information about the airlines, which was founded in 1930. The headquarters in Kansas City opened in 1931.
We received a private tour of the museum from a volunteer who worked for TWA in the IT department. Many of the volunteers currently at the museum are former employees of TWA. Volunteers also narrate the audio tour, which is available to visitors as well.
The cases around the museum’s first room contain TWA memorabilia such as in these photos. There are several TWA aricraft models and pilot uniforms.
In the center of the room are models of jets, including a 747 model.
This table displays vintage mechanic items as well as an airplane sextant, which was used for navigation.
Did you know that airlines used to serve beer on tap? Because of the pressurization of the cabin, the fizz was too much and this idea did not last. We also saw various service items and crew uniforms from the 1930s on.
These were some of the in flight games and toys given to children on board. I remember when I flew TWA in the 80s I got a set of wings and a deck of cards.
Many of us probably remember the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. The museum has a room dedicated to the memory of those lost in that crash, as well as in other TWA accidents. The Flight 800 Memorial that was originally at JFK Airport in NYC is now located here.
The boys absolutely loved playing with the flight simulator. It was built specifically for the TWA Museum and you can use it to practice taking off at the Downtown Airport and landing at the International Airport! Gabbie also got to try, although the boys would have preferred to play with the simulator for the rest of the day.
Next, we walked into the airport hangar. Currently it is mostly housing private planes, but it is the same original hangar that Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart flew in and out of.
The kids also really enjoyed checking out the training equipment. They learned that the instructor would flip some switches and the students would need to figure out how to fix any problems that were caused.
Finally, we walked across the tarmac to see an old plane that is on display.
Here are the kids with our amazing tour guide!
And the kids with me as well!
Although I have shown you a lot of pictures, there is much more to see at the museum, including much more memorabilia, flight attendant uniforms including some made out of paper, more on the history of the airline and about the planes they flew, information about Amelia Earhart and other historical figures, the desk that belonged to one of the airline founders, collections from TWA collectors, and much more. The museum also houses an education space, a room for Scouts to work on their aviation badges, a library, an Ambassadors Club room, and a research room.
Today is also our Local Tourist Link Up, so if you visited somewhere local to you this month, link up with Lauren and me here!
Feel free to save our image and share it in your blog post so others can find the link-up!
Make sure to visit the TWA Museum Site for information about visiting – I highly recommend this museum for airline enthusiasts, history buffs, and young students alike!