Jill Tallman

Cheap thrills

July 15, 2008 by Jill W. Tallman, Associate Editor

Riding on a Seattle city bus headed downtown, I saw a huge expanse of hangars and other aviation-type buildings, and realized I was in the heart of Boeing country. And there it was, practically yanking me out of my seat: the Museum of Flight. After paying the $14 admission, I spent a happy two hours wandering around the exhibits, which include the modified GeeBee pictured here, and a Concorde that you can climb into. (Did you know that AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines flew in the Concorde?)

Then it was off to the gift shop, where I plunked down $49 for a coffee mug, a mousepad emblazed with the Seattle sectional, and an aviation shirt (hey, you can never have too many). But the best part of the day didn’t cost me one thin dime. That’s the time I spent on the patio at the museum’s Wings Cafe, which overlooks Runways 13L/31R and 13R/31L at Boeing Field/King County. Here I got to watch a steady stream of commercial jets play nicely with the ceaseless GA traffic, which included a pair of 172s doing pattern work, a biplane, and the occasional floatplane.

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