New Future of Flight exhibit gives fun, interactive learning experience

By Brandon Gustafson | Dec 26, 2018
Photo by: Brandon Gustafson A group of Future of Flight patrons trying out “Spread Your Wings,” an interactive flying simulator where you try to stay in a “V” formation as a flock of geese.

The Future of Flight, the biggest tourist attraction in Snohomish County, has undergone many changes throughout 2018.

First, in February, the Institute of Flight named a new executive director, Jeff Van Dyck, to operate the Future of Flight’s day-to-day operations. Then, it was announced in late July that Boeing signed a letter of intent with Snohomish County to begin operating the Future of Flight, pushing the Institute of Flight out the door.

The show floor at the Future of Flight is emptier than patrons may be used to, as many of the exhibits and artifacts that had been on display were under contract with the Institute of Flight rather than with the Future of Flight or Boeing, but a new exhibit is currently ongoing.

The exhibit, “Above and Beyond,” brings hands on, interactive teaching of aerospace technology in many forms. Some of the interactive exhibits are comparable to video games.

“It’s presented by Boeing with NASA and the Smithsonian,” said Amanda Holloway, a communications specialist for Boeing. “It’s an interactive aerospace exhibit.”

“Above and Beyond” opened on Saturday, Dec. 15, and admission to the exhibit is temporarily free. “Above and Beyond” will be open throughout almost all of 2019, closing sometime next December.

“It’s free for just a short time longer, and will be updated on our website,” Holloway said. “It’s really a ‘thank you’ to the community throughout this transition. Our community is massive, and Boeing and the community go hand-in-hand.

“It’s just nice for them to see what we have going on.”

One of the interactive portions of the exhibit include “Spread Your Wings,” a flying simulator where, using motion capturing cameras, you can simulate flying with geese in a “V” formation by flapping your wings – in this case, your arms – and turning your body to stay in formation with the birds on the screen.

Another popular area is “Full Throttle,” where you can design your own fighter jet on a touch screen, customizing the plane’s design, before sitting in a faux cockpit and flying your plane through a series of obstacles while trying to reach supersonic speed.

“It keeps the daily top scorer, and it’s built so whoever’s flying has to build a new plane,” Holloway said.

There is also space elevator simulators, a space junk collection game and models of different aircraft and spacecraft, with trivia and facts.

The Future of Flight continually has exhibits and special programs tailored to educating the public, especially young kids, about aerospace technology. The Future of Flight hopes this exhibit will continue to help educate the public.

“Our educational programs, that’s definitely an area of strength for us,” Holloway said.

For more information on the exhibit, visit aboveandbeyondexhibition.com.

As mentioned previously, admission to the exhibit won’t be free for much longer, so check futureofflight.org/events for updates.

The Future of Flight is located at 8415 Paine Field Blvd. in Mukilteo, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

 

 

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