Tag Archives: 3278

Delta celebrates 85 years of flying passengers

Delta Travel Air (Delta)(LRW)

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (June 17) celebrated the grand opening of the new Delta Flight Museum, a 68,000 square-foot facility located at the airline’s world headquarters in Atlanta. The museum traces Delta’s history and the development of commercial aviation. The grand opening event marked Delta’s 85th anniversary of passenger service, dating back to its first passenger flight from Dallas to Jackson, Mississippi, on June 17, 1929.

Delta Flight Museum logo on ground (Delta)(LRW)

The museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is housed in the airline’s two original maintenance hangars dating from the 1940s. After a significant renovation to the historic buildings funded by the Delta Air Lines Foundation and other sponsors, the museum is now open to the general public. The museum was designated a Historic Aerospace Site in 2011.

The museum contains displays and exhibits filled with hundreds of artifacts, many of which have never been on public display. They chronicle more than eight decades of Delta history and the growth and development of commercial aviation. The museum houses a permanent collection of five historic aircraft, including a Travel Air 6B Sedan similar to the one that operated Delta’s first passenger flight in 1929 (above), and The Spirit of Delta, a Boeing 767 purchased for the company by employees in 1982. Also on display is a DC-3, Ship 41 (below), that flew for Delta and was restored by Delta employees and volunteers.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Douglas DC-3-357 NC28341 (msn 3278) arrives at Baltimore/Washington when it was flying.

The museum features a 117-seat theater and a 30-seat conference room located inside the fuselage of an L-1011 TriStar aircraft. Also on display is the cockpit of a Convair 880 jet. Additionally, visitors can have the ultimate aviation experience and pilot a Boeing 737-200 full-motion simulator, the only one open to the public in the U.S., formerly used to train Delta pilots.

A tour of the museum starts with Delta’s beginnings as a crop-dusting operation in the rural South and takes visitors through the early propeller era of passenger service and into the jet age.

A special exhibit honors Delta’s founder and first CEO, C.E. Woolman. The display includes a portrait of Woolman along with quotes and personal items.

Visitors have the opportunity to explore the museum at their own pace through a self-guided tour, though guided tours are available as well. Special interactive features, including a pilot pre-flight checklist for a Boeing 767 as well as a scavenger hunt, engage children touring the museum. There is also a retail store with hundreds of Delta- and aviation-related items for sale, including aircraft models, clothing and accessories.

The hangar space also serves as a unique public and private rental venue to host meetings, conferences and other events with state-of-the-art audio and video capability and full catering services that can accommodate a seated dinner for as many as 1,200.

Major sponsors of the Delta Flight Museum include the Delta Air Lines Foundation, American Express, Airbus, the New York Yankees, ST Aerospace and Aero BridgeWorks. The full list of sponsors is available at the museum’s website.

More information, including hours of operation, admission fees, event rentals, simulator fees and directions, is available on the museum’s website at deltamuseum.org.

Delta 85 Years of Innovation (Delta)(LRW)

Copyright Photos: Delta Air Lines.

Delta Air Lines (current livery and aircraft): AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines (historic liveries and aircraft): AG Slide Show

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Delta to begin renovations on Delta Flight Museum, set to open in 2014

Delta Museum (Delta)(LRW)

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will begin renovations funded by a $6.3 million grant from The Delta Air Lines Foundation and will kick-off a corporate sponsorship campaign to refurbish Delta’s historic hangars on the company’s corporate campus. Upon completion of the project, the facility will open to the public as the Delta Flight Museum offering daily tours and a unique private event facility.

The hangars, originally built in the 1940s for Delta’s aircraft maintenance, were repurposed in 1995 as the site of the current Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum. Its mission then was to preserve the history of Delta’s people and culture of exceptional customer service forged by founder C.E. Woolman. The site has served as the backbone of the company’s global headquarters for more than 70 years.

“Returning Delta’s historic hangars to their original glory helps preserve the history and rich Delta employee culture for generations of aviation enthusiasts,” said Tad Hutcheson, vice president – Community Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum. “The new Delta Flight Museum will offer a one-of-a-kind experience for the Atlantacommunity and visitors from around the world.”

The renovation project will last 12 months and is scheduled to be complete in advance of Delta’s 85th anniversary of commercial aviation service on June 17, 2014. Some of the major improvements include the addition of a welcome theater, installation of an elevator and construction of a new mezzanine level.

When completed, the new museum will offer a full-service event space that will accommodate private events for groups ranging from 100 to 1,200 people for a seated meal service. The facility will be among the largest capacity venues in the Atlanta metropolitan area and will offer a variety of scalable rental options.

The entrance to the Delta Flight Museum will offer convenient access for daily visitors and will include dedicated parking for museum patrons as well as capacity for valet parking services to compliment private functions held in the facility.

The Spirit of Delta will continue to be one of the largest items on display in the museum. The Boeing 767-200 (above, caption below) was purchased by Delta employees in 1982 as an expression of thanks to the company and has been located in the museum since being retired from service in 2006.

The renovation also will include preserving the hangar doors by returning them to their original condition and polishing the concrete floors to retain the distinctive markings created when Delta installed the reinforced concrete needed to handle heavier aircraft as it transitioned from the use of propeller planes to the jet age.

New air conditioning and heat controls will provide a comfortable year-round visitor experience inside the large hangar facility. A full Convair 880 cockpit already owned by the museum along with a Boeing 737-200 flight simulator will be installed as permanent exhibits and a new retail store will be built for visitors to purchase aviation memorabilia and Delta-branded items.

The hangars were designated as an official Historic Aerospace Site by The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Feb. 2011, acknowledging them as the oldest surviving buildings currently in use at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Delta moved its headquarters from Monroe, Louisiana, to Atlanta in 1941 and began use of the hangars as the primary maintenance facility for its daily commercial flight operations. Aircraft maintenance moved to the site of Delta’s current Technical Operations Center in 1960. In 1990, a group of Delta retirees launched an effort to consolidate Delta memorabilia, archival collections and one of Delta’s first 1940s era Douglas DC-3 aircraft. The effort resulted in the creation of the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum located in the hangar facility donated by Delta.

Top Copyright Rendering: Delta Air Lines.

Middle Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. “The Spirit of Delta” in the form of donated Boeing 767-232 N102DA (msn 22214) worn several different liveries in its career with Delta. Here is the special “Celebrating 75 Years 2004” livery at Miami.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Douglas DC-3-357 NC28341 (msn 3278) lands at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).