In researching our November story about the glory days of air travel, and brainstorming story ideas, our staff photographers and I took a field trip to the Frontiers of Flight Museum, located on Lemmon near Love Field.
I am embarrassed to say that despite living here in Dallas for so long, I’ve never been. The VP of development, Jess Hall, was incredibly kind to us — he gave us a tour of the place, let us snoop around, visit with volunteer model-builders and docents and allowed us to return, more than once, to shoot photos.
Starting with the Leonardo da Vinci parachute, the museum showcases a dense exhibition of early flight methods, military aircraft, commercial flight and space travel.
I think we were all quite intrigued by the more than 30 aircraft (especially the Flying Pancake and the Apollo 7) and the extensive display of memorabilia (especially the WWII-era collection and, of course, the Braniff and Southwest exhibits which inspired our stories).
Below, get a glimpse of the items you’ll see when you visit. And trust me. You should visit.
The Apollo 7, the first manned spacecraft since a tragic Apollo 1 fire, is on loan to the Frontiers of Flight Museum from the Smithsonian Institute.
The A7LB space suit
Awesome lunar boots that left footprints on the moon that still are visible today.
Jess Hall schools photographers Can Turkyilmaz and Danny Fulgencio on the Flying Pancake. Despite its futuristic look, the aircraft dates back to WWII.
This model of a propellor plane includes an interior complete with mini dolled-up passengers.
Many of the highly accurate model-aircraft around the museum are built by steady handed, patient volunteers who spend a lot of time in this workshop on the museum’s bottom floor.
The Braniff exhibit is on the museum’s second floor.
The shockingly contemporary (considering the era) Braniff uniforms and designs make for a vibrant display.
Hall says that the Braniff exhibit is one of the most visited areas of the museum.
Former Braniff staffers and their families have donated pieces, such as this ceramic hostess.
1n the 80s Braniff thanked high profile passengers with ads like this one.
Southwest Airlines in the 70s gave Braniff some competition when it came to pretty flight attendants.
The impressive Southwest Airlines exhibit features many examples of not-so-subtle sexuality in its 80s era marketing.
And on board Southwest Airlines, drinks were “love potions”.
This “Dear Raquel Welch” letter went national and attracted 1,200 applicants for 40 positions.
Visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum website for hours, pricing and special events.