Delta Flight Museum Grand Opening on 85th Anniversary of Delta Air Lines
Starting a few years earlier in Macon, Georgia as an aerial crop dusting operation known as Huff Daland Dusters, Delta Air Service commenced operations on June 17, 1929 in Monroe, Louisiana…
…and 85 years later, the anniversary of what is now known as Delta Air Lines was celebrated with the grand opening of the Delta Flight Museum — which, technically, is the grand re-opening of the Delta Heritage Museum.
The Delta Flight Museum underwent extensive renovations, whose updates were reported by FlyerTalk members. I actually co-hosted one of the last events at the former Delta Heritage Museum before the remodeling and the redesign of the building — more specifically, two historic buildings which once served as the original hangars for the airport which serves the Atlanta metropolitan area — began back in 2013. Much of the original materials — such as the brick outer walls and the massive sliding doors of the hangar — have been preserved and restored.
While some of the exhibits are still proudly displayed — such as the Spirit of Delta Boeing 767 aircraft donated by employees back in 1982 as the result of a massive fundraiser of $30 million and the careful restoration of a vintage Douglas DC-3 aircraft — new additions are now part of the Delta Flight Museum. There is an expanded museum store, a larger theater — and even a Boeing 737-200 flight simulator which will cost $395.00 for an hour with up to four participants.
FlyerTalk members imparted their experiences as passengers aboard the Spirit of Delta while it was still in service; as well as reported on when it received its last paint job in its most popular “retro” livery; and bid farewell to it when it was taken out of service.
Although the former Delta Heritage Museum relied heavily on donations and revenue from events, the new Delta Flight Museum now also has an admission charge: $6.00 for children ages five through 17, $9.00 for adults 65 years of age and older, and $12.00 for all other adults. Children ages 4 and younger are admitted free of charge.
The Delta Flight Museum is also more accessible to the public, as it now has its own entrance. In the past, visitors to the Delta Heritage Museum were required to enter through the main entrance of the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines.
Information pertaining to the hours of operation for both the Delta Flight Museum and its store are found here.
I attended the grand festivities earlier today, which included a short film — as well as brief presentations from Nathan Deal, who is the governor of the state of Georgia; Kasim Reed, who is the mayor of the city of Atlanta; and Richard Anderson, who is the chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines. Standing behind them on the podium were employees of Delta Air Lines modeling and posing in uniforms officially used by Delta Air Lines over the course of the past 85 years.
I have plenty of photographs to share — too many to display here in one article. What I intend to do is go through the literally hundreds of photographs in my possession and present select ones to you here at The Gate as well as at What’s Your Point?, where I underwent extensive negotiations with the author of that weblog. It was not easy; but we finally came to an agreement to post the photographs and further descriptions of the Delta Flight Museum and the event earlier today together as part of a joint effort to have you indulge the inner aviation geek in you.
I plan on also posting photographs comparing the former Delta Heritage Museum with the Delta Flight Museum.
For now, however, let me tease you with the couple of photographs shown above which depict what you first see when you enter the parking area of the Delta Flight Museum — and more photographs will be posted in future articles at both What’s Your Point? and here at The Gate.
To me, the former Delta Heritage Museum was merely an homage to Delta Air Lines — but the Delta Flight Museum is now also a destination.
In the meantime, happy 85th anniversary, Delta Air Lines!