Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Activity: Ariline History Museum

Location: 201 NW Lou Holland Dr
Kansas City, MO 64116-4223

(816) 421-3401


Hours and Rates: Monday through Sat, 10 to 4. Sunday 12 to 4.
8 for adult, 4 for 6-12, kids under 4 are free.

Ages: Any and all. It's plane's man, everyone loves planes.

Caution!: These planes still fly and do airshows. So before you go, give them a call to make sure you can see them.

I'll start the review this way: My 2 year old son was so excited that he cried.

Located in the downtown KC airport, the hanger that houses the planes and the museum sets the tone just right. The hanger is huge. I mean really huge. It's the type of huge that they use football field lengths to describe. And it has to be huge because that is where they house the planes.

The museum portion of the attraction is not bad either. Located on the inside of the hanger, it offers a glimpse into air travel over the last 60 years and provides a good chuckle. For example, in the 1940's, flight attendants could not be married and it was suggested that they have a degree in home economics. There are a lot of model aircraft as well as some actual 1970 style airplane seats. The kids loved these although I have no idea why. Wait until they are 30 then they will come to loathe them.

On display on the inside are numerous items that include flight books that you can flip through, china from airlines (they actually used glassware at one point) and other neat little oddities.

This sets you up for the big dog of the show: the planes.

They have three planes that you can see. A Super G Constellation, a Martin 404 and a Douglas DC-3. Now you may have no idea what these are so let me clarify. They are huge commercial planes from the last 50 years. Did I mention huge? Yes, huge. It just seems so different when you are right up next to them.

This is a little bit of a guided tour but most of the kids were in awe of the planes. When they weren't, remember that this is in a hanger so there is PLENTY of space to run. And what are they going to break, it's a plane man.

Not only do you get a chance to get up close and personal with the outside of the aircraft, you actually get to walk through 2 of them, all the way up to the cockpit. Now I know, who hasn't walked on a plane before? Well, this is a little different. First off, they are old. Nothing says old like nicotine stains from years and years of smokers on planes. When was the last time they even allowed this? Second, you'll be surprised what you will find in them. Some of the compartments had fold down beds that looked nicer than what I had in the dorm. Arranged in a bunkbed style and featuring great 1970 curtains, travel in style as you sleep away the miles. You also get to go to the "galley" where all the food was prepared. It's interesting to actually see this. FYI: the drink cart hasn't changed in 50 years. It's the same then as it is now.

But wait, we're not done. Also in the hanger they have an engine ripped apart that the tour guide shows you. How cool is that? You'll learn all the interesting facts from this tour. For example, one of these beasts guzzles 500 gallons of fuel an hour. Makes your Hummer look down right respectable doesn't it?

A couple of oddities that are also worth seeing here. They have the rocket ship from the old TWA building downtown. It's larger than I thought it would be. Also, when you get in the hanger, look up. They have a ceiling fan that is by far the biggest thing I have ever seen. Apparently if you crank that bad boy up to full speed you get a 4mph breeze going through the place.

So if you have an afternoon to kill and what to do something cool, this one is for you. Our kids loved it and the dads found enough interesting to ignore the kids at our leisure


1 comment:

  1. its a bunch of mother-bleeping dads on a mother-bleeping plane!