Delta’s ‘747 Experience’ to take off March 28


The iconic Boeing 747 jumbo jet is the focus of a new exhibit opening later this month at the Delta Flight Museum.

When the $5 million “747 Experience” exhibit opens March 28 at the museum near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, visitors will have a chance to walk out onto the wing of a 747, see the cockpit and learn about the inner workings of the plane.

The 747 is “one of the few planes people can name and recognize — even people who don’t know a lot of planes,” said Timothy Frilingos, manager of exhibits for the museum.

The chance to fly on a 747 is dwindling. Delta and United both plan to retire the 747 from their fleets this year, marking the end of an era for the jumbo jet in passenger service on U.S. carriers. However, the 747 remains in heavy use as a cargo jet and in foreign carrier fleets.

The exhibit is inside a retired 747-400 that Delta parked at the museum on its headquarters campus just north of Hartsfield-Jackson’s runways. It includes views of the cargo hold, and cutaways showing pipes and wires including flight controls running through the plane from the cockpit to rudder.

Visitors can also see the crew rest areas, including upper deck flight attendant bunks. The 747 typically has two flight crews for long overseas flights, including four pilots and as many as 11 flight attendants who work in shifts.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOEING 747

Visitors also will be able to walk out onto a platform on the wing for an expansive view of the surrounding area, including the control tower, planes taking off and the original site of the airport named Candler Field in 1925 — where Delta’s headquarters now sits.

The 747 is expected to be a big draw — so much so that the museum is raising the price of regular adult admission including the 747 exhibit to $15, up $2.50. The museum will open for a special “747 day” on March 29, when the entry fee will be $7.47.

Delta also plans to rent out the plane for events like corporate cocktail parties or dinners, bar mitzvahs and proms. 

“We think there will be people who think this is a nice place for a wedding,” said John Boatright, president of the Delta museum and a former vice president of corporate real estate for Delta.

The airline also consulted with film location scouts to design a portion of the plane with economy class seats and business class seats that can be used as a movie set. A section of seats farther back is specifically designed to allow for long shot views of an airplane cabin.

The plane, known as Ship 6301, was the first 747-400 built by Boeing. After it was manufactured in 1988, it was used as a test plane, then flew for Northwest Airlines. Delta acquired Northwest in 2008.

Delta towed it across a city street to the museum parking lot last year.

AJC FLASHBACK PHOTOS: TAKE A TRIP BACK IN TIME

A group of employees organized an effort called the “Airloom project” to contribute money through payroll deductions and donations to raise funds for the 747 Experience. Airloom is contributing about $600,000 toward the $5 million cost, according to Boatright.

The cost includes the months of work to get the 747 in place and prepared for the exhibit, including 30 feet of pilings down to bedrock and steel plates embedded in concrete to support the weight of the plane, a pavilion, elevator, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.

Delta TechOps mechanics and engineers helped on everything from installing the jet stand to building the wing walk platform.

While the museum plans to get some return on the investment through event rentals and the movie business, Boatright said “the other thing that’s more important here, the museum is the history of Delta, the family of Delta,” particularly for new hires who visit the museum and can learn about the company.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Gwinnett solar firm wins U.S. support for charges of unfair trade
Gwinnett solar firm wins U.S. support for charges of unfair trade

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday sided with a bankrupt Gwinnett company’s complaint that America is being flooded with cheap imported solar cells, setting up a potential trade battle with China or other countries that export solar panels. Norcross-based Suniva said it was “gratified” by the trade commission&rsquo...
Gwinnett solar firm wins U.S. support for charges of unfair trade
Gwinnett solar firm wins U.S. support for charges of unfair trade

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday agreed with a bankrupt Gwinnett company’s complaint that America is being flooded with cheap imported solar cells, setting up a potential trade battle with China or other countries that export solar panels. Norcross-based Suniva said it was “gratified” by the trade commission&rsquo...
Death Wish coffee recalled over botulism concerns
Death Wish coffee recalled over botulism concerns

Death Wish Coffee Company, a New York-based coffee producer that advertises itself as maker of the “world’s strongest coffee,” is recalling some of its products over concerns that it could become tainted with the deadly botulin toxin. Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a notice issued Tuesday that 11-ounce...
Equifax apologizes for sending people to fake company website
Equifax apologizes for sending people to fake company website

Equifax linked people to a fake online site that mimicked the link for its site on its massive Sept. 7 security breach that affected 143 million Americans. After the breach, which involved Social Security numbers and other key identifying information, Equifax set up a site, equifaxsecurity2017.com, that directed people to information on the hacking...
Wes Moss: Lessons from ‘The Lost Decade of Stocks’
Wes Moss: Lessons from ‘The Lost Decade of Stocks’

As the stock market continues to reach new highs, with the Dow soaring well above 20,000, I’ve found myself reflective of other times in recent investment history. Over the years, the high and low tides — and sometimes crashing waves — of our always changing economy have taught me certain financial truths. Let me share what I learned...
More Stories