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Flight Deck Podcast

Listen to all of the Museum’s best aviation and aerospace stories on the Flight Deck Podcast, a podcast that makes history personal. Episodes released every other Tuesday. Enjoy!

How We Got the MiG-21

January 22, 2019 / Storytelling, MiG-21, Vietnam, Collections

Sometimes the story of how we acquired an artifact is just as interesting as the artifact itself. Such is the case with the Soviet-built MiG-21 that stands in our Great Gallery. Bruce Florsheim, one of our docents and an active player in getting the MiG to Seattle, explains the historical significance of the MiG and how it ended up in our Museum. “In its time, the MiG 21 became the most produced supersonic jet in aviation history and the most produced combat aircraft since WWII,” says Florsheim. The Soviets loved it because it was rugged—it could easily take off from unprepared fields—and inexpensive to produce: you didn’t have to be a mechanical genius to build it or maintain it. Back in 1994, the MiG caught the eye of Boeing VP Jim Blue as he was touring an aircraft factory in the Czech Republic. Blue saw that a large group of them were covered in a tarp, and he asked his host what the plans were for the jets. “They will be scrapped,” said the Czech guide, and Blue, then a Museum trustee, knew that he had to acquire one. At first the Czechs refused to sell the plane, but Blue persisted, and eventually the plane was disassembled and embarked on a months-long adventure across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and up to Seattle, where it was rebuilt and displayed in the Museum. The two Czech mechanics who were flown over to help rebuild it experienced an adventure of their own when Blue introduced them to American-style supermarkets.

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Jimmy Stewart

January 8, 2019 / Storytelling, Collections, WWII, Fighter Aces, History

What do you get when a WWII American Fighter Ace has the same name as a Hollywood icon and doesn’t get rid of anything? The Lt. Col. James C Stewart Collection!

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Holiday Special - The Apollo 8 Mission and Our Place in the Universe

December 25, 2018 / Storytelling, NASA, Apollo, Earthrise, Bill Barry

This special holiday podcast features an interview with NASA historian Bill Barry who explains how the Apollo 8 mission showed how the pursuit of space can be a unifying force in a divided world.

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Ask a Pilot!

November 27, 2018 / airlines, Storytelling

Commercial pilot Kevin Gordon returns in this episode to answer listener questions about all things aviation

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The Stewardess' Tale

November 13, 2018 / Storytelling, United Airlines, 747

Before there were flight attendants, there were stewardesses, and in this AMA episode we talk to Mary Hoy, who served as a stewardess aboard United Airlines from 1967-1973, who answers questions from our social media followers.

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War of the Worlds 80 Years Later

October 30, 2018 / Storytelling, Halloween, Radio

Eighty years ago today, Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast ‘War of the Worlds’ used cutting-edge audio technology to convince listeners that planet Earth was under attack by Martians.

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An Interview with a WASP

October 2, 2018 / Storytelling, Personal Courage, WWII, WASP, Pilot

96-year-old Betty Dybbro was fortunate enough to spend one year as a WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilot) during World War Two, and in order to tell her story, we enlisted Katherine K. and Nithi B., two members of Amelia’s Aero Club who participate in aviation and aerospace activities at the Museum.

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Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

September 4, 2018 / Storytelling, Health, Orbis

Did you know that 75% of the world’s blindness can be cured, and 89% of those cases occur in low to middle income countries? The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital works to decrease preventable and curable incidents of blindness with its mobile operating room and teaching facility.

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Fighter Aces - In Their Words

August 7, 2018 / Fighter Aces, Personal Courage, WWII, Storytelling

The American Fighter Aces Association preserves the memories of pilots who have sacrificed bravely for their country, and the Museum is home to its collection of artifacts and stories

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Meet an R2-D2 Builder!

July 24, 2018 / Storytelling, Star Wars, R2-D2, Engineering

Bob Jacobson, R2-D2 builder extraordinaire, claims that he wasn’t always into engineering, but the process of building his droid forced him to learn some basic and advanced techniques.

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