Delta Flight Museum
|Location||Delta Air Lines HQ campus, 1060 Delta Boulevard, Hapeville, Georgia|
The Delta Flight Museum is an aviation and corporate museum located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, near the airline's main hub at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The museum is housed in two 1940s-era Delta Air Lines maintenance hangars, which were used until the 1960s when the Delta Technical Operations Center, formerly known as the Jet Base, was completed. The museum is a nonprofit organization and relies on volunteers, donations, special event rentals and Museum Store sales. The Delta Museum is considered an ongoing project and it collects various items year round.
The museum opened to the general public in June 2014. Prior to that, Delta employee ID or prior arrangement was required to access the campus in which the museum is located.
The idea for a Delta museum originated when a group of retirees started a campaign to find one of Delta's Douglas DC-3's in 1990. After some searching, the employees struck gold when they found DL Ship 41, Delta's first DC-3 to carry passengers, in Puerto Rico performing cargo services. The group bought the plane from the cargo airline and the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum was started. From 1993 to 1999, the plane was painstakingly restored to its 1940's condition by active and retired Delta mechanics. Ship 41 is considered the most perfectly restored passenger transport DC-3 in the world. In 2001, Delta Ship 41 was the winner of the first National Trust for Historic Preservation award presented to an aircraft.
On May 23, 1995, the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum was incorporated under Georgia law as an independent nonprofit corporation, organized exclusively for public charitable uses and purposes and qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Historic Hangar 1
Hangar 1 houses a modified Lockheed L-1011 that was bought from the Walt Disney Corporation and cut down to just the cockpit and first class cabin. This particular L-1011 was the first L-1011 manufactured by Lockheed. The cockpit is fully lit with all controls still movable. The cabin is a museum store where Delta memorabilia can be purchased.
Also in Hangar One is the Monroe Cafe, a full-scale replica of Delta's former Monroe, Louisiana headquarters. It served as Delta's headquarters from 1934 to 1941, when headquarters were moved to Atlanta. The "hub" of Hangar One is the Delta Archives. It houses more than 200,000 images, 1,000 films, one of the world's largest airline uniform collections, as well as an aviation reference library.
Hangar 1 also houses the museum's restored aircraft which includes:
- Ship 41, the prize of the Delta museum, Delta's first DC-3.
- A 1931 Travel Air 6000, symbolizing the airline's first passenger aircraft.
- Other exhibits
Historic Hangar 2
The Spirit of Delta is housed in Hangar 2. Delta Ship 102, the company's first Boeing 767-200 was acquired in 1982. It was paid for "by voluntary contributions from employees, retirees and Delta's community partners." The effort, called Project 767, was spearheaded by three Delta flight attendants to show the employees' appreciation to Delta for "solid management and strong leadership during the first years following airline deregulation." The aircraft was repainted in a commemorative paint scheme and toured the country to celebrate the airline's 75th anniversary in 2004. The airplane remained the flagship of the Delta fleet until March 2006, when it was replaced with a 777-200 Delta Spirit as the flagship and donated by Delta on March 3, 2006 after a farewell tour around the United States.
Collections, exhibitions, and facilities
The Museum's collections and facilities include:
- The Spirit of Delta, Delta’s first Boeing 767. Bought by employees, retirees, and friends and donated to Delta in 1982. Interior contains two exhibitions.
- “Ship 41”, the first DC-3 to carry Delta passengers. Restored by volunteers and a core mechanic team, 1993-1999. Winner in 2001 of the first National Trust for Historic Preservation award presented to an aircraft.
- A 1931 Travel Air, symbolizing Delta's first passenger aircraft.
- A 1936 Stinson Reliant SE. Nicknamed the “Gull Wing,” this unique aircraft served as an instrument trainer for Northeast Airlines pilots in 1941-1942.
- Professionally managed archives of artifacts related to Delta and its ancestor airlines. The Archives maintains over 200,000 images, 1,000 films, and one of the world's largest airline uniform collections in a museum.
- Aviation reference library.
- Temporary exhibits.
- Replica of the first Delta station in Monroe, Louisiana.
- An 800-square-foot (74 m2) museum shop, housed in a redesigned section of the hull of the first L-1011 ever built.
- N661US, the first Boeing 747-400 ever sold  which was retired on September 9, 2015 after serving since December 8, 1989 with Northwest Airlines.
- "Delta Re-Opens Atlanta Airline Museum", Aero News, June 21, 2014
- "About Us". Deltamuseum.org. 1995-05-23. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- "Aircraft". Deltamuseum.org. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- "The Spirit of Delta launched to commemorate anniversary". Bizjournals.com. 2004-04-23. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- First Boeing 747-400 takes historic final flight Delta.com