A look into the exciting world of flight and space travel is now available to the public at The Boeing Company in the James S. McDonnell Prologue Room. The exhibit is open to the public free of charge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, through Aug. 28.
Reservations are not required, but groups of 20 or more are asked to make arrangements at least three days in advance by calling (314) 232-6896.
The Prologue Room is in the company's Building 100 at the corner of McDonnell Boulevard and Airport Road, adjacent to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
The exhibit tells a panoramic story of more than 75 years of aviation progress, from the company's earliest biplanes to its latest jets. Scale models, dioramas, paintings and photographs depict such important events in aviation history as the first flight around the world in 1924, the first takeoff of a jet fighter from a U.S. Navy carrier in 1946, and the first aircraft to land at the South Pole in 1956.
Separate displays tell the story of the company's part in the development of commercial and military aviation. They feature large-scale models of F-15 Eagle and
F/A-18 Hornet combat aircraft, the AH-64 Apache helicopter, commercial jetliners, and Air Force One.
The centerpiece of the exhibit contains full-size engineering mock-ups of the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft that carried America's first astronauts into space. Visitors also can see models of Boeing rockets and missiles designed for military use and space exploration, including a full-scale model of the Harpoon radar-guided missile.
The Prologue Room features a collection of original aviation art by company artists, including several oil paintings by Chuck Wood and R. G. Smith, whose work is also displayed in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
More than 360,000 people have visited the Prologue Room in the 22 seasons it has been open to the public. The facility is equipped with a wheelchair ramp and wheelchair-accessible restrooms.
Because of the Independence Day holiday weekend, the Prologue Room will be closed Saturday and Sunday, July 3 and 4.