It's not too late to step back in time to the beginning of flight and space exploration and take a glimpse at future technology. Both can be done this summer with a visit to the James S. McDonnell Prologue Room at Boeing [NYSE:BA] in St. Louis.
Portraying a century of milestone events, the Prologue Room showcases the aircraft and spacecraft that played pivotal roles in the history of flight and space exploration. From biplanes to monoplanes, from piston engines to jets, hundreds of scale models, photographs, paintings and artifacts tell an amazing story of discovery.
Separate displays tell the story of the development of commercial and military aviation. Visitors can view large-scale models of many of today's military aircraft including the F-15 Eagle and F/A-18 Super Hornet of which both aircraft are built by Boeing in St. Louis. Models of Boeing's fleet of commercial jetliners are also displayed including a full-size airliner cockpit.
St. Louis played a pivotal role in the early days of America's space program. Dramatizing that role are full-size models of the Mercury and Gemini space capsules that carried the first Americans into space. For many these spacecraft are the highlight of their visit. Models of other Boeing-produced spacecraft and rockets are also on display, including a full-size Harpoon missile and a detailed scale model of the International Space Station.
The exhibit features a collection of fine art from the Boeing archives including works by R. G. Smith, Keith Ferris, Chuck Wood and Spencer Taylor. In imagery that captures the drama of the moment, these works represent significant achievements in flight, space travel and world history.
With themes of exploration and wonder evident throughout the exhibit, the Prologue Room is an ideal educational tool for schools, summer camps and day camps. Guided tours for organized groups of ten or more are available upon request.
The aviation and space exhibit is open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., until August 30. Reservations are required. The Prologue Room is located in the company's Building 100 at the corner of McDonnell Boulevard and Airport Road, near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Reservations are required at least a day in advance and can be made by calling 314-232-6896. Equipped with a wheelchair ramp and accessible restrooms, more than 500,000 people have visited the Prologue Room since it opened to the public.
The Boeing Company is the world's leading aerospace company, with its heritage mirroring the history of flight. It is the largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jet liners and military aircraft. The company is also a global market leader in missile defense, human space flight and launch services. Chicago-based Boeing has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries.