Nationwide next-day deliveries have become so common that most consumers take aircargo transportation for granted. But few people aside from aircargo carrier employees have ever set foot inside the workhorse jets that make such swift deliveries possible.
That changed recently when Seattle's Museum of Flight opened its interactive aircargo exhibit, which is housed within a 34-foot section of a former FedEx Corp. 727 transport jet.
Funded by a $1.5 million grant from FedEx, the exhibit uses 3-D graphics, videos, and "discovery boxes" to show how air transport has transformed the global economy over the past century. "Given the evolution of aircargo transportation and its contribution to world commerce during the past 100 years, both [FedEx and the Museum of Flight] realized the history of air cargo needed to be told," Phil Blum, FedEx Express vice president for fleet development and strategic projects, said in a release.
The new exhibit is located in the museum's 140,000-square-foot Aviation Pavilion alongside a collection that includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from a 1914 fighter plane to today's 787 Dreamliner and a NASA Space Shuttle Trainer.