April 22, 2020

Museum Review - Historic Flight Spokane

While visiting family over Christmas, Lord Nelson and I toured what is probably the country's newest air museum, Historic Flight's new branch in Spokane, Washington.1 It had opened on December 17th, less than two weeks before our visit. We were shown around by my friend John, who volunteers there, and thus our experience was somewhat better than will probably be normal.

Lord Nelson and I with the Hamilton Metalplane
Type: All-flying air museum
Location: Spokane, Washington
Rating: 3.5/5, Decent, but nothing spectacular
Price: $10 for normal adults


Historic Flight Spokane is a fairly typical small/medium-size air museum, drawing from the collection of John Sessions, whose main base is a Paine Field north of Seattle. Everything in the museum can and does fly, and it's apparently the intention to rotate the collection between Paine and Spokane regularly to keep both museums fresh. While we were there, they had a DC-3, a P-51B, a JRF Goose, a Travelair Biplane, a Beechcraft Staggerwing, a Stearman, and a Hamilton Metalplane, all of which were lovingly restored. John had actually worked on the Goose restoration, and been up in several of the planes in question. I didn't talk with any of the other guides, but if he's any indication, they're definitely knowledgeable.

John with the JRF Goose

Because the museum is also an operational aircraft hangar, the signage is sparse, and there's really nothing to look at besides the planes. The whole thing was very reminiscent of the Lyon Air Museum at John Wayne Airport, from the "these are actual flying planes, so we can't bother with signage" aesthetic to the focus on the Doolittle Raid (they're expecting to get a B-25 soon) to the collection itself, which was a couple of neat planes I've seen a dozen times and a few obscure ones I haven't. Through the end of 2019, the museum was free, so we didn't have to pay to get in. At that level, it was an obvious bargain, and at the current price of $10, it's still within reason for a museum of this type. Overall, it's not a bad museum, but it's not a spectacularly good one either. If you find yourself with time on your hands in Spokane, it's worth a visit.

1 For those who don't know, Spokane is in Eastern Washington, right up against the Idaho border. It is not near Seattle.


  1. April 23, 2020The Fatherly One said...

    I have pics from Lyon's if you are interested.

  2. April 23, 2020bean said...

    Might take you up on that. I've been kicking around doing a double of that and Planes of Fame.

  3. April 24, 2020echo said...

    I'll have to check it out next time I'm over that side of the state for work, thanks for the info.

  4. April 27, 2020The Fatherly One said...

    Oh, I have pics from there also....

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