As we had 5 hours for our flight to Memphis, we decided in stepping out of the airport in Atlanta and visit the Delta Air Lines Flight Museum. Eager to see the time line of aviation at its best, I seemed like a little boy in a toy store. Talk about memories.
Present my company ID (which by the way I use in every airport for discounted food and beverages) and they signal me right in the museum. Free of charge for all employees and their pass riders on file. Sounds great to me and the trip down memory lane starts.
As you walk in, you can’t miss the beautiful Douglas DC-3. Spotless and shinning it just gives the whole room a glare. This airplane flew passengers between 1940 to 1958. I started with the air line in 1990 and although some time ago, the artifacts were from the Woolman’s crop dusting era. Mr. Collett Everman Woolman, principal founder of Delta Air Lines, was indeed a visionary.
His model of running a company was based on “quality begins with people” and if your employees are well treated and well respected, they will in turn treat and respect the customers. His southern hospitality was evident in how he ran his airline. Personally for me, it was an honor and privilege working for Delta Air Lines and have spent the best years of my working life with them. My wife also wanted a piece of airline history and what better way than flying her own plane.
We continue to the famous “Spirit of Delta” plane otherwise known as ship 102. This plane was the first 767-200 series acquired by Delta in 1982 and was paid by voluntary contributions from employees, retirees and Delta Community Partners. It was clear that C.E. Woolman’s values trickled down many years for such an event to take place.
They also had a 747 outside in which the white fluffy clouds and bright blue skies gave it a feel as if we were flying.
The size of both the engine and landing gear are immense. One doesn’t really realize it until they are standing right in front of it.
It is amazing in seeing how the passage of time has evolved tremendously in the airline industry. Yet, the concept of flying has been the same since…..thank god for the physics behind it all and for Bernoulli’s principle that keeps these big birds flying.
The tour also involved entering the majestic 747. The forward part of the aircraft was left in tacked while the mid and rear were stripped to the fuselage to reveal the “behind the scenes”. One part of the floor was in full plexiglass to reveal the underneath. Totally amazing in what the makeup of this airborne hotel looks like.
The tour was fantastic and brought back some great memories of the 90’s. I am truly a proud Delta Air Lines Retiree. We take a hot air balloon ride back to the airport to catch our flight to Memphis.
Okay, we didn’t take the hot air balloon, instead took a taxi that was indeed very sketchy. The front seat was completely dislodged from the chassis anchors, and the driver’s body was tilted close to the passenger side. Despite only a 7 minute ride, it felt like this vehicle would leave us stranded.
Next stop is Graceland…….