OLYMPIA, Wash. — The first thing you should do when you arrive at Olympic Flight Museum is look up. "It's likely that that's the only one they'll ever see in their life that has an actual cockpit inside," says museum Executive Director Ken Collins.
He's referring to the Buzz Bomb above, used by Germany to terrorize London during World War II. "Because there's no landing gear, they were not expected to land. So they did have to bail out. And that was a very dangerous proposition."
It's just one of the aviation artifacts found in this one hangar at Olympia Regional Airport. "We cover quite a large span of time and it's a very interesting collection for that reason." A Japanese Zero dominates the center of the room. "And this one is our big movie star. It's been in at least 3 different productions. It was in 'Tora! Tora! Tora!'"
Next to the Zero is a collection of samurai swords carried in the cockpit alongside a headband worn by pilots. There's also a large camera, about the size of a microwave, used by American bombers to scout possible targets. And Nazi helmet pins glisten in the next display.
Olympic Flight Museum is open year-round and holds an annual air show every June for Father's Day.
Olympic Flight Museum | 7637 Old Hwy 99 SE, Tumwater, WA 98501 | (360) 705-3925
Flying footage courtesy David Louis Quinn.