VMT Announces Opening of New Wings Over Virginia Aviation Gallery

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Part of the new Avaition Gallery to be unveiled on Saturday.
Part of the new Avaition Gallery to be unveiled on Saturday.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation has announced the grand opening of its Wings Over Virginia Aviation Gallery to be held Saturday, November 17th.

The Wings Over Virginia Aviation Gallery will trace the history and future of aviation in Virginia. Visitors will be able to explore hands-on exhibits and videos to understand the science of flight and aviation technology; listen to the heroic stories of our region’s military and civilian aviators who have impacted our history; learn about the air ambulance service and the team that saves lives every day; and climb aboard a jet to see inside a real aircraft cabin and imagine being a pilot.

The Gallery has been closed to the public since the Museum suffered severe damage from a storm that blew off the roof in the summer of 2006 – ruining the majority of the exhibits. The new gallery has now been six years in the making.

Before rebuilding the Gallery, the Museum undertook an ambitious public opinion survey to garner ideas and feedback about what the community wanted to see in new and existing exhibits. Over 1,000 Museum fans responded to the surveys. The Wings Over Virginia Gallery incorporates the best of those ideas. The Gallery will embody the Museum’s new design philosophy that includes more educational components and personal stories.

A “WHEELS UP!” Grand Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 17 from 10 am and ends at 5 pm. Admission is $5 (members and infants 2 and under admitted free).Visitors will have the opportunity to talk to balloonists, pilots and other special guests. Guests will be invited to sit in a flight simulator, learn how wind helps a kite to fly and get up close views of gliders from the Blue Ridge Soaring Society.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is the Official Transportation Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but receives no state funding. The Museum celebrates 50 years of showcasing Virginia’s unique rail heritage and contributions to the auto and aviation industries. The Museum is located in the historic Norfolk & Western Freight Station at 303 Norfolk Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5. 540/342.5670. www.vmt.org.