The Mid America Museum of Transportation and Aviation located in Sioux City, Iowa is getting ready to make a big change to its exhibits.
A Boeing 727, which the museum got from FedEx after it was retired from service, will be restored and turned into a massive exhibit. The plane used to be a commercial passenger jet before FedEx had it converted into a cargo plane and Museum officials hope that this new attraction can help jump-start the museum’s business.
“The exciting part is probably working towards getting the airplane done. The other part, probably even more exciting is to see the faces of the kids that will be able to come through here and learn about ground transportation and aviation,” said Larry Finley, executive director of the Museum.
Museum officials say the price tag for this addition to the exhibits is about $100,000 which would pay for electrical work, setting up an air conditioning system and a multimedia installation in the aft section of the museum’s new plane.
The museum hopes to raise money with vintage aircraft days, where guests can come to the museum and see some old aircraft up close. They also have a number of smaller events planned.
“We feel that it’s going to be a major attraction for Sioux City. We want to tie in with the other tourist entities here in Sioux City to make Sioux City a destination,” said Finley.
The addition of this new craft is a major addition to the facility’s already impressive 30,000 square feet of displays and exhibits which features an eclectic collection of transportation ephemera and artifacts including aircraft ranging from commercial to general, military to sport and homebuilt, surface transportation from vintage cars and motorcycles to military vehicles and antique road equipment, displays from United Airlines and Braniff Airlines, military equipment and uniforms, a Boeing 737 cockpit restored as on operational simulator, a partial Boeing 727 fuselage painted in United Airlines colors, a 1941 Cadillac Fleetwood “60” Special Sedan used by President Truman in an inaugural parade in Omaha, the largest radial engine ever used on an airplane, many World War II displays including a Link Trainer as well as a large collection of scale models and antique toys.
The museum is also hoping to complete restoration of a Flight 232 Memorial inside the museum.