GIMPO, South Korea Ė At a time when flying is being discouraged due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, South Korea is launching an exciting National Aviation Museum to gain an in depth understanding of the industry and have immersive experiences that include emulating an acrobatic pilot or simulating the landing of a Boeing 747.
The brand new venue, located next to Gimpo Airport, one of the two airports serving Seoul, begins its tour with a review of the history of aviation, exhibiting models ranging from Leonardo da Vinciís flying machines to the first motor-operated plane successfully tested by the Wright brothers in 1903.
After reviewing the role that aviation played in the two world wars and the revolutionary invention of the jet engine, the history of South Korean aviation is examined.
At this point, a restored Standard J1, a two-seat basic trainer two-bay biplane produced in the United States in 1916 and used by the first Korean pilots in the independence struggle against Japan, which colonized the peninsula from 1910 to 1945, occupies a place of honor.
Visitors to the museum, which will open on July 5, will be able to sit in the cockpit of a T-50B aircraft of the Black Eagles, the flight display team of the countryís air force.
One floor up it is possible to gain an insight into what the Black Eagles pilots experience, thanks to a simulator that uses 3D glasses and is not the faint-hearted so those looking for a more calm flight can use similar hang gliding or paragliding simulators.
It is also possible to land a Boeing 747 from the cockpit or assist in the operation from a recreated control tower with both simulators connected to each other in real time.
The second floor is dedicated to showing the operation of an airport, using as an example that of Incheon, Seoulís main international airport, which has an exhaustive protocol for detecting coronavirus in passengers coming from overseas.
Transport Vice Minister Son Myoung-soo told reporters accompanying him during a tour of the museum that the Incheon Airport has optimized passenger flow by dividing them by regions of origin so that their paths donít cross, in order to prevent transmission of the virus at the airport.
South Korea, which has not closed its borders, requires mandatory testing of all passengers arriving in the country, followed by a quarantine, a model which the government is eager to share with other countries, the minister said.
Son added that cooperation between countries and mutual trust was essential to reviving international routes and safe travel.