TWA Museum - Atlas Obscura

TWA Museum

The golden age of flight captured in a downtown airport. 


Up, up and away with TWA! The pioneer of air travel’s rise, fall, and everything in between is documented at this Kansas City museum. Once the headquarters of Trans World Airlines, the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport gradually became the site of the TWA Museum. Museum guides, many former TWA employees, guide guests through rooms filled with model airplanes and antique flight simulators, to an airplane hanger and full-scale copy of the TWA’s ambassador suite.

In 1930 two passenger carriers and mail carriers merged to form the first airline. First dubbed Transcontinental and Western Air, TWA was picked up by icon Howard Hughes in 1939. From there the airline set off to break barriers in travel—international routes, hot brewed coffee, and flight attendants being a few of the firsts brought to travelers by TWA. One of the first flight attendant uniforms is even on display.  

After filing for bankruptcy three times, TWA was eventually absorbed by American Airlines completely in the late 2000s. Still, American promises to uphold the heritage of the extraordinary airline. At the TWA Museum, the legend carries on, harkening back to a time of innovation in aviation and pride in service.

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November 7, 2023

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