C.R. Smith Museum
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Dallas, Texas, Visited Spring 1999

Three Stars.  The C.R. Smith Museum is a monument to American Airlines and especially its famous long-time CEO, C.R. Smith.  Even so, it is a high-quality museum of commercial aviation history and it contains many interesting artifacts of commercial aviation and American Airlines.  The museum is relatively small and can be seen in an hour if you read everything.  It is located just south of the the Dallas-Forth Worth Airport, about an 8 minute cab ride if you have a long connection.

For photographs of the museum and directions, check out American Airlines' website, under the "About AA" Corporate section.

I found the displays on American Airlines history to be content-rich and well presented.  There are also displays on maintenance with a full cutaway CF-6 turbofan engine, a Fokker F100 flight deck mockup, and interactive displays for kids.  There is also a recurring film about the history and greatness of American Airlines.  It has good photography but is too heavy on the AA propaganda for my taste.

When I visited the museum, it had just finished adding an enclosed area to house a fully restored, polished DC-3 painted in classic American Airlines "flagship" colors.  This airplane appears to be in excellent condition but it was not opened for display at the time.  Hopefully the museum will open the airplane in the future so that visitors get a taste of what early air transport was like from the inside.