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Sunday, July 21, 2013

JAL renews hangar tour with SKY MUSEUM

JAL SKY MUSEUM
JAL SKY MUSEUM. Image by Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has been conducting free hangar tour since the mid-50s to promote and educate the public about aviation. Based on customer feedbacks, it has renewed the tour to modernize the tour facility and add more exhibits to the tour. As a result, JAL has decided to open its SKY MUSEUM to the public for the first time.

Archive Area


JAL SKY MUSEUM - Archive Area
JAL SKY MUSEUM - Archive Area. Image by Japan Airlines.

The archive area contains the history of JAL and has never been opened to the public before. There is a 50 meter long memory wall to showcase JAL's history chronologically. There are information on various special flights, such as relief charter flights and imperial flights, JAL operated in the past, extra digital contents that couldn't be displayed, design collections such as timetables and inflight magazines, and of course the cabin attendant uniforms from both JAL and Japan Air System (JAS)! You can also find a display of models of the planes from the JAL and JAS fleets.

According to Japanese aviation website Aviation Wire, some of these exhibits are only temporary ones. JAL will update the contents every 4 months with a special theme. The current theme is YS-11.

Aviation Job Area


JAL SKY MUSEUM - Aviation Job Area
JAL SKY MUSEUM - Aviation Job Area. Image by Japan Airlines.

JAL has also added a new area to introduce different aviation jobs to the public. You can experience and learn more about the jobs of pilot, cabin attendant, mechanic, airport staff, ground handling, and cargo staffs in this area.

You can sit in an actual DC-9 cockpit, listen to inflight announcement made by JAL cabin attendants in different languages, sit in the cabin attendant seat, look at the LD-2 cargo container, 777-200 tire and 767 1/4 engine model, check out the check-in counter, experience the boarding process. Through the use of Microsoft Kinect technology, you can even try out for the marshaller job and induce the plane to its gate.


New Product and Service Area

JAL SKY MUSEUM - New Product and Service Area
JAL SKY MUSEUM - New Product and Service Area. Image by Japan Airlines.

In this corner, you can learn more about JAL inflight service and products. This includes the domestic First Class and Class J seats, and the new seats installed on JAL SKY SUITE 777 (SS7). There are also older generation seats such as the JAL SHELL FLAT SEAT. You will be able to try out some of these seats in this area and learn about the latest JAL services through digital contents. 

Others

There's an uniform experience area in which you could put on some JAL uniforms and pretend to be a pilot, cabin attendant, mechanics, etc and take pictures. These uniforms have been modified such that it's easy to put on in the same way you put on hospital gowns. If you think that's too much trouble, with the latest technology, you can just key your face into a picture and be any JAL staff you want. 

The classroom which JAL gives a lecture on aviation has also been upgraded. Now there are plenty of windows with natural lighting. There is also a souvenir store which you can buy JAL related goods as well.

The new tour will be opened on July 22 2013. The entire hangar tour will last for 90 minutes, which consists of 30 minutes of aviation class, 20 minutes of SKY MUSEUM, and 40 minutes of the actual hangar tour. JAL conducts 4 tours a day 7 days a week, except during year end and New Year holiday. To find out more about this tour, you can refer to JAL Press Release (Japanese only). Aviation Wire also has more photos of the SKY MUSEUM and the exhibits. 

JAL only accepts reservations 6 months in advance and they are very popular. So you will have to plan ahead if you are interested. I will have a walkthrough post on how to make the reservation in the future. But bare in mind that this tour is only conducted in Japanese. And most if not all of the exhibits are in Japanese only. So it could get a bit boring if you don't understand Japanese, especially during the 30-minute lecture.


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