Washington State University has hosted an exhibit on biofuels at the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour for over a year and a half. The exhibit details some of the opportunities and challenges surrounding the production of sustainable aviation fuels, and focuses on regionally sourced feedstocks such as forest residuals. As the below photo shows, NARA is featured in the exhibit. This exposure complements our task to raise biofuel literacy. As a testament to its design excellence, the exhibit received a bronze award for visual design from the regional CASE District VIII competition in 2013.
By way of background, the Future of Flight attracts over 225,000 visitors annually who visit the gallery floor and participate in the Boeing tour. Of these guests, roughly 1/3 are from the immediate region, 1/3 from the balance of the United States, and 1/3 are international. An additional 75,000 people visit the facility to participate in a special event—activities surrounding delivery of Boeing aircraft, receptions, school activities, and so on. The Center will continue to be a locus for ceremonial deliveries of Boeing airplanes, even after completion of Boeing’s new delivery center in 2013. These deliveries bring senior airline executives and government officials from around the globe to the museum. In addition, the Future of Flight promotes an aggressive outreach program to area middle schools—Flights of Innovation—which brings in over 500 students annually from throughout the region engaged in STEM education. The program is now developing a curriculum based on aviation biofuels.
There is now an effort to revise the exhibit to feature more hands-on interaction. An exhibit cart is being designed that will demonstrate how branches are converted to jet fuel. Part of the sensory interaction will be smell…pretty amazing. If all goes to plan, a revised exhibit will be in place by year end.