Get Blown Away

For all of the little kids who were ever called up to the cockpit and given a pair of silver (painted) wings, or who have pressed their faces against terminal windows and watched the planes take off and land, the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale) is opening Aviation Station. Although the exhibit actually opens on Saturday the seventh in a weekend of hectic fanfare, we recommend going on Monday (when things quiet down a little).

Little kids turn into pilots as soon as they step foot on the exhibit’s grey runway and are surrounded by the properties of flight, just waiting to be explored. In one corner of the room, children take turns stepping into a batter’s cage and facing two high-powered fans while wearing a pair of grey, foam wings. With hair and cheeks billowing out behind them, the kids get a first hand feel for what lift is really like. Once they are thoroughly disheveled, they can climb into the cockpit of a DC 9 and play with the toggles, switches, and levers. They can also sit at the controls of five different simulation stations and discover what it’s like to maneuver an actual airplane. If staying on the ground is more their style, kids also get to discover first hand how hectic an air traffic controller’s job really is on a giant, streaming airplane radar. It’s fun. It’s sciencey. It’s as close as you can get to flying without blowing a ton of dough on pilot school. Visit www.mods.org.
Starts: Oct. 7. Daily, 2006

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Jamie Laughlin