Delta Flight Museum

When the architect, Stevens & Wilkinson, needed a little extra thrust for their design of the Delta Flight Museum, Max Wave Media was the clear choice. Here is some background on the project, and how Max Wave Media was essential to the design process. In honor of its upcoming 85th anniversary, Delta Air Lines Inc. is building the Delta Flight Museum devoted to its aviation history.

Delta invested more than $6 million into this renovation of its corporate museum which was previously called the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum and is housed in historic hangars at the company’s Atlanta headquarters. The goal of Delta’s renovation is to bring in new people and increase the private events held each year at the facility.

“We want to open up the museum to more people,” said Tad Hutcheson, Delta’s vice president of community affairs and chairman of the museum’s board of directors. “Right now, the majority of visitors to the museum are connected to Delta in one way or another […] It should be a huge wow factor for the museum.” 

The renovation was designed to boost the number of visitors from 34,000 to 50,000 and to double the previous 147 charitable benefits and corporate gatherings per year. Obviously, planes are the center of attention including one of Delta’s first passenger aircraft from 1931 and a fully restored Douglas DC-3 from the 1940s. There’s also a Boeing 767 jumbo jet called “The Spirit of Delta” that Delta employees bought in the 1980s for $30 million and donated to the company. Another addition is a Boeing 737-200 flight simulator that, for an additional charge, allows visitors to train just like Delta pilots. Perkins+Will Inc. designed the new gift shop. The general contractor was Atlanta-based Hannan Construction LLC. Todd Dolson at Stevens & Wilkinson was the lead architect and he called Max Wave Media to make sure the project got off the ground quickly. Todd requested one of Max Wave Media’s 3D Virtual Tours for this project as a vehicle to quickly convey their design to the client and raise money through a corporate sponsorship campaign. This project was quite a challenge due to the schematic nature of the exhibit designs. Working from only conceptual sketches, Max Wave’s modeling team had to create each exhibit from scratch. This included a photo-realistic model of each plane and the flight simulator to match the specs provided by Delta. Throughout the process of creating and animating the model, Todd Dolson presented Max Wave Media’s images to the client to get constant feedback on design issues such as material and color choices, scale of exhibits, and pedestrian flow through each space. Max Wave Media’s work evolved into an invaluable design tool on the project. The last step in the process was the most crucial and involved animating the model with the ideal cameras, lighting, text and music. The final product is a dynamic and engaging video that was used to quickly convey design intent and convinced large corporate sponsors to sign on the dotted line.