When my partner took a flying lesson in what must have been five years ago, we found ourselves an hour east of Amsterdam in the sleepy town of Lelystad. For such a small town, they certainly had a big thing for planes. Not only was there an airport, which they’re thinking of making an alternative for Schiphol apparently, there was also a dedicated museum that was even more expensive than the museums in Amsterdam – €17,00 a pop! Since my partner was okay with me going shopping, I gave in and went plane-spotting. At least it was air-conditioned.
The first plane I saw, for a moment I thought was another Wright brothers’ aircraft. Did they make two? It turned out to be a similar-designed plane that made the first-ever flight in the country, and just next door was the first Dutch-made plane designed and built by a man named Fokker. Anthony Fokker.
I would eventually learn that there were little Fokkers and there were big Fokkers – you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a Fokker. He turned out to be, at one point, quite successful – I’m sure Mother Fokker would be proud.
There was also a Boeing 747 Jumbojet that we were free to wander in. Having flown in much newer planes including the A380, it really does look like a museum piece at this point. The smell inside could have been better but I can only imagine how much the cost is to maintain it even when it’s just sitting on the ground. Couldn’t help but feel a bit envious, though, that they have so much contemporary history still intact after all these years.
It was a nice visit, more so since it wasn’t as crowded as the shopping mall we’d gone to earlier. It turned out to be a leisurely, carefree afternoon at the museum, and we even got to enjoy some fresh air and a cool breeze by the outdoor cafe afterwards. Even though no planes were in the air that day, I’m happy to report time did fly by.