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“I had hoped for more”

American Airlines CR Smith Museum
Ranked #23 of 153 things to do in Fort Worth
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
85 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“I had hoped for more”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2012

The CR Smith museum shows the history of American Airlines, a company that dates back to the 1930's. CR was a native Texan who was one of the first great airline executives, and he ran the company through WWII into the 60's when Lyndon Johnson named him Secretary of Commerce, and he came back out of retirement to run the company again for a short time after AA was caught making illegal campaigns to Richard Nixon's re-election campaign.

While CR is a focus, the museum also talks about the different kinds of planes American used, the companies that were acquired, and looks back nostalgically at the old uniforms, menus, 21 Club service, Hawaiian style clothes, etc. It also features some of the executives that led the company, and has an exhibit about September 11, but not about some of the other tragedies that affected the company, nor about the desperate labor problems that have continually plagued it. With the exception of the DC-3 (see below) there are models or pictures of the old airplanes.

What was disappointing was that some of the exhibits, where you push a button and listen to a recording, don't work. The museum needs more upkeep.

The best part of the museum is they have an old DC-3, in good condition, that you can board and look around. It's not like at the Museum of Flight in Seattle where the Concorde and Air Force One are walled off in plastic; I actually got to sit in a DC-3 seat, and it was quite nice.

The museum costs only $5. For seniors (55+) it costs only $3. Free parking across the street. It takes no more than an hour or two to visit.

Visited August 2012
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2 Thank Jpmcdonough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
North Richland Hills, Texas
Level Contributor
195 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Hidden gem!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012 via mobile

This is a great museum to go to that does not get very much attention. My dad and brother both worked and currently work for the airlines. Since I work nearby I went one day and loved it!

Helpful?
1 Thank rdp343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012 via mobile

The CR Smith Museum is a unique and fascinating look into the history of commercial aviation in the United States through the lens of American Airlines. Unlike other museums which primarily focus on the history of flight and display significant collections of historic planes, this museum focuses on the development of an iconic American corporation and its impact on the nation and the aviation industry. The DC3 on display is a fabulous complement to the rest of the exhibits. If you have any interest in the history of commercial aviation, I cannot recommend this museum more highly. I spent three hours in the museum, and am extremely glad I went.

Helpful?
Thank pnrmusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unique take on aviation at a great value”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2012

The CR Smith American Airlines museum is an interesting take on aviation, focusing on the commercial sector with American Airlines obviously being the focus here. Although I had visited when I was a kid, I had forgotten that there's actually a good amount of exhibits and activities to do. The big DC3 that you can climb into is really neat.

All that said, some of the exhibits are a bit dated and could use some updating. I noticed a few screens/attractions weren't working. There's a surprisingly large IMAX theater that plays a 15-minute film that could definitely be updated (although I did find its cheesiness thoroughly entertaining), and something was wrong with the projectors to the point of being able to see the outlines of the pictures (hard to describe but it was glaringly obvious during the dark images). Still, it was cool to sit in airplane seats within the theater.

I will agree that getting to it is a pain as its basically on the corner of 2 highways crossing so figuring out which frontage road to get on (and how to get there) is definitely a challenge.

Of course at $5 a head for adults and $3 for children, the value of this place can't be beat and it makes the fact that some of the exhibits are dated and non-working essentially a non-issue. There's still plenty of fun and interesting stuff like massive turbine engines, propellers, landing gear, and cockpits that will have you nerding out if airplanes are up your alley. I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely return.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank itsthebrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great value for your money but bring a flashlight...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2012

I agree with the other reviewer the DC-3 & the movie alone (sans Michael Bolten) are worth the visit. However the museum needs better lighting for their exhibits. I consider myself to have pretty good vision in the dark & I found myself struggling to see a lot of the the exhibits. Give yourself an hour for the museum & 20 minutes for the gift shop.

Helpful?
2 Thank Nofrets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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