Science Museum’s new exhibit ‘Speed’ is finally opening after 3-year construction

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SPPED exhibit at Science Museum_255374

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -If you haven’t been to the Science Museum in a while, you’ll want to plan a trip in the near future.

They’ve been working around the clock to get their brand new feature exhibit ready.

“It’s the biggest exhibit project we’ve ever done at the Science Museum,” said Richard Conti, Chief Wonder Officer at the museum.

It’s been over three years in the making. From just an idea on paper to design, and now the finishing touches, speed is almost ready to open to the public.

The SR-71 blackbird is the first thing guests see when they walk into the exhibit.

“It’s the Air Force’s plane, it’s on loan to us,” Conti said. “It’s been out at the aviation museum in front of it for the last fifteen years or so and it needed to come inside so we can take better care of it.”

The time lapse in the video above shows the long process of how the plane got to where it is today.

A large hole had to be made in the back of the museum to get the plane in. You can see blackbird being disassembled, and driven across town to the science museum. Just like a ship in a bottle, it was reassembled, piece by piece, inside the museum.

“There’s only twenty of them left,” Conti said. “This is the first one to be hung. It’s suspended from the ceiling of our historic train station.”

While the SR-71 blackbird is an impressive sight to see, it is far from the only feature of this exhibit.

“We think there’s something for everyone,” Conti said. “So if you like music, have a cell phone, ever wanted to play air hockey against a robot, enjoy sports, or think about time — then all those things are here too.”

Conti also said the airplane is just kind of an icon for speed, but within it, they’re talking about movies and other things of that nature.

“Who wouldn’t want to text against a telegraph operator?” Conti said. “You can do it right here in the speed gallery.”

Meteorologist Katie Dupree’s favorite part of the exhibit is the wind tunnel that allows you to experience tropical storm force winds, even feel what it’s like to be in a category one hurricane.

And speed doesn’t have to be fast! You can see funny slow motion videos, or look the rings of this tree, to see where they lined up with important historical events right here in the Richmond area.

Speed officially opens at the science museum of Virginia Saturday, May 21Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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