ONCE THE EPICENTRE OF COMMERCIAL AVIATION
Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum recalls a lost romantic era (1939-1945), when a quaint and scenic Irish village became the epicentre of commercial aviation. The maritime section, housed in the original transatlantic terminal, explores the history and personality of the River Shannon.
The port of Foynes was the fulcrum point for air traffic between the United States and Europe. The famous flying boats were frequent visitors, carrying a diverse range of passengers from celebrities to refugees during the Second World War. Artefacts on display portray the story of the courageous crews who navigated the monster flying boats across the Atlantic and the ground workers who lived and worked in Foynes. The museum was officially opened in 1989 by Maureen O'Hara Blair (actress and patron of the museum).
The aviation exhibition features a 1940s style cinema showing the award winning movie 'Atlantic Conquest'. You can also get on-board the world's only life-size Boeing 314 replica Clipper, a phenomenal walk-in exhibit depicting what it was like to fly in the lap of luxury - a necessity given the long duration of transoceanic flights. See a 3D hologram re-enacting the night Irish coffee was invented in the airport restaurant in 1943; and get to taste the original recipe!
Also visit the radio, weather and first flight exhibition rooms all featured in the aviation section of the museum. Enjoy panoramic views of the Shannon Estuary and Foynes Island from the top of the restored Control Tower and explore the maritime floors telling the history, folklore and legends of the River Shannon from Limerick City to Loop Head.
Foynes is located in the west of County Limerick, along The Wild Atlantic Way, approximately 35km (22 miles) or 30 minutes from Limerick City on the N69 route from Limerick to Tralee.
If you are travelling from west Clare, you can also cross the Shannon Estuary via the Shannon Estuary car ferry operating on a regular basis from Killimer in County Clare to Tarbert in County Kerry, just 20km (12.5 miles) or 20 minutes from Foynes.