Speyer Museum

Boeing 747 On Stilts

Technik Speyer Museum

The 747 on Stilts

September 2022

We travelled the 160 km west or so to the Technik Speyer Museum and parked up right in the middle of the vast parkplatz. As it was mid-week there were only a smattering of cars about. It was a bit of walk to the museum entrance and the sky was looking pretty leaden as we ambled over. A German school party was just in the process of leaving, it was utter chaos but on the plus side no queues to get the tickets. We opted for the iMax addition given we weren’t likey to come back soon and had a look on the map to locate the cafe.

I was feeling hungry by this time, and I wasn’t sure quite what the technical museum was going to have on offer. It was a nice surprise to discover the restaurant was also suitably huge, with a good selection of food at reasonable prices. I opted for the chicken schnitzel and some freshly cooked chips and they didn’t touch the sides.

Over lunch, we decided that, given the size of the place, we’d split up and then meet back up in a couple of hours. This worked for me as I wanted to wander about taking photos.

As we’d walked over to the cafe, I’d spotted a U-Boat, which I wanted to go and have a look at. It looked like there were some steps too so you could stand on top. I got to the top and then realised not only could you stand on top, you could also head down into the submarine. Having been a big fan of the original Das Boot, this was a real treat. My only issue was trying to get down the vertical ladders with a rucksack and a tripod.

Somehow I managed it, and as I entered the belly of the beast, I could see why it takes a certain type of person to be a submariner. I know it’s old. I know modern subs are different, but this was on another level. Luckily there was only one other person in the submarine with me, so I had the place pretty much to myself and spent lots of time pressing buttons and sitting on chairs pretending to drive the thing.

Alas, all things come to an end (some children wanted their turn) so I headed aft to the engine bay and attempted to exit with my rucksack and tripod.

During the short time, I was in the sub, the sky had turned from grey to black, and as I made my way from the sub to another outside exhibit, it started to lash down. For some reason, a couple of German visitors didn’t quite get the memo to shelter and ran about getting soaked while I stayed dry under the wings of some massive aircraft (Antonov AN-22).

Speyer Museum Spaceshuttle Buran

Spaceshuttle Buran

Technik Speyer Museum

The Speyer museum is essentially split into sections, there’s the first ‘shed’ or ‘hall’ which is full of cars, the outside area which has the U-Boat and the 747 on stilts and then the Aerospace area, which also has some cars and motorbikes as well as a space shuttle.

As it was the closest I headed to the main hall first and had a good look around. The vehicles ranged from military to a Porsche 911. A bubble car to a drag racer. It was nice wandering about and filming things and taking pictures.

Whether it would be as good on a weekend with hundreds of kids running about, I’m not so sure, but when it’s quiet it’s good.

I then went over to the aerospace hall and spotted M, and up to the roof, where I found J who’s managed to lock himself on the wrong side of a fire escape. I released him back into the wild (he’d have had to walk down the fire exit stairs and back around again otherwise) and then made my way to the 747.

Speyer Museum Antonov AN-22

As it had been raining, the steps up to the 747 were really slippy and there was still an amount of runoff coming down. To make the exhibit look better, the engineers had put the jet at a jaunty angle. This looks awesome like the plane is taking off, but actually trying to navigate the inside of the thing at that angle (including going up the stairs to the first class section) was a right pain in the arse, especially with the ever-present rucksack and tripod.

The cool thing about it though was you could go out onto the wings. The only downside was they’d blocked off the cockpit which would have been fun.

I managed to walk around outside exhibits again and in the main hall again before heading to the iMax to watch a video on the blue angels display team. This turned out to be “The Magic of Flight”, and it featured Tom Cruise and dubbed by Tom Selleck. It was a good film and leant itself well to iMax, but it was also a bit dated – I think being originally released in 1996. Aircraft have come a long was since then, and while I loved Magnum PI I can’t imagine any of the kids had any idea who Selleck was.

We’d spent quite a lot of time at the Speyer Museum, but it was time well spent. I’d highly recommend it, there’s plenty to do and the refreshments are great. But we did need to get to the hotel so we hit the Autobahn and opened up the throttles.

Everyone else seemed to have the same idea, with BMW’s and Porsches singing along next to us as we hit warp speed on an unrestricted area.

We hit the hotel, had the usual shower and pre-meal drink then headed to an Italian restaurant (Ristorante Da Biagio) on an industrial estate. By now we’d grown in numbers with some of the other TVR Tour group members joining us. Ristorante Da Biagio was fantastic, reasonably priced and had tropical fish, so I was happy.

Ristorante Da Biagio

Fed and watered, I went to bed happy – tomorrow we were heading to Stuttgart and the pilgrimage to the Porsche Museum.

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