Picture of prologue room and displays.

James S. McDonnell Prologue Room in St. Louis

Portraying more than a century of milestones, the Prologue Room showcases the courageous pioneers of aviation and the achievements of thousands who turned dreams into reality.

An Air and Space History Exhibit

Picture of a space capsule.

From biplanes to spacecraft, the Prologue Room portrays milestone events and displays models of aircraft and spacecraft that played pivotal roles in shaping the history of aerospace. Visitors can view actual-size Mercury and Gemini capsules, large-scale models of some of today’s military aircraft, including the Eagle, Hornet, Apache and Air Force One, as well as rockets and missiles, and commercial jetliners. Hundreds of scale models, dioramas, paintings, photographs and videos tell the story of the companies that make up The Boeing Company.

Plan Your Visit

The Prologue Room is open for self-guided tours to the general public (individuals, small groups, etc.) only during the summer months: June, July and August, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. The exhibit is not open on weekends. Reservations are not required for self-guided tours. Walk-ins are welcome during the summer public hours. Accommodations include:

  • Free admission
  • Free parking
  • Cameras permitted
  • Wheelchair accessible

The Prologue Room is located in the Boeing-St. Louis headquarters Building 100 at the corner of McDonnell Boulevard and Airport Road, adjacent to St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Adult Groups

Guided tours are available to organized groups of 10 or more throughout the year during normal business hours. Tours take about one hour and are free of charge. Reservations are required. Please email GRP Historical Services at

Student Groups

The Prologue Room offers two exciting programs for middle-school students to explore science and technology – “Mystery of Flight” and “Adventures in Space.”



Guided Tour

(Groups of 10 or more)





   Pre-school – 3rd grade

   4th – 12th grade







Educational Guided Tours for Student Groups

Picture of the Boeing commercial family of airplanes.

The Prologue Room offers two exciting programs for middle-school students to explore science and technology – “Mystery of Flight” and “Adventures in Space.” To promote interaction and ensure educational effectiveness, groups are limited to a maximum of 30 students during the traditional school year (Sept.-May). Call 314-232-6896 for more information.

Mystery of Flight

The Mystery of Flight program is designed for students in the fourth grade or above. This program provides an overview of how airplanes work and how they’ve evolved over the generations, and culminates with a fascinating study of space flight. The attention-grabbing 90-minute, multi-media presentation includes:

  • An introduction to flight (from 1903 to today) and a brief video explaining the basic principles of flight:
    • The four components of flight
    • Why airplanes have curved wings
    • The job of the tail, the flaps and the rudder
    • Who are the Wright Brothers, Bernoulli and Newton?
  • A guided tour of the Prologue Room where the lessons of flight come to life
  • Take-home illustrated activity book and airplane pictures with interesting facts

Adventures in Space

The Adventures in Space program is designed for students in the seventh grade or above. This program tells the captivating story of the history of humankind’s endeavor to explore space, what astronauts are doing in space today and what the future may hold. The mesmerizing 60-minute, multi-media presentation includes:

  • An entertaining, informational video that explains the basic principles of rockets and space flight in a fun and easy-to-understand manner
  • A guided tour of the Prologue Room where the students will see full-size space capsules and get close-up looks at large-scale Sky Lab and the International Space Station models
  • Students will receive souvenir pictures of space vehicles that shaped the United States manned space program


Exhibit Pieces

Picture of a variety of aircraft exhibit pieces on display.

The Prologue Room portrays a century of aviation progress and the innovative airplanes and spacecraft the men and women of Boeing have built. Hundreds of scale models, photographs, paintings and artifacts tell an amazing story of discovery.

Visitors can view large-scale models of the F-15 Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, and an operational unmanned ScanEagle.

Wind-tunnel-size models include Boeing’s newest 787 Dreamliner, C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angel and Air Force One.

Displays of rockets and missiles include full-scale models of a Harpoon radar-guided missile, a JDAM smart weapon and a Small Diameter Bomb.

At the exhibit’s center are full-size engineering mockups of the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft that carried America's first astronauts into space. Also on display are models of the Space Shuttle, Sky Lab and the International Space Station.

Touch-screen kiosks throughout the museum help visitors to learn more about the products of Boeing through dozens of videos describing the development of the venerable airplanes and spacecraft that lead the way in the advancement of technology, change the way we travel, defend our freedoms and discover new frontiers.

Guests may view a rare collection of fine art, including one of the largest collections of paintings by famed aviation artist R.G. Smith. His bold and dramatic work captures significant achievements in flight, space travel and world history.