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Delta Air Lines Inc. on Tuesday opened the new, 68,000 square-foot Delta Flight Museum at its world headquarters in Atlanta.

The museum is housed in the airline's two original maintenance hangars dating from the 1940s. It traces Delta's history and the development of commercial aviation. The grand opening event marked Delta's 85th anniversary of passenger service, dating back to its first passenger flight from Dallas to Jackson, Miss., on June 17, 1929.

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It has displays and exhibits filled with hundreds of artifacts, many of which have never been on public display. The permanent collection has five historic aircraft, including a Travel Air 6B Sedan similar to the one that operated Delta's first passenger flight in 1929, and The Spirit of Delta, a Boeing 767 bought for the company by employees in 1982. Also on display is a DC-3, Ship 41, that flew for Delta and was restored by Delta employees and volunteers.

The museum features a 117-seat theater and a 30-seat conference room located inside the fuselage of an L-1011 TriStar aircraft.

Visitors also can pilot a Boeing 737-200 full-motion simulator, the only one open to the public in the U.S., formerly used to train Delta pilots.

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