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Santa Monica Museum of Flying

Home > Case Studies > Santa Monica Museum of Flying

The Santa Monica Airport has a long history of operations, beginning during World War I when pilots began using the site as an informal landing strip. The Douglas World Cruiser, the first aircraft to complete a circumnavigation of the planet, began its journey from the airport in 1924. To help preserve remnants of historical aviation, the Museum of Flying opened its facility at the Santa Monica Airport, where it hosts special events and regular exhibits open to the public.

The museum originally opened as the Douglas Museum and Library in 1974, and in 1989, the museum moved and re-opened as the Museum of Flying, featuring a collection of vintage World War II fighter aircraft. It also began hosting annual gala events honoring innovators in aviation. Unfortunately, in 2002 the original museum was forced to close due to financial reasons.

In 2012, at a new location at the Santa Monica Airport, the Museum of Flying reopened, offering an exhibit area of nearly 22,000 square feet and nearly two dozen aircraft from different eras, including a Wright Flyer replica, a BD-5 Microjet, and a FedEx 727 cockpit.

The museum chronicles the innovations that have led to increasingly safe and efficient air travel over the 20th and early 21st centuries. It seems fitting that its main building and surrounding structures should reflect that spirit of modern invention.

As part of the relocation, local site planners have been committed to the ongoing improvement and development of the building and its surrounding landscape. Upon reopening, the museum installed Reliance Foundry’s R-8472 stainless steel retractable bollards around the building’s perimeter to restrict vehicles while ensuring access for airplanes and other building operations.

Retractable bollards offer sleek and streamlined aesthetics to enhance this architectural tribute to the aerospace industry. The bollards used at the museum feature simple key-locking mechanisms that allow authorized individuals to quickly lower each post into a below-ground receiver. When bollards are lowered, they close flush to prevent tripping or obstruction hazards for pedestrians and vehicles.

Retractable bollards are used in the Museum of Flying’s daily operations, but they can be used for a range of applications. They can also be used for seasonal applications or to open or enclose spaces for events and special activities. Retractable bollards are especially useful in areas where occasional access may be required for service or emergency vehicles—or planes.



35-1/2 in


25 lbs

Body Diameter

4-1/2 in

Base Diameter

8.7 in


316 Stainless Steel

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