Tellus Science Museum is displaying the only MiG-21 two-seater cockpit in the United States, and it was incredible to see this important part of Cold War history in person.

I visited with my 11-year-old son Adam, who was excited to see inside the cockpit and learn about the important role this jet played in the Cold War. Something that really impressed my son was that this jet has no computers on board; everything was manual. Adam also thought it was neat to see the pilot hanging down from his ejection seat. The exhibit included a mock cockpit, which Adam enjoyed playing in.

The MiG-21 was designed and built in the former Soviet Union and was the first jet to reach speeds over mach 2 – twice the speed of sound. It was the most produced fighter jet in history because it was reliable, cost-effective and easy to fly. The fighter jet was known as the “Cold War Warrior” and the Soviet Union produced more than 13,000 of the jets, which went on to be used in the air forces of over 50 countries.

This exhibit is more appropriate for an older child who would appreciate the history of the jet, and understand its importance. It was enlightening to look inside the cockpit and see the instrument panels and the close quarters, but it would be hard for a young child to resist climbing in and playing with all of the controls!

Tellus Science Museum has many other interesting things for children of all ages, and it’s a hands-on space for young explorers. At the end of our visit, Adam had a hard time leaving. The Mach Speed exhibit was the highlight – Adam was really excited to see the “fastest,” “most expensive” or “oldest” objects in person. He was very happy to have seen the first jet that was capable of such speeds.

More Reasons to Visit Tellus:

  • The mineral gallery was impressive; my son spent ages in the gallery exploring.
  • The panning for gems and hunting for fossils sections are so much fun for kids of all ages, and you get to take home what you find!
  • The fossil gallery had things I’d never seen elsewhere.
  • There’s a huge collection of vehicles for transportation buffs to explore.

– Kirsten Gromatzky

The Details

Mach Speed: MiG-21 Jet Cockpit
Tellus Science Museum
100 Tellus Dr., Cartersville; 770-606-5700
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except major holidays. Exhibit closes March 26.
Cost: Adults, $14; ages 3-17, $10; ages 2 and younger, free.

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