CR SMITH MUSEUM
CR Smith Museum - Telling the History of Innovation
The CR Smith Museum preserves the history of American Airlines and explains what it takes
to run the airline, as told through the perspective of the team members who work there.
Through its activities, the Museum serves schools, the general public and American Airlines
About the CR Smith Museum
The signature piece of the Museum was and is a retired 1940 Douglas DC-3, the aircraft
that was developed based on C.R. Smith’s vision and that revolutionized commercial air
travel. The "Flagship Knoxville" was purchased by The Grey Eagles, an American Airlines
retired pilots group, and restored by retired and active American Airlines team members
before being presented to the Museum. In 1999, a custom hangar was added to the Museum
to house the DC-3 and protect it from the elements. The "DC-3 Hangar" was made possible
by the fundraising efforts of the DC-3 Coalition, a volunteer group headed by former AA
Senior Vice President of Field Sales and Services, Otto Becker. The group sold inscribed
bricks that make up the floor of the "hangar" to this day.
The CR Smith Museum completed a significant remodel in the summer of 2018. In its new
configuration, the Museum explains the inner workings of airline operations and showcases
the people who run American Airlines every day. Brand new interactive exhibits entice
participation by all age groups. The Museum features hundreds of historical artifacts,
photographs, full-scale aircraft engines and a rare 1940 Douglas DC-3 airliner that is
accessible to visitors. In addition, the Museum's 4K digital theater features Why I Fly,
a short film that shares the inspirational stories of some of American Airlines team members.
SEE THE CR SMITH