Science Centers

Take Flight

Museum of Science + Industry Chicago

Msi Chicago Take Flight Exhibit Renovation By Roto

In 2020, the Museum of Science and Industry invited Roto to reimagine the beloved Take Flight exhibit, resulting in a dramatic transformation of its signature 1964 United Airlines Boeing 727 that has wowed millions of visitors for decades.


  • exhibit detail design
  • demolition & renovation of plane interior
  • reinstallation of new plane fixtures
  • fabrication of plane interior and exterior
Green and blue hues illuminate the recently renovated interior of a United Airlines Boeing 727 with robotic collections, LED lighting, and media interactives

Central to the modernization effort, Roto’s team stripped the plane to its core before being brought back to life. Through a spectrum of modern technologies, Roto turned the historic aircraft into a multi-sensory invitation to step back in time to an era of early jet travel where the sensation of flight immerses visitors.

Museum Of Science And Industry Chicago Take Flight Exhibit Renovation By Roto

In addition, Roto’s team developed and fabricated a series of brand-new interactives to bring the historic jet age into the modern era, including opening up the back of the plane to provide a more detailed perspective, highlighted with extraordinary lighting features. Outside the plane, visitors find a 150-foot display to guide their understanding of complex systems from aircraft assembly all the way through take off.     

Csm Takeflight Dp3 9220 0c8c87a2d6
Take Flight Seating

First off, a million thanks for all the amazing work the roto team has been providing on Take Flight. Jeff and all the folks at Roto have been great partners on the project and always offering great solutions to meet the challenges!

- Jeff Buonomo, Senior Manager, Featured Exhibitions + Business Development
Msi Airplane Demo View 1
Msi Airplane Demo View 2

Client: Museum of Science + Industry Chicago

Environmental Graphic Designer: Studio Matthews

Media Designer: Belle & Wissell