Flying Machine Cafe, Chester County Airport

Flying Machine Cafe | Chester County Airport

As much as Gunning It treasures the experience of transporting our family to the past like we did in our King's Farm post, make no mistake about it we are certainly no Luddites. Nick and Anna routinely find ways to confiscate our iPhones, we have multiple laptops but it always feels like we need more, and our DVR is routinely filled with a combination of Monster Jam, cartoons, House Hunters International, 80's movies and reality TV. We are a family who embraces technology and appreciates it for the many benefits and conveniences it has afforded our family. Technological advances over the past century are simply phenomenal. There are so many of them and they come at us so quickly that it's easy to look past the marvel of the technological innovation and focus on the application itself.

Gunning It believes that experiencing technological advances up close and personal from more of a third person perspective allows us to experience and appreciate the technological innovation. One example is flying. A great number of us have traveled via air for vacations, business or somewhere in between. It is a wonder the first time or two you experience it but it often dulls quickly to the point where it's taken for granted. Commercial airports tend to speed the dulling process. Your first experience at most commercial airports is an impersonal check in process followed by what can only be described as several of the most stressful moments of one's life at the security checkpoint. After experiencing the relief of surviving the security checkpoint, you are visually barraged by a cornucopia of shops eager to use your captive audience and price insensitivity to help their bottom lines. By the time you make your way to the gate, you take a seat that is typically facing the inside of the airport. Even if you do get a seat facing outside, chances are your view is the side of an airplane and a limited view of the runways. It's no wonder why so many of us overlook the true marvel of flying.

The real marvel of flying happens on the runway. When you are close to the runway, it's hard to overlook how truly amazing it is that you can climb aboard a piece of equipment, rapidly ascend to tens of thousands of feet above land and then travel so quickly to destinations hundreds or thousands of miles away. The Flying Machine Cafe at Chester County Airport gets you so close to the runway that you can literally feel the vibration of liftoff. There are few distractions. This place is all about flying and allows you to focus on the technological marvel that flying truly is. Seeing, feeling and hearing plane after plan take off and land inspires wonder and sparks the imagination. Children who can't seem to be peeled away from their DS or your iPhone stand mesmerized with their hands clasping the black steel fence and their heads pressed up against it. They are mesmerized because it truly is amazing. Many of us forget how amazing it is but seeing it up close re-connects you with those feelings that you had the first time you flew and the first time you flew with your children. While you are re-connecting with those feelings, your children are imagining a different future with new technologies that seem so far fetched now but within decades if not years they'll be taking them for granted just like we take the car, telephone, computer, gps, video games, digital photography and air travel.

Our typical visit to the Chester County Airport starts with a lunch at Flying Machine Cafe where we always sit at a booth by the window looking out on the runway (of course!), have lunch and then proceed outside to watch planes take off and land for 20-30 minutes. Typically we'll spend an hour and a half there when we go.

Here are some tips that we've compiled from our various stops there:

  • Service is a little slow so don't hesitate to grab a small basket of popcorn (it's free) from the machine by the Hostess stand
  • Portions tend to be on the larger side so a family of 4 can usually order 3 meals and share
  • It always seems to be a little breezy and cooler outside by the runway so dress accordingly

Anna and Nick's Picks:

  • Anna's pick was watching the planes
  • Nick's pick taking pictures of the planes in Aviators and playing Tic Tac Toe with Dad

    Our pictures:

    (You can also read our post on Exton Does).

    Have you been to the Flying Machine Cafe or Chester County Airport?  What are some of your best tips?


Stacy Uncorked said...

Oh wow! That looks (and sounds) like such a fun place to visit! :)

Kristin said...

I believe kids eat free Mondays and Tuesdays. Sadly, I have lived right down the road for 4 years and have not been here yet. My boys are now 3 and 5 years old, so thanks for sharing, it may be time we visit :)

M.Gunn said...

Thanks for the tip Kristen! I just checked it out and you're right - kids eat FREE Monday & Tuesdays! Here's the link to other specials as well - enjoy!