At this time, air travel was extremely expensive, and many of the aircraft were akin to luxury cruise liners. The very top of Hollywood’s A-list landed at Foynes, including Humphrey Bogart and Bob Hope. The museum’s full-size replica of a B-314 allows you to experience what a journey on one of these marvellous aircraft would have been like.
During the war years, Ireland was a neutral country, but many important politicians and high-ranking military of the United States passed through Foynes. It also became an important conduit for refugees feeing occupied territories of Europe and North Africa on the way to seek safety and a new life in the United States. You can watch a video on the story in the museum’s 1940s-style cinema.
As well as being a pioneer in air travel, Foynes can claim to be the place where the world-famous Irish coffee was first created to help comfort passengers during the bleak winter of 1943. You can try the authentic drink for yourself at the Irish Coffee Centre in the museum, and watch a holographic scene that tells the story of the invention of this renowned drink. After the end of the Second World War, the focus turned to land planes, with development of today’s airports like Shannon and Dublin. With land planes able to carry more passengers for greater distances, it was the end of the era for the flying boats. The station at Foynes closed in 1946.