Drive through the outskirts of Limerick and along by the River Shannon to Foynes to visit the Flying Boat Museum. In the early days of flight, during the 1930’s and early 1940’s, this was the landing place for Pan Am Clippers from the United States and Europe. The museum recreates the infancy of aviation through displays of memorabilia.
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum, housed in the original terminal building in Foynes, recalls that nostalgic era when Foynes became the centre of the aviation world from 1939 to 1945. On July 9th 1939, Pan Am's luxury Flying Boat, the "Yankee Clipper" landed at Foynes to become the first commercial passenger flight on a direct route from the USA to Europe. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, this quiet little town on the Shannon became the focal point for air traffic on the North Atlantic. Now the "Yankee Clipper is back - our latest exhibit is the world's only full scale replica of the Boeing 314, "Yankee Clipper". You can travel back in time and see for yourself what it was like to be a passenger in one of these wonderful flying boats.
Located at the west end of Foynes, the museum is housed in the original old terminal building, which was formerly the Monteagle Arms Hotel. The property was built in the 1860's and was the first public bar and shop in Foynes before becoming the headquarters for aviation for Ireland. Prior to 1980 it was an Irish College, at which time it was renamed "Aras Ide".
Foynes was where Irish Coffee was invented. Chef Joe Sheridan made the first in 1942 to warm up some damp and miserable passengers and since then Irish Coffee has become one the most popular welcoming drinks in the world. There is a great 3D hologram that re-enacts this auspicious event.