WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) — Exploration Place announced Wednesday Textron Aviation as the naming sponsor of the musuem's new outdoor "destination playscape" project, the Textron Aviation Flight Adventure. The new exhibition, anticipated to open in the fall of 2025, seeks to inspire the dreams of residents and visitors in aviation, STEM and the freedom of flight.

“This expansion is an extraordinary investment in Wichita and the state of Kansas,” said Adam Smith, President and CEO, Exploration Place. “Textron Aviation’s support will help inspire a deeper interest in science and technology with this signature play area that will serve as a living tribute to Wichita as the Air Capital of the World.”

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The Textron Aviation Flight Adventure features a Beechcraft Staggerwing biplane sculpture atop a towering control tower and an explorable Cessna Citation business jet, not only designed for climbing and play, but also to ignite visitors’ imaginations and foster a sense of wonder in aviation. The aircraft serve as a testament to the state’s rich aviation heritage and promise of a continued bright future in advanced aviation manufacturing.

In 2023, Exploration Place welcomed 403,543 visitors. With the arrival of the envisioned destination playscape spanning across 6.5 acres, it is anticipated that Exploration Place will soar to an annual count of 1 million visitors, amplifying the impact and reach of Textron Aviation.

“This sponsorship represents our dedication to the city of Wichita and our belief in the power of inspiring the next generation of innovators,” said Ron Draper, President and CEO, Textron Aviation. “By supporting this signature play area, we aim to deepen interest in science and technology while paying tribute to the generations of people in our community who have contributed to Cessna and Beechcraft’s rich heritage and legendary accomplishments.”

The destination playscape includes an awe-inspiring combination of 10 meticulously designed and landscaped individual playgrounds. The project is driven by a multifaceted set of objectives, each aimed at enhancing the fabric of Wichita’s community. By elevating the quality of life for its residents, fostering an environment conducive to tourism, attracting and retaining top-tier workforce talent, and bolstering the availability of STEM education resources, Exploration Place seeks to leave a mark on the city’s landscape.

The Textron Aviation Flight Adventure has been designed by the globally renowned play manufacturer Monstrum. This collaboration pays homage to the illustrious history of Wichita, a city steeped in aviation heritage.

More information on the new project can be found here