Texas Air & Space Museum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Texas Air & Space Museum
Established 1989
Location Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, in Amarillo, Texas
Coordinates 35°12′58″N 101°42′00″W / 35.216°N 101.7°W / 35.216; -101.7
Type Aviation Museum
Visitors 8,400+ yearly
Director Ron Fernuik
Curator Paul Devenney
Website Texas Air & Space Museum

The Texas Air & Space Museum is an aviation museum located at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo, Texas. The museum displays civilian and military aircraft as well as a wide range of air and space artifacts.

History[edit]

In 1989, a group of aviation enthusiasts in Amarillo, Texas formed an air and space museum at private Tradewind Airport in southeast Amarillo.[citation needed] In 1997, the museum moved from Tradewind Airport to the Amarillo International Airport (later Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport) and into old buildings that, for most of the years from 1929 through 1972, served as Amarillo's commercial air terminal, first as "English Field," then as "English Airport" and finally as "Amarillo Air Terminal." When the ongoing maintenance costs of English Field's old terminal building and hangars became too great for the museum and city to bear, English Field Air & Space Museum relinquished 13 of its 14 aircraft to other museums, moved its artifacts into storage and, in 2007, closed its doors.[1]

In February 2010, the museum changed its name to Texas Air & Space Museum, acquired indoor and outdoor exhibit space at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and reopened its doors. On opening day February 15, 2011, Texas Air & Space Museum had a significant number of indoor air and space historical displays and three aircraft—a North American P-51D Mustang, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on floats and a de Havilland DHC-4 C-7 Caribou.[2]

As news of the museum's existence spread, hundreds of visitors from the local area, from busy, nearby north-south and east-west Interstate Highways 27 and 40 and historic Route 66 flocked to the museum. In July 2011, the museum acquired the locally built and flown 'Reno Racer' called the Bearcat.[2] And, in September 2011, the museum acquired a NASA Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) that was known by NASA as '946'[3] and was flown 49 times by the airport's namesake and city's favorite son--Rick Husband, commander of STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia that on February 1, 2003 disintegrated upon reentry killing all crew members.

Exhibits[edit]

Indoor exhibits on the east wall of room 101.
The Reno Racer "Beercat" and the North American P-51D Mustang.
1974 Grumman G-1159 NASA Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) flown 49 times by Amarillo favorite son and airport namesake Astronaut Rick Husband, commander of the STS-107 Space Shuttle Challenger.
1945 Douglas DC-3 N34 US Navy R4D-6 1945-1956. CAA/FAA DC-3C-R 1958-present. Loaned to Texas Air & Space Museum February 13, 2014 when it was flown from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas. Listed on the nation's National Register of Historic Places.

Outdoor aircraft park[edit]

Aircraft indoors[edit]

  • North American P-51D Mustang
  • Bearcat Reno Racer
  • Douglas DC-3 N34 National Register of Historic Places (NRIS reference number 97000443)
  • Bell OH-13S N9263Z M*A*S*H helicopter

Indoor exhibits[edit]

  • Aviators of the past - covers local aviators that made aviation history throughout the area, state, nation and world.
  • Airports of the past - describes neighboring airports that hosted airmen and aircraft of the early days of aviation.
  • Amarillo Army Airfield - documents the comings and goings of aircraft and aviators of the war years.
  • Harold English and English Field Airport - celebrates the dominant aviator and airfield of the area's early aviation.
  • Military Aviation - highlights aircraft and aviators of the war years while emphasizing service at nearby Amarillo Army Air Field later called Amarillo Air Force Base.
  • Model Aircraft - displays some of the finest models of civil and military aircraft. All models are hand made by World War II vet, former B-17 tail gunner and expert model creator, Jack Rude.

Space exploration[edit]

This section of the museum houses dedications to the space program and covers the period from the Mercury flights to the Space Shuttle.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Sean (September 21, 2007). "English Field items going to auction". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Richerson, Brittney (July 13, 2011). "Historic aircraft restored with passion". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ Musa, Aziza (September 1, 2011). "Amarillo museum acquires space shuttle training craft". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]