Lone Star Flight Museum
The Lone Star Flight Museum, located in Houston, Texas in the United States, is an aerospace museum that displays more than 40 historically significant aircraft and many hundreds of artifacts related to the history of flight. The museum's collection is rare because most of the aircraft are flyable. Located next to Ellington Airport, the museum is housed on about 100,000 ft2 (10,000 m2) of property, including its own airstrip. The museum, formerly located in Galveston, moved to Houston to avoid a repeat of the devastation suffered during Hurricane Ike.
The museum began as a private collection of historic aircraft in 1985. By 1990, that collection had grown enough that its owner decided to place them on public display. The Lone Star Flight Museum, a non-profit organization funded entirely through private donations, was formed for that purpose.
The museum's collection often participates in airshows across the country. As of 2005, the museum's aircraft annually log more than 40,000 miles (60,000 km) of cross-country flying to various air demonstrations.
The museum's P-47 Thunderbolt participates in USAF Heritage Flights throughout the year. The USAF Heritage Flight program was established in 1997 to commemorate the Air Force's 50th anniversary. It involves today's state-of-the-art fighters flying in close formation with World War II, Korean and Vietnam era fighters such as the P-51 Mustang and the F-86 Sabre. The flight's mission is to safely and proudly display the evolution of US Air Force airpower and to support the Air Force's recruiting and retention efforts.
The museum's North American B-25 Mitchell also serves closely with the Disabled American Veterans program. The DAV Airshow Outreach Program was developed to increase public awareness of disabled veterans and to serve veterans in communities across the nation. Using two B-25 medium bombers, the program reminds the public of the sacrifices veterans have made.
In 2007, the museum launched its newest program by offering rides in some of its warbirds. The LSFM now operates flights for passengers in the B-17 Flying Fortress, North American B-25 Mitchell, T-6 Texan and the PT-17 Stearman.
Texas Aviation Hall of Fame
The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, located within the museum, honors the contributions of residents or natives of Texas to aviation and spaceflight. Inductees include Howard Hughes, Alan Bean, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, and President George H. W. Bush.
2008 damage and restoration
The museum reported heavy damage from Hurricane Ike, stating on September 16, 2008, that the hangars and Hall of Fame had received seven to eight feet of water and the lobby three to four. Damaged aircraft include a B-58A and F-100 on loan from the US Air Force Museum, Consolidated PBY-5A, Dehavilland DH-82A, Grumman F3F-2, Lockheed PV-2D, and Stinson L-5. Aircraft flown out of harm's way in advance include their B-17, B-25, DC-3, P-47, F6F, F4U, SBD, PT-17, T-6 and the F8F. Most of the airworthy planes were flown out of the museum prior to the hurricane. Those remaining as well as the static displays were largely destroyed or heavily damaged.
Move to Houston
Following the destruction of Hurricane Ike, the museum made the decision to move to Ellington International Airport in Houston. It is working with the Collings Foundation and Texas Flying Legends to create a combined aviation museum complex. There it will combine
- Flight worthy
- Boeing/Vega B-17G Flying Fortress 44-85718 Thunderbird
- Chance Vought F4U-5NL 121823
- Douglas A-1 Skyraider
- Douglas DC-3
- Douglas SBD Dauntless
- Grumman F6F Hellcat
- Grumman TBM Avenger (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- Hawker Hurricane IIB (Damaged at LSFM airshow April 26, 2008, further damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- North American B-25J-30NC 44-86734 "The Official B-25 of the Doolittle Raiders Association"
- Republic P-47D-40RA 44-90368 Tarheel Hal
- Stinson L-5 Sentinel (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- Supermarine Spitfire (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- On static display or in restoration
- Consolidated PBY Catalina (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- Consolidated PB4Y-2S Privateer 59819 (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- Grumman S-2 Tracker (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- Lockheed P2V Neptune
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
- On loan from National Museum of the United States Air Force
- Convair TB-58A Hustler (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
- North American F-100D Super Sabre (damaged by Hurricane Ike September 13, 2008)
Other large collections of flying historic aircraft
- Commemorative Air Force, in Midland, Texas.
- Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby, UK
- Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, England;
- Fantasy of Flight, in Polk City, Florida;
- Champlin Fighter Collection at the Seattle Museum of Flight.
- The Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- The Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum in St Louis, Missouri
- Lone Star Flight Museum, official site
- Lone Star home of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame
- Lezon, Dale and Tolson, Mike Storm takes toll on aviation history: Rare artifacts were damaged in rising tide of saltwater, Houston Chronicle, 2008-09-28, retrieved 2009-09-29
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