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New CEO Bringing Lone Star Flight Museum To Houston

Although it has since reopened, the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Ike back in 2008. Most airworthy planes were flown out of harm’s way in advance, but many static displays were damaged or destroyed. The museum is moving inland to new facilities at Ellington Airport, and the new museum comes with a new CEO.

 

 

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  • the North American T-6 Texan . According to the Lone Star Flight Museum few aircraft in history can claim the mantle of legend  and the T-6 should be added to that list, along with the Sopwith Camel, B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustang and DC-3. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum.)
    the North American T-6 Texan . According to the Lone Star Flight Museum few aircraft in history can claim the mantle of legend and the T-6 should be added to that list, along with the Sopwith Camel, B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustang and DC-3. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum.)
  • The T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the Cessna 172 that was fitted with a larger engine and variable pitch propeller. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum)
    The T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the Cessna 172 that was fitted with a larger engine and variable pitch propeller. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum)
  • PT-17 Stearman Bi-Plane. It became a standard primary trainer flown by the United States and several Allied nations during the late 1930s through World War Second.  (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum. )
    PT-17 Stearman Bi-Plane. It became a standard primary trainer flown by the United States and several Allied nations during the late 1930s through World War Second. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum. )
  • North American B-25 Mitchell. This is a twin engine medium bomber approved by the Army Air Corps in 1939. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum.)
    North American B-25 Mitchell. This is a twin engine medium bomber approved by the Army Air Corps in 1939. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum.)
  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. This model was used against Nazi Germany during World War II.  (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum )
    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. This model was used against Nazi Germany during World War II. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum )
  • Retired USAF Lieutenant General Douglas H. Owens is the new CEO of the aviation history and STEM museum, Lone Star Flight Museum, being built at Houston's Ellington Airport.  (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum)
    Retired USAF Lieutenant General Douglas H. Owens is the new CEO of the aviation history and STEM museum, Lone Star Flight Museum, being built at Houston's Ellington Airport. (Photo Credit: Lone Star Flight Museum)

A new $35 million, 130,000-square-foot facility is under construction at Ellington.

Retired Lt. General Douglas Owens is in charge of the logistics of that move, as well as the museum’s ongoing success.

“If you go out to Ellington Field today, you will see the walls of the first two hangars that are standing. You’ll see the iron going up for the roof. So it is looking like a museum,” Owens says.

Owens says the new museum will highlight science and history for students and aviation enthusiasts. The Galveston location opened about 25 years ago, but technology for museums has improved significantly.

“It’s going to be a 21st century state-of-the-art museum, with exhibits that are up-to-date and that are exciting to view and be part of. And it’s going to inspire the young people of Houston toward careers in aviation, and help them appreciate that they will stand on the very broad shoulders of the great Americans that pioneered aviation in Texas and America,” Owens says.

The collection at the Lone Star Flight Museum is rare because most of the aircraft are flyable. Their B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, P-47 Thunderbolt and other vintage aircraft often participate in airshows across the country. Owens says when the time comes, they’ll be flown the 30 miles from Galveston to their new home.

“It will be an orchestration and a ballet — an aerial ballet, if you will — as we bring everything in. It might not happen all at once because we will use our volunteer pilot force that will help ferry those aircraft from Galveston up. So it’ll be a short flight, but a momentous one, as we open the doors to the new museum,” Owens says.

The new Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington is scheduled to open by next summer.

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