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.