The Lone Star Flight Museum has been located in Galveston at Scholes Field, 2002 Terminal Drive, since 1990. The museum has become home to a collection of historic aircraft from the World War II era. Some of those planes include a B-17 Flying Fortress, P-47 Thunderbolt, and an F-22 Raptor. Along with the static displays, guests can purchase a flight aboard its T-6 Texas, open-cockpit biplane PT-17 Stearman and T-41 Mescalero. Educational tours are also available for students of all ages.
But all of this came to a halt, in 2008, when Hurricane Ike’s high winds and high water pummeled the Galveston coastline. Some of the aircraft were flown further inland, but the museum’s structure sustained damage and the storm surge brought in 6-8 feet of saltwater. Substantial damage was made to historical static displays, but major damage was made to the aircraft by the saltwater, the muck that came along with the storm surge, or by floating into walls.
Artist rendering of the new Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Field, [Lone Star Flight Museum]
The decision was made in 2011 when the Houston City Council approved a 40-year contract with the museum for 14 acres at Ellington Field, part of the Houston Airport System. Although the museum had become one of Galveston’s featured tourist attractions, the museum needed a location that would keep the historical displays/aircraft protected.
On November 9, 2015, the Lone Star Flight Museum broke ground on it’s new $35mil museum at Ellington Airport. The 130,000 square-foot location, located at 11551 Aerospace Avenue, will house the historical aircraft, the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, a technology aviation learning center, and opportunities to purchase flights aboard several aircraft.
Former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar (third from right) joins Ellington Airport and Lone Star Flight Museum officials to break ground for the new 130,000 square foot facility in Houston. (collectSPACE)
While local residents observe the development of the Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport, the construction of the new museum will also be taking place. The museum is projected to be open by February 2017.