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Texas Air & Space Museum

Supporters of an aviation museum have faced a stiff head wind, but already their plans taken off.

We were getting 300 visitors a week at English Field,” said Cecil Hawkins, a board member of the proposed Texas Air & Space Museum. Strictly a display museum previously, the Texas Air and Space Museum will now provide a full range of aircraft service tailored to the vintage, warbird and collectable aircraft owner. Aircraft purchased as investments, restorations, maintenance, care and display of rare aircraft can all be managed “under one roof” with the tax advantages of the operations of the 501 (c) (3) Museum. While the Museum will play a traditional museum role, those wishing to invest in rare aircraft, or sell existing aircraft will now have an environment tailored to their particular needs.

In addition to their aviation experiences from all branches of military aviation since WWII, the current board and officers behind the museum are veterans of the 10 years of building and operating the English Field Air & Space Museum. The Amarillo Air Terminal replaced English Field in 1971 as the arrival and departure point for commercial air traffic. Amarillo Air Terminal is now Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

“When the Texas Aviation Historical Society at English Field was in its prime, it had over 400 contributors who supported hundreds of man-hours put in by volunteers,” Hawkins said. The English Field Museum’s contents were placed on loan to area museums when original, city owned brick hangars and terminal necessitated repairs too expensive to be done at that time. The city of Amarillo is actively considering viable repair and restoration options for the facility where Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes once landed.

The Texas Air and Space Museum members are combining their efforts with the established operations at the former Amarillo Air Base / English Field, now Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport to build anew the museum, with a fresh, full service approach for aircraft owners while preserving the abundant history of the region.

“The interest in historic aircraft is still there, with the desire for a quality museum,” board President Ron Fernuik said. The project is in its early stages but is taking shape.

“Our plans include air shows, aviation events, locally supported dances, events with Boy and Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Civil Air Patrol, Commemorative Air Force, Boys Ranch and Girls Town, to name but a few,” Fernuik said.

While the museum will operate in a traditional role, and certainly any support is welcome, the museum services are available to anyone for the services they may require. You can contact the museum at: Ron Fernuik: 806-662-5823.

March/April 2010 Aviators Hot Line WARBIRDS

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