Y’all may not realize it, but the Lone Star State has been a major figure in the history of aviation. Sure, North Carolina has Kittyhawk, the sight of the first powered flight, and sure Ohio has the home of the Wright Brothers, but Texas was the home of the fledgling Army Air Corps with landing fields initially at Fort Sam Houston and in El Paso when the Army was chasing Pancho Villa prior to our entry into WWI. During the 40s, Texas blossomed into the main area for flight training all those fighter and bomber pilots to fight the Germans and the Japanese. A combination of good weather, flat terrain, and available land turned Texas into America’s classroom for pilots.
After the war, a group of cropdusters down in the Rio Grande Valley became some of the first Americans to see the value in all the derelict WWII bombers and fighters sitting abandoned at airfields all over the country. They began to restore and re-launch those warbirds into the skies as The Confederate Air Force Following their example, over the next 40 years groups sprung up all over the state to restore and maintain these fighting machines so that now, there re aircraft museums scattered all over the state. It doesn’t matter which interstate you travel on, a museum is nearby, so let’s take a quick trip around Texas and hit some of the highlights.
If you’re traveling in the Houston/Galveston area Lone Star Flight Museum is a must-see stop. Devastated by Hurricane Ike, Lone Star is in the process of moving from Scholes Field on Galveston Island to new facilities at Ellington Field just off I-45 in between Houston and Galveston. They are proud owners of “Thunderbird” a restored and flying Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, as well as airworthy B-25 Mitchell, F-4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat, P-47 Thunderbolt, and one of the last flying SBD Dauntless dive bombers left in existence.
Other exceptional museums include: Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, TX and The Commemorative Air Force headquarters in Midland, TX. For WWII aircraft these three museums can’t be beat. And remember before you head out, head to our website PPL Motorhomes for all your parts and accessories!