Texas Aviation Hall of Fame to induct 4 at May 8 ceremony

January 9th, 2020

The Lone Star Flight Museum has announced the selection of four new inductees into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. A distinguished panel of aviation historians, authors, publishers, archivists and aviation experts selected George W.S. Abbey, Col. (Ret.) Eileen M. Collins, Usto Schulz and Tyson Weihs from a field of more than 100 candidates.

This prestigious group will be officially inducted on Friday, May 8, the 75th anniversary of VE Day, at the 2020 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Luncheon at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Airport.

The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1995 to honor and recognize Texans and Texas companies or organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of aviation. There are currently 76 individuals and groups in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, in four categories which include: trailblazers and explorers, wartime aviators, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

The 2020 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame inductees join an impressive list of past inductees representing trailblazers and explorers such as Bessie Coleman and Wiley Post; leaders such as Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; World War II aviators Tex Hill, the Doolittle Raiders, Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots; astronauts Alan Bean, John Young and Gene Cernan; and entrepreneurs Howard Hughes, Gordon Bethune and Herb Kelleher.

To be selected as a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, the individual or group must have a significant connection to Texas and have left an indelible mark on the history of aviation or be an aviator who made an extraordinary contribution to the world in another field.

2020 INDUCTEES

George W.S. Abbey

With a Bachelor’s degree in General Science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, George W.S. Abbey flew both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, logging more than 5,000 hours in the air.  Serving as the USAF technical liaison at Boeing on the Dyna-Soar, SST and Lunar Orbiter projects, he was later detailed to NASA in 1964.  In 1967, Abbey left the Air Force and was named technical assistant to the JSC Center Director during the Apollo, Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz programs.

In 1976, Abbey was named NASA’s director of flight operations, and was responsible for overall direction and management of flight crew and flight control activities for all human space missions. In 1988, he was appointed deputy associate administrator for space flight at NASA Headquarters, and later appointed senior director for civil space policy for the National Space Council in the Executive Office of the President.  In 1992 Abbey was named special assistant to the NASA administrator before being named deputy director of Johnson Space Center in 1994 and then JSC center director from 1996 to 2001.  After retirement from NASA in 2003, he became Senior Fellow in Space Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Eileen M. Collins

Raised in Elmira, N.Y., Col. (Ret.) Eileen Collins earned her B.S. from Syracuse University. She was commissioned in the US Air Force and graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB in 1979. After T-38 instructor duties at Vance, she transitioned to the C-141 Starlifter. During her service, Collins pursued a Master’s degree in Operations Research from Stanford and a Master’s in Space Systems Management from Webster. She was assistant professor of mathematics and a T-41 instructor at the US Air Force Academy from 1986-1989, and in 1990 graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School and was selected as an astronaut in 1991. She flew as the pilot on Mission STS-63 in 1995, becoming the first female Space Shuttle pilot.

She also served as pilot for STS-84 before becoming the first female commander of a U.S. spacecraft on STS-93 in 1999. In 2005, she was the commander of STS-114, the first “return to flight” mission after the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia.  She also was the first astronaut to fly the Space Shuttle through a complete 360-degree pitch maneuver. Collins retired from NASA in 2006 and works as an aerospace consultant and professional speaker.

Usto Schulz

A Texas-native, Schulz enlisted in the Army in 1943 and after earning his wings in 1944 was stationed at Hondo Air Base, Texas as a pilot and engineering officer. Later stationed at Ladd Field, Alaska, he became a cold weather pilot flying C-45s, C-46s, C-47s, C-54s, B-17s and B-25s and R-4 helicopters.  From 1947 to 1957 he was a commercial pilot with Arctic Pacific Air and Wien Alaska Airlines, before joining the CAA (forerunner to the FAA) in 1957.  Beginning as an air carrier inspector and an instructor for pilot certification he later transferred to FAA Headquarters. Schulz earned his DC-9 type rating and became the Executive Officer of In-Flight Standards Service.

As an independent consultant from 1975 to 2005, Schultz assisted airlines with management practices and ensuring FAR compliance.  After industry deregulation, he assisted airlines with FAA air carrier certification. Beginning in 1992, he worked with Morris Airlines to bring operations into compliance with FAA certification and assisted with certification as the first airline to use the Heads-Up displays and transition to fully digital electronic operations. In 1998, Schulz was asked to join a team creating a new airline and to run the certification process. Becoming involved with the selection and purchase of aircraft, Schulz guided JetBlue Airways through its certification process before retiring in 2005.

Tyson Weihs

Born in South Carolina, Tyson Weihs received a B.S. in Computer Science from Trinity University and his MBA from Rice University. Weihs is the CEO of ForeFlight, a Texas-based software company that employs over 200 people in Houston and Austin.  Weihs’ software has revolutionized flight planning, in-flight weather and was the first to bring the concept of an electronic flight bag to the iPad. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of private and corporate pilots who rely on ForeFlight for planning and in-flight decision making, the Department of Defense depends on the ForeFlight Military Flight Bag version of the application.

ForeFlight is also the provider of Jeppesen’s FlightDeck Pro EFB used by airline pilots around the world. Beyond the convenience of flight planning and in-flight weather on a mobile device, the biggest impact that Weihs and ForeFlight have had on aviation is safety. With Weihs’ ingenuity, passion and leadership, ForeFlight’s software and hardware solutions provide pilots with in-flight weather, traffic awareness, safety alerts, synthetic vision and other decision-making tools. These features have saved countless lives and represent one of the biggest technological innovations since GPS was certified for airplanes. He currently lives in Houston.

To become a 2020 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame event sponsor, visit LoneStarFlight.org/TAHOF2020 or call 346-352-7678. Tickets for the induction ceremony and luncheon will be available for purchase March 13.

May 8 also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the World War II Victory in Europe. Along with celebrating the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees, the Lone Star Flight Museum will also kick-off the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The summer long program, aptly named Fight To The Finish, is an invitation for Houstonians to take part in recognizing this significant anniversary and honor those that served and supported the U.S. to victory during WWII.  This four-month celebration will include special events, presentations, screenings, exhibits and more.

About the Lone Star Flight Museum

The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) is a 501c3 aviation museum and STEM learning center with a mission to celebrate flight and achievements in Texas aviation as well as educate and engage our youth through science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, the 130,000 square foot museum is home to a flying collection of rare and historic commercial, general aviation and military aircraft. Guests can experience the wonder of flight in a warbird ride and get hands-on in the high-tech Aviation Learning Center and Flight Academy. Multiple public and STEM-focused education programs create an unforgettable museum experience for visitors of all ages. Located at Ellington Airport, just 20 minutes from downtown Houston, LSFM is open Tuesday-Sunday. Tickets start at $9.95 with senior and military discounts. Memberships are also available. For details, visit lonestarflight.org or call 346-708-2517. Follow on Facebook, Instagram.

Clear Lake Chatter: FLIGHT MUSEUM BLUE SKIES GALA RAISES $700,000

August 1st, 2019

Ellington Airport General Manager Arturo Manchuca and his wife, Myrna, look for their table at the Blue Skies Gala.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS from both air and space contributed more than $700,000 at this year’s “Moonstruck: 2019 Blue Skies Gala,” to support STEM-related programs and the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Field.

Held at The Revaire on Old Katy Road in Houston, the black-tie event drew a crowd of more than 500 supporters of the Lone Star Flight Museum’s educational mission.
KPRC-TV Ch. 2 meteorologist

Khambrel Marshall emceed the event with board member Ralph Thomas and his wife,Bette,as co-chairmen and Houston philanthropist Margaret Alkek Williams as honorary gala chairman.

Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, a former astronaut, and museum board member, joined Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Doug Owens, museum president and CEO, and Scott Rozzell, chairman of the board of directors, in recognizing special guest Gene Kranz and others who played a key role in the Apollo space program.

An inductee in the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Krantz was a flight director during the Apollo 13 mission when the spacecraft experienced a malfunction but was safely guided back to earth. Krantz attended the gala, in part, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program and the first manned mission to land on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Flight Museum youth ambassador Marshall Calderon, from left, visits with former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz and Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, former astronaut and museum board member.

Gala patrons included the greater Houston area’s prominent philanthropists, business leaders, elected and appointed government officials, pilots, astronauts, students and others who share the belief that aviation inspires endless possibilities.

“This amazing event,” General Owens told the crowd, was made possible by the generous support of our gala co-chairs, our gala planning committee, and the gala host committee along with underwriters, table sponsors and ticket holders. I also want to thank our amazing volunteers and staff members who dedicate their time and talent day in and day out to the mission of our museum. We are committed to celebrating flight and achievements in Texas aviation as well as educating and engaging our youth through STEM, and the support we received through this amazing gala will allow us to continue with those efforts.”

Guests were treated to assorted wines, champagne, cocktails, and a gourmet three-course dinner and dancing to the music of the Richard Brown Orchestra.

Located at Ellington Airport, just 20 minutes from downtown Houston, LSFM is open Tuesday-Sunday and seven days a week all summer long. Tickets start at $9.95 with senior and military discounts. For details, visit lonestarflight.org or call 346-708-2517.

 

Guendaliwa Rotito, Maria Sumner and Missy Rorrer, from left, make a pretty picture as they mingle with the crowd at the Bay Area Museum Guild Silver Tea.

Museum Guild members a busy crowd

IF YOU RUN INTO members of the Bay Area Museum Guild this summer, and they look a bit tired, they probably are.

For them, it has been a busy spring that included four events — the annual Silver Tea, picnic, wine tasting and installation luncheon.

Many prepared food and punch for the events, while others made preparations in the museum, lining up helpers, etc. — all in an effort to brighten up our community, as they have been doing for the past 35 years.

 

Silver Tea honors Webster church

USUALLY, the Museum Guild honors some well known person at its annual Silver Tea. But this year, the Guild recognized Webster Presbyterian Church, which has been a part of the Bay Area for 126 years, showing off items from the original church – a part of which became Bay Area Museum when the new church was built back in the 80s.

Tea Co-Chairmen Jill Smitherman and Belinda Scheurich were at the door to welcome the dozens and dozens, including many Lunar Rendezvous princesses and lieutenants, who dropped by to sample the array of savories and sweets and the punch served up by Louise Russell, Diana Dornak, Cindy Kuenneke, Badiha Nassau, Gail Devens and Sally Jordan.
Among the many dropping by, we spotted Judy Raiford, Mary Williams, Michelle Holland, Kim Woods, Mary Ann Baxter, Missy Rorrer, Maria Summer, Karen McCorkle, Shirley Brasseaux, Angie Weinman, Anita Fogtman, Jill Reason and Ava Galt, to name a few.

Governor helps honor area’s first responders

September 1st, 2018

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was on hand when the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner to honor first responders for their hard work during Hurricane Harvey.

Several hundred attended the event, which was held at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Field in the hangers with military planes and helicopters. Many dignitaries were present including area legislators and Hilton Koch, owner of Hilton Furniture.

The setting was very impressive. Guests were greeted with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, after which they enjoyed dinner and Governor Abbott recognized the many first responders who helped thousands of victims during the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The Lone Star Flight Museum is located at 11551 Aerospace Ave. at Ellington Field and is a great venue for parties and events. Katie Jackman, the chief marketing officer, will be happy to help you book your next event.

Flying High with the Lone Star Flight Museum

June 1st, 2018

The Lone Star Flight Museum is a 501(c)(3) aviation history and STEM learning facility with a mission to honor, preserve, educate and inspire. In addition, the Museum features a renowned flying collection of historic aircraft, high-tech Aviation Learning Center and multiple interactive displays.

STEM EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Lone Star Flight Museum combines a comprehensive education program with an immersive aviation experience. Focused on teaching history through science and science through history, the museum promotes a lifelong learning of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Dynamic programming and interactive experiences include field trips, camps and Aviation Learning Center.

WARBIRD RIDES
We’ve got your boarding pass to history with our vintage flying aircraft collection. Experience the sights and sounds of American airpower aboard one of our historic aircraft. Available aircraft include the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, North American B-25 Mitchell, North American T-6 Texan, Boeing PT-17 Stearman, Fairchild PT-19 Cornell, Douglas SBD Dauntless and Cessna T-41 Mescalero. Interested in taking a flight? Rides can be purchased at lonestarflight.org/rides

TEXAS AVIATION HALL OF FAME
Established in 1995, the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame honors the men and woman of Texas who have shaped the aviation world. These inductees are famous aviators from Texas who have made extraordinary contributions to aviation, or a Texas aviator who has made an extraordinary contribution in another field. Inductees include Bessie Coleman, President George H. W. Bush, Howard Hughes and Alan Bean.

FLIGHT ACADEMY
The Flight Academy introduces visitors to the foundations of flight and aircraft design with hands-on exhibits including three replica cockpits, two hang glider simulators and a theater featuring a film about the principles and history of flight development.

PRIVATE EVENTS
Host a high flying affair at the Museum! With 130,000 square feet of interactive, state-of-the-art exhibit space, this unique setting features direct viewing access to aircraft, soaring ceilings and spectacular views. A perfect destination for weddings, conferences, meetings, reunions and private events of all kind.

MEMBERSHIP
Stay cool all summer with the hottest planes in town! When you become a member you always receive FREE admission, gift shop discounts, and exclusive events.

SUPPORT
The Museum relies on private donations to support the aircraft, collections, exhibits, facilities and educational programs that serve students and visitors of all ages. Our volunteers are an essential part of fulfilling our commitment to preserve Texas aviation and become a world-class museum. More information can be found at lonestarflight.org/donate.

YOUR SUMMER ADVENTURE BEGINS HERE

June Flight Plan includes movies, mechanics and robots!

Clear yourself for takeoff at the Lone Star Flight Museum this summer. From paper airplane launches to hangar movie screenings, we have a full summer of activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring flight to life! All activities are FREE with paid admission unless otherwise noted.

June 4: MECHANIC MONDAY 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Ever want to know what it takes to keep a plane more than 70 years old airworthy? Learn the nuts and bolts of airplane maintenance from our mechanics and crew chiefs, watch live demonstrations, and try your hand at turning a screw (or two)!

June 8 & 22: AV8R EXPERIMENTS 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mathematician and scientist Daniel Bernoulli cracked the code on what makes flight possible in the 1700s when he observed that air moved like water. Conduct your own Bernoulli-inspired experiments using simple materials such as balloons, string and even a deck of cards to learn what makes aircraft lift off and stay aloft.

June 9: FIRST ROBOTICS 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join the award-winning Spectrum 3847 team for exciting robotics demonstrations featuring their 120lb competing robot, Infrared. Plus try your hand at operating a VEX IQ robot yourself!

June 15: TOP GUN 7 p.m.
What could be better than watching your favorite flight flick in an actual airplane hangar! Get ready to fly high and stay cool as Maverick, Goose and Iceman take the highway to the danger zone. Seating provided or spread out on the hangar floor. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., the movie begins at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $5/person; Children 3 and Under Free. Don’t miss Disney’s Planes July 20th and Airplane! August 17th.

Wednesdays: HANGAR TALK 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Every week this summer we make one of our aircraft the star of the show! Get “behind the chains” with our docents, learn exclusive aircraft history, and you may even see them start up on our ramp!
June 6: SBD Dauntless
June 13: Bell TAH-1P Cobra
June 20: Boeing PT-17 Stearman
June 27: Fairchild PT-19 Cornell

Saturdays: WATCH US FLY
Our flying vintage collection take to the skies every Saturday (weather permitting) Visitors can access our ramp and watch planes taxi, take-off and soar! Meet the pilots and crew chiefs who maintain and fly our collection.

WEEKENDS: SIMULATOR BAY
Ever wanted to know what it takes to become a pilot? Take the controls in one of the museum’s Redbird Simulators and explore the skies like a real pilot! Pilots must be age 10+. $5/pilot on Saturday; FREE on Sunday!

Ellington Airport,
11551 Aerospace Ave. Houston, TX 77034

SUMMER HOURS
Open 7 days a week. Monday – Saturday open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sundays open 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

ADMISSION
Adults (18 – 64): $20.00; Youth (12 – 17): $18.00; Seniors (65+): $16.00; Children (4-11): $16.00; Children under 4: Free

Purchase your tickets online in advance and save $2.00/ticket. AAA members save $3.00/ticket (in person only). Groups of 10+ enjoy up to 20% off.

www.lonestarflight.org

Special treat awaits the BAHEP Board

May 1st, 2018

Long Star Flight Museum CEO Doug Owens, right, welcomes Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell and BAHEP Board Chairman Dr. Brenda Hellyer to the Flight Museum’s new home at Ellington Airport.

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s Board of Directors were in for a treat when they met for their April meeting. Instead of gathering at the BAHEP office, they met at the beautiful new Lone Star Flight Museum, which moved here last fall from Galveston.

And, as the meeting got underway, Flight Museum CEO Doug Owens, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, traced the history of the Flight Museum, education programs, future plans and invited board members to attend the May 5, 2018 Flights of Fancy Gala at the museum when six who made significant contributions to aviation will be inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame – Capt. James Lovell, Congressman Sam Johnson, Azellia White, Brig. Gen. Noel Parrish and Thomas and Paul Braniff.