You don’t have to travel farto enjoy the museums of North Central Texas. Plan a tour of these museums for a more "sustainable" vacation.
American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum Films, videos, interactive displays, hands-on exhibits. It is dedicated solely tocommercial aviation and is a history of American Airlines. The museum opened inJuly 1993 and is named for the father of American Airlines, C.R. Smith. 4601Texas Highway 360 at FAA Road, Fort Worth 817 967-1560. Directions: From Airport Freeway, just south of DFW Airport, go south on Highway 360. Exit FAA Road. Free for many years, it now has admittance fees. Call forhours.
BC Vintage Flying Museum See a B-17 Flying Fortress andWWII memorabilia and artifact exhibits. Twenty aircraft are on exhibit, severalof which are extremely rare. Additional displays include a dedicated reciprocal and jet engine room, an FAA Aviation Education ResourceCenter, and unique aircraft model exhibits. The museum has a gift shop. Located southeast of MeachamAirfield at 505 NW 38th St, Hanger 33 South, Fort Worth 817 624-1935. Admittance fees. Only open on week-ends.
Frontiers of Flight Museum Features the history of aviation from the first ideas of flight ’til present; from the earliest balloon flights through the first space programs. The museum contains such interesting exhibits as a piece of the fabric from the Wright Flyer, a charred remnant and the radio operator’s chair from the Hindenburg, the fur parka of Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, as well as one of the first aviator’s licenses issued in the US. Eras in aviation are explored through mounted exhibits. The Aviation Opportunities exhibit is quite interesting. History: Collection was begun at UT Austin with donation of George Haddaway’s collection of aviation artifacts and memorabilia. Moved to UT Dallas in 1978, and then to Love Field’s second story in 1990, then to present location on Lemmon Avenue. Love Field, built as a Navy air base, was a World War I and II training base, eventually becoming a commercial airport that is still in use by the City of Dallas. ‘Ma and Pa’ Vencil (Mr/Mrs Troy Vencil) lived on Love Field and parented the pilots in the early days of aviation. Located on the southeast side of Dallas Love Field at 6911 Lemmon Av, Dallas, 214 350-3600. Open daily; call for hours; entrance fees.
History of Aviation Collection Primarily a research center at the University of Texas at Dallas, but also houses model aircraft and aviation artifacts. LTV/Chance Vought played an important part in the development of the aerospace industry in Texas. The History of Aviation Collection has a small online exhibit of historic LTV/Chance Vought photographs as well as material on the history of LTV/Chance Vought from its origins to the 1980s. There are many interesting components of this collection, often not available anywhere else. Much of the collection is now housed at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Admittance is free but call for times museum is open. 2601 N Floyd Rd @ Campbell, Richardson 972 690-2996
Terrell Heritage Museum 2000 British cadets trained in Terrell during WWII and museum houses a No. 1 British Flying Training School Association display, Texas-Midland Railroad memorabilia, 1912 Estes pipe organ, various items of history of city of Terrell. The museum is housed in the 1904 Carnegie Library, an interesting and beautiful old building in itself. Although admission is free, the hours for this museum vary. It is also open by appointment. 207 N Francis St, Terrell, 972-524-6082.
Whatever happened to:
Pate Museum of Transportation closed. Thismuseum opened in 1969 by the Pate brothers and was closed in 2009 after heirs tried unsuccessfully to relocate the museum. This museum was always an item of interest to car aficionados and to travelers on Hwy 377 heading south from Fort Worth. Over forty vehicles from the horse-and-buggy era forward were auctioned on June 5, 2010, for over $1,900,000. Heir Sharon Pate said the auction proceeds went to the Pate Foundation and will eventually go to charities.
Silent Wings Museum moved out ofthis area. The museum opened in Terrell in 1984 because military glider pilotshad trained there during WWII. It housed memorabilia, weapons, and medals.Magazines and newspapers explained the roles of glider pilots, tow pilots, andparatroopers. Combat and trainer films were shown. In October 2002, the formerSouth Plains Army Airfield site opened the new Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock,Texas, with the restored CG-4A glider as the centerpiece of the exhibits. Themuseum is still acquiring artifacts. If you have a donation, contact the MuseumCurator at 806 775-2047.
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