2002 Terminal Dr. Galveston, TX 77554 409-740-7722 or 1-888-FLY-LSFM (359-5736) Open 9 am-5 pm Daily
Click here to see the photos in from the damage caused by Hurricane Ike and the recovery efforts.
January 6, 2009 - We took a little time off around the holidays so all our staff and volunteers could spend some time with their families. As we begin the new year, our focus remains to open as soon as possible. When you get down to the last items, progress seems to slow a bit. Our phone system still has a few occasional glitches, but progress continues. We are essentially down to a few small but important things on the checklist. The fire alarm, some finishing work in the gift shop and the electrically operated hangar door drivers are the main reasons for the delay. It seems that almost everything we need is on backorder or is in various stages of manufacture. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to open by the middle of the month with a formal opening day in late January.
Considering the amount of damage, the place looks pretty good. When the painters finish, we’ll be able to give the facility a thorough cleaning. The flooring guys will then install carpet in the stairways and a couple of other small closets. It has not been practical to complete these items until all the dust and dirt generating work is complete.
On the airplane side of the coin, we have all evacuated aircraft back in the hangar except the Bearcat. Every attempt has been met with low clouds and fog. It remains at Hobby Airport and we will fly it home when pilot schedules and weather allow. We sent our AT-6 Texan, actually it’s an SNJ-5, to the paint shop early last Spring. The plan was to send a crew to reassemble the airframe and fly it home during the week Ike hit. We are now able to devote some manpower to the Texan and our guys will begin the process this week. The airplane looks fantastic and will definitely turn a few heads. It is painted as a tribute to the 111th Fighter Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard. The 111th has served the Houston area since 1917 and our T-6 is painted to resemble their Texans from the 1950s. We hope to have it in Galveston within 14 days.
The Lone Star Flight Museum was honored to receive the donation of a Cessna T-41B in December. A T-41 is essentially a modified Cessna 172E used by the military as a trainer. The airplane has a 210hp Continental engine and a constant speed propeller. It was restored by the late James “Buzz” Paulin of Houston to award winning status. It is a wonderful addition to the collection and will serve the museum well for many years. We plan to add it to our flight experience program in the near future. The T-41 will be perfect for a scenic flight over Galveston for up to 3 people. More information on the T-41 is found here.
We hope to resume our warbird rides in the coming weeks so stay tuned to the schedule.
Galveston is making progress as a whole. More businesses and attractions are opening almost everyday and a few festivals and events have been held around town. We are proud of our friends and neighbors as they recover from the storm. The devastation was incredible and not too many people outside of the immediate area realize the impact of the storm. Blue roofs still adorn most subdivisions in the Houston area while nearly every home was washed away on the Bolivar Peninsula. Most folks have rolled up their sleeves and worked their challenges to the best of their ability. The results have been amazing and Galveston is open for business. Here’s to a prosperous 2009.
Larry Gregory, President
Lone Star Flight Museum
November 13, 2008 - Steady progress continues at the museum as we push towards reopening around the end of the month or first part of December. Electrical is essentially online minus only a few items. Insulation is complete. Only a few pieces of sheetrock remain to be installed throughout the facility. The gift shop is taped, floated and primed. Paint begins Thursday and flooring may begin late next week. Plumbing work will start shortly. We had some issues with the hangar doors that have been resolved. The equipment to open the doors electrically should be installed within 2-3 weeks. The Hall of Fame area has been cleaned out and will serve as a temporary storage facility until we get back on our feet. All of our offsite storage facilities were destroyed and are now condemned, so we will use the space we have as efficiently as possible over the coming months.
The best news is that we have airplanes in the hangar. The B-17 and P-47 are in Hangar 1 and it is great to see a familiar sight. It is another small victory on the way back. More of the flyers will arrive later this week when the weather clears. After the first post-Ike visit, I could not imagine having our aircraft return before the end of the year. Thanks to a lot of hard work by some dedicated folks, it happened before Thanksgiving! This really underscores the importance of the assistance from the Seabees of ACB2 and the sailors from the USS Nassau. Thank you will never be enough.
We had a great turnout of volunteers from the West Houston Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force last Saturday. They brought 19 folks out and jumped right in helping us move the ball forward. Lots of organizing, cleaning, and other grunt work was accomplished by the WHS and LSFM volunteers. A huge thanks to all those involved. The WHS always supports our airshow and we return the favor at their open house. We certainly appreciate their efforts.
We still have a long way to go, but we’re gaining on it. Thanks to our staff, volunteers, and everyone who has helped us in almost every way imaginable following the storm. We certainly appreciate your support.
Lone Star Flight Museum
October 14, 2008 – We continue to make steady progress here in Galveston. The building will be resided by the end of the week and we may have power throughout the facility as well. We have been running the offices upstairs on a temporary pole for 2 weeks. The drywall guys will have everything rocked in a couple of weeks.
Once the exterior siding and insulation contractors are finished, we’ll be able to seriously clean the floor. The Tennant Company donated a floor scrubber to the cause since we lost both of our “zamboni” machines. It works great and really helped clean up our slick floors. The floors have quite a few marks and scratches, but should be serviceable.
Our staff and volunteers continue to sort through tools, airplanes, vehicles, artifacts and other items. We still have lots of work to do to save some of these items. Some of our volunteers are working on the military vehicles and it appears most weathered the storm pretty well. They are a long way from storming the beach, but they are on their way.
The Spitfire and F3F made it to Breckenridge, TX last week and the Hurricane departed for Colorado today. The guys at Ezell Aviation say that the airframes look good and we should have no significant problems as a result of the storm. I think that will hold for the other airplanes as well. None of it will be easy, but at least we have a solid airframe thanks to the efforts of the Collings bunch and our crew. Don’t forget the Texas City BP plant and Evergreen Industrial for arranging fresh water and the folks at Corrosion X.
The best news to date is that we will be able to support the Ron Carter Wings Over Houston Air Show on October 25-26 at Ellington Field (EFD) with the B-17, B-25, Hellcat, Corsair, Thunderbolt, SBD and Stearman. The B-25 flew into EFD on Sunday and our mechanics and volunteers will complete an inspection later this week. The B-17 will return to EFD next week from the CAF HQ in Midland. Our North Texas Team will look over the P-47 and F6F so these two airplanes can make the show. The F4U will return and join the SBD on the ramp for a static display. The Stearman will attend as well. Flight experiences will be available aboard the B-17, B-25 and Stearman each day after the show. Walk ups are welcome and will be served on a first come basis. You can purchase your flight at our tent located at the entrance to the Warbird Ramp.
Our P-47 and F6F will participate in the USAF Heritage Flight and the Navy Legacy Flight demos during the show while the B-25 will resume its participation with the Disabled American Veterans air show outreach program. This will be a very special weekend for us after the IKE and we are elated to perform in front of the home crowd. We have a long way to go, but it will be nice to focus on flying for a change. Thanks again to everyone for your support.
Larry Gregory, President
Lone Star Flight Museum
October 3, 2008 - Things continue to move forward as we now have electricity and A/C in the upstairs offices. The building contractors have cut away the lower 12 feet of siding around the entire building. Ventilation is not a problem and theproject may be completed in less than 2 weeks. Our electricians are checking what we need to do to bring the lower floor online and the usual gang of drywall, A/C and other contractors are doing their thing. I do not have a target date to reopen, but we are making great progress. It will definitely be faster than I imagined 36 hours after the storm.
The Spitfire and F3F will be on the road to Breckenridge, TX on Friday. I passed the Spit on the causeway last night as it was leaving the island. After talking to our mechanics and the Ezell crew, it appears the airplanes faired the Gulf of Mexico very well. We have not found any significant areas of concern. We continue to clean out some of the airplanes and engines along with the other rolling stock in the hangar.
Our curator and her gang are in the middle of preserving many of the objects and artifacts damaged in the storm. It is a slow process and they are making excellent headway. Just like the airplanes, dealing with some of these items can wear you down mentally, but you have a good feeling when you find something that made it through untouched.
We’ll have a workday this Saturday and will concentrate on cleaning out some of the last small areas in the museum. We tackle some of the vehicles and probably have some folks work on an airplane or two. Bring some tools, brooms and other associated items that we may have lost. Wear appropriate shoes and bring a lunch. Some restaurants are open, but lines are long. We’ll have some coolers of water and soft drinks.
I can’t thank my staff enough for their efforts throughout the ordeal. They have held up remarkably well and have put in some long hours. Our volunteers have been there as well and have played an important role in our recovery. All of our friends throughout the warbird community have been more than supportive, not to mention all of the donations and kind notes from people who just want to help. We’re doing our best to make every day a little better around here. Thanks to everyone for your support.
September 23, 2008 - What a difference a couple of days can make, especially when the US Navy is on your side. Sailors from Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 and the USS Nassau spent two days helping us clean out the museum. My advice for anyone when the Seabees show up is to get to out of the way because things are going to happen fast. These folks were awesome and pulled over 300 cubic yards of debris out of the museum. Words will never adequately convey what these men and women did for us. A ‘thank you’ seems so inconsequential. Their efforts will forever be remembered by the museum. Go Navy!
As is normally the case in many disasters, many folks come together to make a difference. Our friends from the Collings Foundation have helped tremendously with equipment and qualified folks. They took charge of corrosion-proofing our aircraft today as our mechanics kept an eye on the scooping out of the shop and searched for their personal tools. The BP plant in Texas City and Evergreen Industrial provided a tanker of fresh water to flush our airplanes. They were a lifesaver as Galveston’s water supply could not support our needs after the storm. The folks at Corrosion X also donated some product to help us protect our airplanes from melting away. Numerous other folks and companies have jumped in as well. I am simply too tired to list them all without leaving someone out. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has helped us after the storm. You mean more to us than you realize.
As for the airplanes, the Commemorative Air Force has graciously accepted our wayward B-17 and B-25 at their headquarters in Midland, TX. The SBD is at Ellington while the T-6 remains at Houston Southwest. The DC-3, F8F and Stearman are at Hobby airport in Houston while the Hellcat and Corsair are at the Friedkin Ranch in south Texas. The P-47 is in Sherman. TX. Dan Friedkin contacted us to offer hangar space and volunteered to fly the Hellcat out. I can’t thank them enough as they single handedly saved five aircraft with hangar space.
The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was devastated by the storm. We were able to find a lot of artifacts including the Lady Be Good and Hornet exhibits. The Hornet is a little rough, but it is still intact. Unfortunately, many items were lost. Many of our volunteers and staff searched the numerous piles of debris and recovered more than I thought possible. Hopefully we can restore many of these items.
We are making progress and appreciate our many friends for their support during this time. We are doing our best with the limited supply of equipment and restricted access to Galveston. The city simply could not support humans after the storm, but our city officials and all involved with restoring essentials are dong a great job. I guess complaining that I haven’t been able to access the web since the storm will not go over too well with some folks. The amount of devastation is impressive and some people will return to nothing.
Hang in there with us. We’ll be back.
Larry Gregory, President
September 16, 2008 6:30 p.m. - Galveston, Texas
A first site survey found damage from Ike as substantial. The hangars and Texas Aviation Hall of Fame had 7-8 feet of water in those areas. The gift shop and lobby area had 3-4 feet of water. The southwest side of both hangars appear compromised. The entire contents of the gift ship are lost. Every exhibit in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was destroyed although some artifacts may be able to be saved.. How many is yet to be determined.
The airplanes received major water damage. Most remain in good shape physically. All plumbing and electrical systems are inoperable. The roof is okay minus one skylight. The second floor appears to be untouched. All evacuated aircraft are ok.
Debris is everywhere a
September 16, 2008 10:30 a.m. - Galveston, Texas
The response from our friends and supporters from all over the world has been gratifying. We thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
The damage to the museum is extensive. We anticipate that photos of the damage will be posted later today or tomorrow.
There have been numerous inquiries about specific airplanes, TAHF exhibits and when operations will resume. The preliminary assessment is in progress. The status of airplanes, exhibits, repairs and what our needs will be are being discussed. It is just too early to know when the museum will reopen since we don’t know what is needed. One thing we do know is that it is going to take many hours of work in the coming weeks and a lot of financial support to get the doors open. We will be adding a special donations button within the next 24 hours.
Thank you for support. Check back often for additional information.
September 14, 2008 10:00 a.m. - Galveston, Texas
All museum staff are safe following passage of Hurricane IKE.
Damage to the museum is substantial. The extent of the damage has yet to be assessed by LSFM officials and staff. As soon as the preliminary assessment has been made we will post information here. As soon as possible we will let you know about reorganization and reopening.
Prior to IKE’s arrival pilots were able to fly the following aircraft out of harm’s way/ B-17, B-25, DC-3,P-47, F6F, F4U, SBD, PT-17, T-6 and the F8F.
We want to thank all of our friends and supporters for their thoughts and prayers.
Larry Gregory, President